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SMSC & British Values
Spiritual, Moral, Social and Cultual (SMSC) education is an important part of life at Harris Boys' Academy East Dulwich.
SMSC covers the following topics.
- Spiritual: explore beliefs and experience; respect values; discover oneself and the surrounding world; use imagination and creativity; reflect.
- Moral: recognise right and wrong; understand consequences; investigate moral and ethical issues; offer reasoned views.
- Social; use social skills in different contexts; work well with others; resolve conflicts; understand how communities work.
- Cultural: appreciate cultural influences; participate in culture opportunities; understand, accept, respect and celebrate diversity.
How we teach SMSC
We deliver our SMSC education in a variety of ways through our:
- assembly programme
- Active Citizens Days
- PSHE/RHSE curriculum
- Extra-curricular opportunities, trips and external speakers
- and weekly SMSC debates.
These debates are planned in conjunction with the Votes for Schools programme. Votes for Schools provides effective delivery of SMSC (including British values) and Prevent. Through debating a weekly topic, students are given the opportunity for discussion of topical, sometimes controversial, issues. It allows pupils to live and experience British Values in an engaging way.
In the first term of 2021-22, for example, our students debated:
- Should exams go ahead in 2022?
- Will climate change affect children's rights?
- Should the UK do more to help Afghanistan?
- Should more children get free school meals?
- Do we celebrate our differences enough?
- Do you see yourself as the leader in life?
Full details can be found in the Personal Development Policy 2021-22, which is downloadable from the Teaching and Learning page.
The academy supports and delivers a firm commitment to developing and upholding British values.
We have an elected Student Council that mirrors our Senior Leadership Team with a Student Principal and Vice Principals. The selections are done via voting and interview, much in the same way as the UK party system. Students learn about the importance and value of democracy in tutor time, assemblies and across the school curriculum.
The rule of law
The importance of Laws, whether they be those that govern the class, the academy or the country, are consistently reinforced throughout all aspects of academy life. Students and parents are part of the consultation of Academy rules and are incorporated into discussions about the value and reasons for clear expectations within the school. This process ensures that all stakeholders understand the consequences of not following Academy rules, as well as the benefits and rewards for active participation in Academy life in a positive and constructive way. Students are also taught about UK legislation by our Safer School Officer and through visits from the Metropolitan Police.
Students are actively encouraged to make choices, knowing that they are in a safe and supportive environment. We educate and provide boundaries for students to make choices safely, through provision of a safe environment and empowering education.
Students are encouraged to know, understand and exercise their rights and personal freedoms and advised how to exercise these safely, for example through our E-Safety and tutor lessons. Whether it be through choice of learning challenge, of how they record, of participation in our extra-curricular clubs and opportunities, pupils are given the freedom to make choices.
Mutual respect and tolerance of those of different faiths and beliefs
Harris Boys' Academy, East Dulwich is situated in an area which is culturally diverse and we place a great emphasis on promoting and understanding diversity within the student and staff body. Our Religious Studies classes, assemblies and tutor teaching reinforce this. Students and staff feel comfortable sharing their knowledge and experiences to enhance learning within classes. We also work closely with local community action, anti-discrimination advocacy and faith groups so our students are exposed to multiple ways of viewing the society around them, this is accomplished through visits to places of worship, speakers from community and faith groups, and work with anti-discrimination groups such as Stonewall.
Within the wider curriculum and its delivery we expect all students to:
- participate in subjects with broad potential for deepening cultural appreciation - Art, Music and Drama
- participate in wider activities and discussions, for example, during tutor time, that uphold British values
- Show tolerance of different faiths and beliefs
Radicalisation and extremism
The academy believes and actively supports the view that all students should be protected from radicalisation and extremism. Our approach to this is in line with the Government’s CONTEST strategy (the counter terrorist strategy) and PREVENT (stopping people becoming terrorists or supporting terrorism). Staff have received training on radicalisation awareness, and it forms part of our Equalities Policy.
Radicalisation is the process by which people come to support terrorism and extremism, and in some cases, participate in terrorist groups. Extremism is the vocal or active opposition to the fundamental British values in bullet points above. Our commitment to safeguarding student welfare means we are vigilant in monitoring vulnerability to radicalisation including:
- Family tensions
- Sense of isolation
- Distance from cultural heritage
- Experience of racism or discrimination
- Feeling of failure
Students, staff, parents and guardians are supported by the Safeguarding team at HBAED with regard to any concerns or issues surrounding radicalisation or extremism.