British Values are important to Darwen Vale High School, embedding a culture of high standards and common decency. Vale Values together with RE days, assemblies and individual subject curriculums, regularly reinforce the four British Values of respect, freedom, democracy and rule of law.
Vale Values is taught twice weekly during form time, tackling the topics of relationships, health and wellbeing and living in the wider world. British Values are woven into all of these topics, especially “living in the wider world” which investigates all four British Values in the very first term, setting the standard for the rest of the academic year. Also during Autumn term, Vale Values together with school assemblies work in unison to deliver the same key messages. For example, “respect” is taught in Vale Values then reinforced that same week in Armistice assemblies.
Likewise, “freedom” and “rule of law” are covered by Vale Values during bonfire week, whilst at the same time reiterated during assembly time that same week. By writing the Vale Values curriculum in this timely way, topical issues and British Values are given context and meaning.
The positive impact of Vale Values on form time learning has been immeasurable since its inception in September 2019. Form times are far more engaging, structured and industrious resulting in tangible, worthwhile outcomes. For example, year 10 forms rose to The Global Entrepreneur Week Challenge just before Christmas, pitching their ideas and innovations right across the Aldridge Community of Schools. This gave students an opportunity to consolidate their learning during their “health and wellbeing” topic, by realising their intentions in a practical, meaningful way. Similarly, careers advice relayed to students during Vale Values last week was echoed in a corresponding careers fair in the main hall. Students could actually meet and liaise with the companies and institutions they had just learnt about.
All in all, Vale Values has been a tremendous success so far and a perfect vehicle for promoting British Values.