Ratton School has a very strong ethos that is underpinned by its own core virtues of compassion, respect, creativity, teamwork, effort and responsibility.
These virtues link with the teaching and development of British Values which are respect and understanding of democracy, the rule of law and individual liberty as well as mutual respect and tolerance for those of different faiths and beliefs. We take pride in making sure our young people can identify and challenge discrimination and that those who are victims of discrimination are supported.
Our young people are future leaders and so Ratton ensures that they receive quality character education. We deliver this character education through the taught curriculum, particularly in Ethics and Citizenship, regular assemblies that are linked to virtues, in a structured tutor time programme and via the wealth of extra-curricular activities on offer. We are proud that we are one of very few secondary schools that have received a Values Based Education Quality Mark.
Ms Bryden is the Assistant Headteacher with responsibility for Virtues and PSHE. She has received training from Values Based Education and the Birmingham University’s Jubilee Centre for Character Education.
To further our students’ understanding of how democracy works we involve them in the decision making of the school. We have a school parliament made up of elected representatives of the student body. These students meet with the leadership of the school to discuss issues that students feel are important and implement change as needed; we also have a student leadership team in Year 11. The students compete to be elected to influence and shape the Ratton School experience. We want Ratton students to know that their opinions matter and that their voice is listened to.
Our students also learn about democracy in the curriculum via Ethics and in Citizenship (which is taught within History in Year 9).
The Rule of Law
Students learn about British law and how it is formed. They study ‘Ethics of Laws’ and how morality and law impact on their lives. Students learn about the aims of punishment and understand that the law is essential for wellbeing and safety. Students are taught about their rights and responsibilities as British citizens. Our curriculum and behaviour management system also ensure that students understand the consequences of their behaviour and actions.
We have a close relationship with our local police and Targeted Youth Support who ensure that students understand the importance of the law and the potential consequences of actions.
Our Ethics curriculum encourages students to consider and express their own opinions on a range of ‘ultimate questions’ such as ‘what does it mean to be good?’ or ‘what happens after we die?’ In working though controversial topics students learn how to challenge different points of view in an articulate and respectful way. We provide a safe and supportive environment for students to learn; 95% of our students agree that they feel safe and supported. Students accept that people having different faiths or beliefs to their own (or having none) is accepted and tolerated, and were not the cause of prejudicial or discriminatory behaviour (Safer Schools Survey 2014).
Ratton encourages students to know, understand and exercise their rights and responsibilities. Our students are encouraged to make choices and advised on taking risks and considering their safety when making choices.
Students learn about the importance of respect, tolerance and celebration of diversity through PSHE, Ethics and our whole-school assembly programme.
In Ethics, students are taught the importance of equality and justice. Our school does not tolerate prejudice or discrimination and students and all incidents are logged and the appropriate sanction taken. Racial or bullying incidents are advised to the Local Authority and our policy clearly identifies how the school responds to both individual and repeated incidents.
Tolerance of those with different faiths and beliefs
We promote religious freedom and respect for other faiths. Students undertake academic study of at least 6 major faiths. We do not promote any belief system but we do promote tolerance and harmony of different cultures and faiths; for example, the Gideon’s meet with Year 7 students, our assembly programme promotes religious and spiritual opportunities and - as indicated above - we have a clear school policy and practice which does not tolerate faith bullying.