Rivers ESC embraces the multi-cultural, multi faith and ever-changing society of the United Kingdom and aims to ensure its students are prepared to make their contribution to it.
We recognise that Britain is a united nation where freedom of speech is an entitlement for all and we strive to ensure that all members of the Centre are treated with respect when sharing their views and opinions. It is our aim that the core ‘British Values’ set out by government to be delivered in schools (2011 Prevent Strategy) are not only embedded within our curriculum but are actively demonstrated in our everyday practice.
The five British Values are:
- The rule of law
- Individual liberty
- Mutual respect
- Tolerance of those of different faiths and beliefs
The school council encourages people to present a case and involve themselves in educated debate about the issues at hand. Reporting back on issues discussed and representing others is a core part of this process. The principle of democracy is also explored in the curriculum.
The rule of law:
The importance of laws, whether they are those that govern the class, the school, or the country are consistently reinforced at Rivers ESC. The code of conduct and expectations of the Centre are made clear to all our members.
We believe in a culture of restorative justice where members of the Centre are given every opportunity to repair relationships or correct any wrongs. Young people are given the opportunity to take part in debates. We also work closely with outside agencies including Hertfordshire police, the fire service and other organisations to promote understanding of rules and their consequences in wider society. The rules of law both here and abroad are covered in the curriculum through, for example, Public Services and Behaviour for Success.
At Rivers ESC, we provide young people with a safe and secure environment where they can express their individual views and opinions. We encourage young people to learn about both their rights and personal freedoms, but also the contrasts between those we take for granted and those in other parts of the world. We take pride in demonstrating the liberty we have as a nation and how we should all be respectful of others points of views whilst being vigilant of those views which could lead to discrimination, radicalisation or extremism. All subjects within the curriculum try at appropriate times to provide young people with opportunities to express themselves individually. We also ensure that the right to individual thought and free speech is taken responsibly and safely, for example through ensuring students are fully aware of the internet and e-safety.
Expressing individual views is an important part of our learning culture but it must always be conducted in conjunction with respecting the views and rights of others. The Centre follows equal opportunities guidance which guarantees that there will be no discrimination against any individual or group, regardless of faith, ethnicity, gender, sexuality, political or financial status, or similar. Rivers ESC is dedicated to preparing students for their lives beyond school and ensuring that it promotes and reinforces British values to all its students and a mutual respect of the views of others.
Tolerance of those with different faiths and beliefs
Young people are encouraged to consider, discuss and learn about a broad range of faiths, beliefs and cultures. This aids students in understanding their role in a culturally diverse society.
British values in the wider sense.
Our young people appreciate that a core British value is recognising and supporting those less fortunate than themselves. Our students support charities which are both local, national and international and all students are given opportunities to take part in charity work through such activities as the Centre’s involvement with Food Aid, Comic Relief, Sports Relief and Children In Need.