How do we prepare our young people for life in modern Britain at Da Vinci Academy?

1. Values:

The government places responsibility ‘on all schools to promote the fundamental British values of democracy, the rule of law, individual liberty and mutual respect and tolerance of those with different faiths and beliefs.’

  • Democracy
  • The rule of law
  • Individual liberty
  • Mutual respect
  • Tolerance of those with different faiths and beliefs

Democracy

Democracy is embedded in the Academy. Students are always listened to by adults and are taught to listen carefully and with concern to each other, respecting the right of every individual to have their opinions and voices heard. Students also have the opportunity to air their opinions and ideas through our Junior Leadership Team and pupil voice opportunities. The elections for the school council are based solely on pupil votes, reflecting our British electoral system and demonstrating democracy in action.

Parental Voice – parents/carers have the opportunity to share their opinions through questionnaires at all our parent evenings.

The Rule of Law

The importance of laws whether they are those that govern the class, the Academy or the country, are consistently reinforced. Our students are taught the value and reasons behind laws, that they govern and protect us, the responsibilities that this involves and the consequences when laws are broken. Details about Academy rewards and sanctions, choice and consequences are detailed in our Behaviour policy (see policy section of website) and the 5Ps, which serve as class rules for students.

Individual Liberty

Within the Academy, students are actively encouraged to make choices, knowing that they are in a safe and supportive environment. As an Academy we educate and provide boundaries for our pupils to make choices safely, through the provision of a safe environment and an empowering education. Our students are encouraged to know, understand and exercise their rights and personal freedoms and are advised how to exercise these safely; examples of this can be clearly seen in our E-safety and PSHCE lessons. Whether it is through choice of challenge; of how they record; of participation in our numerous extra- curricular activities; our students are given the freedom to make choices.

Mutual Respect

Respect is seen as an important value in our Academy. Students know and understand that it is expected and imperative that respect is shown to everyone, whatever differences we may have and to everything, however big or small. Expectations from staff can be seen in our Staff Conduct Policy on our website. The value of respect at Da Vinci Academy underpins much of our work every day both in and out of the classroom. Respect for less able students can be seen in our work with St Andrew’s School and for younger pupils through our close relationships with primary schools.

Tolerance of Those With Different Faiths, Cultures and Beliefs

The key value of respect ensures tolerance of those who have different faiths, cultures and beliefs. Da Vinci Academy enhances pupils’ understanding of different faiths, cultures and beliefs through assemblies, visits and visitors and the wider curriculum, as well as studying a range of faiths and belief systems in RE.

Alongside these values, which we prefer to describe as ‘fundamental universal values’, additional values of:

  • Self- help
  • Self-responsibility
  • Equality
  • Equity
  • Solidarity

We promote these values in the following ways:

Weekly assemblies reinforcing our ethos and key messages.

Ethos reinforced via inclusive practices, our behaviour policy is designed to ensure all students are treated equitably and fairly in relation to behaviour management, rewards and sanctions.

All Academy policies and practices are reviewed by governors for compliance with equal opportunities.

The Academy has a trained Stonewall Ambassador and actively challenges homophobic language and attitudes.

Successful integration of students from 21 different countries in to the ‘Da Vinci ethos’ creating a cohesive ‘family’ environment.

Strong pastoral structure led by a Pastoral Leader and team of well-trained form tutors.

Elected representatives from tutor groups sit on the school council and the executive officers are elected by the members of the council.

Election of Head Boy and Head Girl and Deputies to further represent student voice.

Extensive programme of charitable events and fund raising organised and led by student body.

Structured Tutor Period every morning, including discussions of topical issues.

Humanities and English Curriculum teaches students to critically evaluate world and British historical events, ideas and political ideals and to understand and respect a range of religious and non-religious viewpoints and faiths.

Strong Personal, Social, Health & Citizenship Education (PSHCE) programme in all year groups.

Close liaison with a local Special School (St. Andrews) including student led joint programmes.

Extensive enrichment programmes including visits in Britain and abroad, work with external businesses and partners, including the cooperative movement

2. Employability Skills

At Da Vinci we place a strong emphasis on ensuring our students are not only qualified but equipped for the world of work. The success of this strategy is evidenced in our year-on-year NEETS figures. Our programme includes:

Prioritisation of development of literacy and numeracy skills, in English and Maths lessons but also applied and re-enforced across all aspects of the taught and hidden curriculum. Students for whom English is an additional language (EAL) receive extra support from our EAL HLTA.

Cross-curricular teaching of ‘The Da Vinci Code for Learning’ develops vital skills of communication, independence, perseverance, problem solving & reflection.

Broad balanced curriculum with good range of guided options at KS4 allowing students to pursue appropriate courses including full range of traditional academic (EBACC), vocational and skills based qualifications.

Work experience for all students in Y10.

Mock interviews for all students in KS4 with local employers.

Enrichment and enterprise activities with local employers including Rolls-Royce, Bombardier, Midlands Coop, Toyota and GI Group.

Careers Mark approved programme of careers guidance from year 8 to year 11.

Developing STEM programme and CREST awards programme.

3. Life skills

Whilst preparation for work is important, much of our life is spent away from work and at Da Vinci Academy we believe it is important to prepare our young people to make good use of their leisure time and to be able to live healthy, safe, confident and independent adult lives. We prepare our young people for life beyond work through:

Personal, Social, Health & Citizenship Education educates all students about personal safety, health and hygiene, sex, relationships, drugs, alcohol, careers, politics, money management, equal opportunities, discrimination and the law.

All students are taught about basic food preparation, hygiene, diet and nutrition and the skills to cook healthy meals.

A rich cultural programme including music, drama, dance and art within the taught curriculum and extensive extra -curricular cultural activities including theatre and gallery visits, a number of bands and annual Academy production.

All students have 2 hours of physical education and a full programme of extra-curricular sports are offered with a number of teams and individual entered into local, regional and national competitions, plus an annual Academy sports day is held.

Promotion of reading for pleasure through events such as World Book Day and through reading as part of the English curriculum.

The EAL HLTA supports students who are new to Britain with the support they need to become confident and positive British Citizens.