Trump, Brexit, the refugee crisis, terror attacks. Politics, both home and abroad in the past year, has got our students talking. At school, our teachers have a duty to promote British values, which Ofsted define as: democracy, the rule of law, individual liberty and mutual respect for and tolerance of those with different faiths and beliefs and for those without faith. We aim to help our students understand how these values can apply to our ever-changing society and to consider why they have come to be the values of Britain. At all times we focus on exploring and understanding different and opposing ideas in an atmosphere of respect and tolerance.
At home, students are increasingly looking to social media to help their understanding of the world. Teachers, particularly in the History and Politics Department, are working hard to ensure that students engage critically with the resources they are drawing on, to help them discriminate between fact, fiction and opinion. In particular, they have been discussing the dangers of online echo chambers, which reiterate and amplify rather than challenge views. We would encourage parents to join in their child’s enthusiasm for understanding current affairs by regularly discussing and challenging their understanding of the issues of the day and the views they are coming across on the internet. It is important to remember that online radicalisation is not limited to one ethnic group yet it does seem to predominantly target teenage audiences; regular and open discussions are the best weapons in combating this phenomenon. Websites such as http://educateagainsthate.com/ can provide more information and this month we feature a guide for supporting parents on our Blog page.
Mrs J Shore – History Teacher