Our Values Statement
At Ashgate we promote ‘British Values’ through our spiritual, moral, social and cultural education which runs through the whole school curriculum and supports the development of the each child as a unique individual.
We recognise that staff play a vital role in promoting our core values by providing our pupils with positive models of behaviour and attitudes to learning.
A broad and balanced curriculum is offered across the school with activities differentiated to meet the needs of the different cohort groups within school.
‘British Values’ have been identified as:
In order to participate in any democratic process an individual needs a voice that can be heard and understood by others. All pupils at Ashgate have a One Page Profile which describes who they are and what is important to them. For our non -verbal pupils these profiles also outline how the child communicates with others. Where possible pupils are actively involved in writing their One Page Profile and the views of the family are also sought.
A range of strategies are used within school to help pupils communicate with others. Ashgate has achieved the Elklan Communication Friendly Schools Status and staff have received training to increase the range of strategies they are able to use to develop our pupils’ verbal language skills.
For our non-verbal pupils their ‘voice’ could involve the use of objects, photographs, pictures, symbols, touch cues, eye pointing or body language. Specific approaches such as Intensive Interaction, PECS and High Tech Communication Aids are used as appropriate to develop the skills of individual students.
By valuing each ‘voice’ and by listening and responding to that voice we demonstrate that we support democracy and liberty. The school is in the process of developing a school council and fact finding visits to other schools have been completed to explore how to ensure participation for all.
Rule of Law
The school has developed a core set of ‘visual values’ which have been represented in an accessible visual format and are displayed throughout the school. We involve pupils in setting codes of behaviour; helping them to make decisions and choices that are acceptable to the school community and society at large. Class groups develop their own rules and rewards in a way that is appropriate for and can be understood by the pupils in the group.
Staff are committed to providing a consistent and predictable environment within the school and giving pupils opportunities to practice their skills within the wider community. Pupils are helped to learn to manage their behaviour and take responsibility for their actions. Where possible the connection between actions and consequences is explained. This type of environment enables pupils to feel safe and secure which in turn, promotes the optimum conditions for learning to take place.
Pupils are encouraged to become good and valued citizens. We do this by supporting each pupil to become as independent as possible. Some pupils will be able to take responsibility for particular roles in school and to understand that with certain rights comes a level of responsibility. By providing pupils with the opportunity to make choices during the school day we attempt to demonstrate that everyone has rights and that this includes the right to say 'Yes' or 'No'.
Targeted interventions including drama therapy, art therapy and nurture room activities have been used successfully with specific cohort groups to develop confidence and emotional resilience and appropriate ways of self-expression.
We believe that creating a caring and helpful environment and encouraging our pupils to be to be as independent as possible can boost and develop self-esteem. We support others by participating in national charitable events such as McMillan Coffee Mornings, Red Nose Day and Children in Need as well as local initiatives such as community litter picking activities.
Mutual Respect and Tolerance
The curriculum is personalised and planned for pupils’ individual needs. We work closely with parents, carers and other professionals to ensure that the pupils at Ashgate are happy, well cared for and enabled to learn the skills they need to live a fulfilling life as part of their community.
Within school, pupils work with a range of people and interactions with others are always positively promoted. Pupils may work with colleagues from a range of therapy services or have the chance to interact with sports coaches or staff from the Manchester Music Service and visiting theatre groups. Links with a local secondary school have been developed and sixth form students volunteer in school to support activities as part of our Physical Curriculum.
We promote each pupil’s inclusion in activities, settings and locations that are appropriate to them and meet their individual needs. Our students regularly take part in visits in the local community including trips to the library, park and leisure centre. Children also participate in sporting events alongside pupils from other schools and have been involved in arts projects such as the recent Manchester International Festival where a group of pupils performed in the Tale of Mr. Tumble.
At Ashgate each individual is respected and valued equally without regard to ability, gender, faith, heritage or race. Cultural appreciation and development forms part of our curriculum and pupils have the opportunity to take part in celebrations to broaden their experience and awareness of other cultures and beliefs. Special celebrations such as our Christmas Concert and End of Year Achievement Assembly bring the whole school together and are well attended by parents and carers.
Although some of our pupils may find it difficult to articulate their feelings and concerns staff are attuned to changes in behaviour and well-being that may indicate anxiety. Our Safeguarding Policy entrusts a duty of care to all staff to actively protect and promote the welfare of children and if staff are concerned about a pupil clear procedures are in place for staff to follow.