At Rochdale Sixth Form College, we are dedicated to improving the standards of academic progress and have high standards and expectations across all aspects of the college. We understand the importance of not only academic achievement but the development of young people into social, moral and cultural young adults.
Our core values of care, empathy, compassion, respect, belonging, inclusivity and fairness actively promote and support the five fundamental British Values identified by the Department for Education:
- The Rule of Law
- Individual Liberty
- Mutual Respect
- Tolerance of different faiths and beliefs
We teach our students the importance of compassion, being respectful to all irrespective of their faith, ethnicity, gender, sexuality, class or any other differences.
Through our Social Development and Speakers programmes, our students engage with a range of inspirational people form a range of backgrounds, cultures and beliefs and are encouraged to embrace all the opportunities which are on offer.
It is imperative that our staff lead by example, modelling the values every day through our interactions with each other. Core values and the ethos are therefore a key part of the college induction processes and are reiterated throughout team meetings and inset days.
Below are a few examples of how the values are embedded across the college, whilst this is no means exhaustive, it demonstrates the commitment the college has, to provide students with opportunities to develop a moral foundation and make a positive impact on our local community, Britain and beyond.
Students are introduced to ‘democracy’ through the Student Union President Elections where students are elected through a democratic process and majority vote. The student union are encouraged to seek the views of the wider student body and bring their own proposals to the senior leadership team for consideration.
Within the tutorial programme students are encouraged to be politically aware, taking part in debates around age-appropriate issues, where they develop arguments for and against the chosen topic.
The Rule of Law
All students sign a learning agreement when they enrol at Rochdale Sixth Form College. The agreement details what the student can expect from Rochdale Sixth Form College and what we expect from them. It is important that students understand that the rules are there to safeguard their wellbeing and the welfare of others in order for all students to be able to achieve their full potential, both academically and socially. We expect students to take responsibility for their own actions as young adults and a member of the Rochdale community.
Students are aware that the rules in place are reflective of those in the workplace and society and that their actions and behaviours which are prohibited and punishable in college and wider society.
The Student Code of Conduct Policy and Procedure sets out explicitly the expectations and high standards we have of all our students. These standards and expectations are reinforced throughout the college building, in curriculum lessons and tutorials. To ensure students follow the expectations and high standards we ensure students are treated fairly and consistently where these rules are over-stepped or broken.
As part of the tutorial programme, we empower students to make sensible and informed decisions by providing guidance on arrange of issues, including online safety, healthy relationships, hate crime, radicalisation and extremism. Students are encouraged to exercise their rights and are sign posted to who to approach, should they feel their rights are being violated.
Students take part in enrichment activities to enable them to develop skills in a particular area of interest to support their future progression plans and emphasise the importance of contributing to the wider society.
Respect is one of our RSFC 10 student expectations. This is defined as ‘RSFC is a working community where all people are respected and supported. We expect that other students, staff and the public be treated with respect and courtesy. We expect tolerance of other people’s views and that you comply with the college code of conduct and be aware that you are an ambassador of the college and represent RSFC at all times; not just on the college premises.’ Students take part in social development projects, working alongside core groups in our local community, the elderly, the young, the homeless to gauge a wider understanding of their needs and support with activities and fund raising.
Our young people are encouraged to communicate openly and honestly. To listen and respect the opinions of others, even where opinions are different. We have high expectations of all students and staff to model exemplary behaviour and conduct themselves in a professional manner.
Tolerance of different faiths and beliefs
SPDLs raise students’ awareness of their responsibilities under equality legislation. They also promote tolerance, friendship and understanding of a range of religions and cultures through different aspects of the tutorial programme.
Tolerance, friendship and understanding of a range of religions and cultures is promoted through different aspects of our curriculum. This includes teaching in our tutorial lessons, in enrichment and social developments sessions, and activities in other curriculum areas. For example, as part of teaching and learning in English, students will be introduced to literature from a range of cultures.
British Values are in all we do and strive for at Rochdale Sixth Form College. We want to inspire our students to become tomorrow’s leaders, through developing skills and qualities throughout their journey and hope that these values will enable them to make a positive impact on society.