Values and Ethos
We aim to provide a structured high quality and personalised education for a group of students with complex, individual social and emotional needs in partnership with: local schools, parents, carers, other agencies and the local community.
At the Links students will leave:
• Knowing their strengths, needs, achievement and attainment
• Recognising positive and respectful relationships
• With wider horizons
• Equipped with the qualities that they will need for successful new futures
• Having experienced and be able to access exciting opportunities
At Links Academy we endeavour to promote the fundamental British values of democracy, the rule of law, individual liberty, and reinforce mutual respect and tolerance of those with different faiths and beliefs. This happens as follows:
Democracy is embedded within the experiences at Links. Students have the opportunity to have their voices heard through our Ethics, Values, Health and Wellbeing programme (EVHW), participate in `snapbackchat` responding to relevant issues such personal uniqueness, national, and global identity and what it means to be ‘British’. Student Voice, student questionnaires, meetings with the senior leadership team and link mentors also form our targeted approach to democracy. Our behaviour and rewards policies involve earning rewards and sanctions; this is shared through all aspects of Links life and with parents, carers and young people.
Within Links students are actively encouraged to make choices, knowing that they are in a safe and supportive environment. As a school we educate and provide boundaries for all students to make choices safely, through provision of a safe environment and an empowering approach through their education. Students are encouraged to know, understand and exercise their rights and personal freedoms and are advised how to exercise these safely. For example through our E-Safety, EVHW sessions, also through use of debates, role play, workshops which target specific issues such as child exploitation, safe behaviours, gun and knife crime and prisons. Students are given the freedom to make a wide range of choices, from attending enrichment activities and cultural events in order to bridge the gap between our students and community.
We are proud to be a character school, always trying to highlight more character traits of Empathy, ‘Stickability’ and Self-Regulation. Respect is one of the values underpinning our behaviour policy. It is shared with home through regular meetings. Adults throughout the centre model, demonstrate and promote these traits and respect for others. Our approach to EVHW enables us to be flexible and target specific interpersonal areas such as self-management, teamwork, respect, religion, prejudice, sexuality, disability, body size and image. We tackle issues as they arise. The centre has strong links with local external provisions and through activities such as climbing, motor vehicles courses work experience provisions, sailing, archery and arts workshops. Students also have opportunities to experience working alongside the wider community.
The Rule of Law
The important of Rules and Laws, whether they be those that govern the lessons, the school or the country are consistently reinforced especially when dealing with behaviour and rewarding positive behaviour. 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. Visits from authorities such as the Police and Fire Service Officers are a part of our programmes and help reinforce this message. Through our highly personalised approach to EVHW we offer students every opportunity in which they can make positive, informed healthy choices.
Tolerance of Different Faiths and Beliefs
At Links we are a culturally rich and diverse centre where young people and staff have unique opportunities to learn from each other, by sharing and celebrating their different faiths and cultures. Members of different faiths or religions are encouraged to share their knowledge, to enhance learning within sessions and the centre. Specific Equality and Diversity units of work enable us to embed our ethos of tolerance and understanding and break down potential misconceptions and challenge any stereotypes or prejudices. Students are encouraged to be critical thinkers, by considering together a variety of current news and discussing the importance of interpreting information carefully. All of our staff are ‘Prevent Trained’.