ECM & British Values

The ECM curriculum incorporates PSHE, Citizenship and Religious Education and is delivered to pupils by form tutors during 20 minute sessions each morning. We have interwoven these three subjects into one specialist curriculum area to allow our students to develop their understanding of an increasingly diverse and fast-paced 21st Century world. Students will consider how they can make a positive contribution to their community and they will be challenged to understand the ethnic, cultural and religious diversity that represents wider British society beyond Widnes.

We also have an ECM day each half term which is a curriculum breakdown day where students work on various projects to develop their awareness of the ECM agenda, which encourages our students to:

  • Stay Safe
  • Be Healthy
  • Make a Positive Contribution
  • Achieve Economic Well-Being
  • Enjoy and Achieve
  • Develop a sense of Community Cohesion

Each child in the school also has an academic mentor who they meet regularly as part of this curriculum to discuss targets, progress, achievements and issues.

We have also invested in the ‘Vision to Learn’ package, which is an online resource that enables students to get much of the work from the ECM curriculum accredited. Consequently we have students will be able to work towards qualifications such as the ‘Equality and Diversity’ Award and a GCSE in PSHE.


Make a Positive Contribution – October

In October we hold our ‘Make a positive contribution’ Every Child Matters Day. Every student in the school works within their year groups on special projects to enable them to contribute positively to the school or wider community. Activities include a recycling project, sponsored walk and charity project. Students also spend time writing to a child we sponsor in Africa as part of the charity Action Aid, which allows us to communicate with the child we sponsor and teach each other about different cultures and ways of life in our respective countries.

House Day – December

In December we hold our ‘ECM House Day’. Every student in the school works within their year groups on special projects to enable them to contribute towards raising money for a variety of charities and represent their house in a range of events.

Christmas Markets – December

The OCA Christmas Markets take place as the second part of house day. The markets involve students preparing to set up and sell items on their stalls. Stalls include cakes, Christmas decorations, Christmas canvas work, festive treats, Christmas cards, soft toys, reindeer dust, drinks, raffles and a tombola.


Aspirations Day – February

In February we hold aspirations day at the academy. The day gave students a chance to think about their future and what they would like to do once leaving the academy. Students complete career actions planners to allow them to think in depth about the careers they may choose in the future and participate in a range of activities surrounding their aspirations and goals. More information on CEIAG is available below.

Health Day – May

Various external providers visit the school and deliver interactive sessions with our students. Sessions include, Fizzy Drinks, Smoking, Alcohol, Mental Health and Cyberbullying. Students also explore mental health issues and develop strategies to help them deal with exam pressure and stress, along with other issues they may face in day to day life.

Culture Week – June

Culture week involves activities in school as well as a number of educational visits. Each form group is given a country to represent. As a form they decorate their form room, create presentations about their country and chose an iconic person from their country. Trips include visits to museums and restaurants with food from other cultures.

OCA Pride – July

Students partake in a day of celebration for OCA pride. This day allows students to participate in a range of activities, learning about the LGBTQ community and celebrating equality amongst our students, no matter their gender or sexuality. This day encourages and celebrates that OCA is a safe and supportive environment for any student.


Sports Day – July

Our annual sports day takes place during the last week of the summer term. The timetable for the day is action packed for all students and staff. Students all take part in Athletics, Football, Rounders, and the Four House Quiz before finishing the day with the ever competitive team events of Relay and Tug of War.


British Values

British Values information:

At Ormiston Chadwick Academy we take very seriously our responsibility to prepare our students for life in modern Britain. We ensure that the fundamental British Values are introduced, discussed, taught and lived out through our Academy. All curriculum areas provide a vehicle for furthering students understanding of these concepts and, in particular, our ECM curriculum provides excellent opportunities to deepen and develop appreciation of democracy, the rule of law, individual liberty, tolerance of those with different faiths and beliefs and mutual respect.
Students embrace these concepts with enthusiasm and demonstrate a good understanding of their application to their own lives. The academy makes considerable efforts to ensure students have exposure to a wide range of experiences beyond the school environment during which these concepts are shown.

OCA students engage in the democratic process by electing their student council representatives each year. Through the student council every child has a voice which is heard. This is voice is heard through polls and suggestion boxes on key issues. Through a broad and varied curriculum students learn about how Britain has evolved into the society as we know it today.

The rule of law
At OCA we consistently reinforce the importance of laws and rules, whether they govern a class, the school or the country. Students are taught the values of laws and rules, the reasons behind them and the consequences that apply when they are broken. The school has links with many external agencies related to the law and has an onsite Community Support Officer fostering positive relationships with our students and the wider community.

Tolerance of those with different faiths and beliefs
We strive to improve our students understanding of their place in a culturally diverse society. Students are offered a wide range of opportunities to experience such diversity in school through the ECM curriculum which focusses on current affairs, ECM days and extra-curricular and curricular trips and visits.

Individual Liberty
Our students are provided with a safe environment which allows them to think about and make informed choices in their lives both in and out of school. The extensive enrichment programme encourages students to be involve led in a range of school and community based activities of their choice. The enrichment ethos of ‘something for everyone’ allows all students to contribute positively in school and within the wider community in order to develop the skills to become effective British citizens.

Mutual respect
Mutual respect is central to our school. Respect for staff, students and peers is evident throughout the school environment. Respect is upheld within classrooms and students are encouraged to share their views as well as listen to others points of views. Students are given responsibility to help and support each other, working together to ensure all students achieve their personal best.

British Values Challenge
The academy has launched a whole school British Values Challenge. Students are informed of the challenge through form tutors and year assemblies. The challenge covers all five aspects of the British Values curriculum; Democracy, The rule of law, Tolerance of those with different beliefs and faiths, Individual Liberty and Mutual Respect. The challenge has three tiers which are Bronze, Silver and Gold. On completion of each award students receive a British Values certificate through assemblies and their photo is displayed on a British Values notice board in recognition of their achievements. Following completion of the Gold award students are acknowledged as a British Values Academy Ambassador. At each tier students


Over the course of their time at OCA, students are encouraged to participate in a number of careers related activities, to help them determine the type of career path they may choose to take in the future. Students are given the opportunity to learn about the path they may take after OCA, whether this be on to college and University or an apprenticeship.

Students complete a three day work experience placement in year 10 which is tailored to the career path they feel most interested in. Students will also participate in two university campus visits by the time they leave in year 11. They are supported in making choices for life after OCA

Various businesses and colleges visit school to deliver assemblies and to speak with students about potential choices for after school and to give more information on the different paths and routes available.



At OCA we have become one of only nineteen schools in the country to receive the Discovering Democracy Award.

The Discovering Democracy Award, which was created to support the need to develop character as well as a strong grounding in core academic subjects, was launched by the British Council in partnership with the Cabinet Office and the Department for Education in September.

The award aims to showcase those schools who engage young people with democracy from an early age, whether that is voting for their representatives or a school council, or voter registration, or getting involved in social action campaigns.

Jon Foster, Chair of the British Youth Council said, “The British Youth Council is delighted to highlight the work of schools up and down the country. Schools are often the best place to offer the foundations to nature grassroots democracy and I’m really excited to find such schools leading the way!”