Promoting British Values
The Department for Education state that there is a need “to create and enforce a clear and rigorous expectation on all schools to promote the fundamental British values of democracy, the rule of law, individual liberty and mutual respect and tolerance of those with different faiths and beliefs.”
The government set out its definition of British values in the 2011 Prevent Strategy and these values were reiterated by the Prime Minister in 2014. At our school these values are reinforced regularly and in the following ways:
Democracy is embedded throughout the school. Pupils are always listened to by adults and are taught to listen carefully and with concern to each other, respecting the right of every individual to have their opinions and voices heard. Pupils also have the opportunity to air their opinions and ideas through our School Council, Eco Council, the Worship Group and regular pupil perception questionnaires. The elections of the School Council members and House Captains are based solely on pupil votes, reflecting our British electoral system and demonstrating democracy in action. Year 6 children annually visit Parliament in London and are given an educational tour of the houses. Our Parent Council supports the work of the school through its elected members. Our curriculum has the space to take advantage of democratic opportunities eg. Elections
The Rule of Law
The importance of laws whether they are those that govern the class, the school or the country, are consistently reinforced. Our school follows a set of rules which are part of our mission statement and school aims. These rules reflect the belief that every unique child ‘is deserving of the highest academic and behaviour standards’. Each class also discusses and sets its own rules that are clearly understood by all and seen to be necessary to ensure that every class member is able to learn in a safe and ordered environment. Our children 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.
Within school, children are actively encouraged to make choices to become good and valued citizens, knowing that they are in a safe and supportive environment. As a school we educate and provide boundaries for our children to make choices safely, through the provision of a safe environment and an inspiring and empowering education. Our children are encouraged to know, understand and exercise their rights and personal freedoms and are advised how to exercise these safely; examples of this can be clearly seen in our P.S.H.E. lessons. Whether it is through choice of challenge; of how they record their learning; their participation in our numerous extra- curricular activities; our children are given the freedom to make choices. Learning to do things independently is an important part of learning to understand yourself. We support others by participating in local community and national/international events and charitable events such as, Save the Children, Oxfam, Children in Need, RSPCA and Local Charities. We believe that by engendering a caring and helpful environment and by learning to be independent we can boost and nurture a healthy self-esteem.
‘The Christian values of love, hope, faith and commitment, forgiveness and reconciliation, truth, acceptance, relationships and respect, peace and tranquility’ are deeply embedded in our school. The school family was fully involved in the creation of these aims. The children know and understand that it is expected and imperative that respect is shown to everyone, whatever differences we may have and to everything, however big or small. The core value of Respect in our school underpins our work every day both in and out of the classroom.
Tolerance of Those with Different Faiths and Beliefs
‘Our Christian family ethos which encompasses all aspects of school life where every individual is respected’ brings tolerance for all. Our school is one where ‘individuality is celebrated’ where children have a shared understanding of different faiths and beliefs through RE and PHSE; where celebrations such as Diwali are enjoyed; where visitors that are not predominately white British will share assemblies and work with our children to enrich and extend understanding. The school curriculum has opportunities to educate our children about living in different communities perhaps on other continents and study a variety of beliefs, traditions and customs. Through this our children gain an enhanced understanding of their place in a culturally diverse society.
Our school takes opportunities to actively promote British Values through our daily assemblies and whole school systems and structures. These include individual responsibilities for children. We also actively promote the British values through ensuring that our curriculum planning and delivery includes real opportunities for exploring these values. Actively promoting British Values also means challenging pupils, staff or parents expressing opinions contrary to fundamental British Values, including ‘extremist’ views.