The DfE have recently reinforced the 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 in 2014.
How will we use our values to promote British values?
Our children 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 own opinions and voices heard. Children also have the opportunity to air their opinions and ideas through our School Council. 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.
The Rule of Law
The importance of laws are consistently reinforced; whether they are those that govern the class, the school or the country. 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. Visits from authorities such as the Police and Fire Service etc. are regular parts of our calendar and help embed this message.
Our children are actively encouraged to make choices, knowing that they are in a safe and supportive environment. They are encouraged to know, understand and exercise their rights and are advised how to exercise these safely and with respect. Examples of this can be clearly seen in our e-safety and P.S.H.E. lessons. Whether it is through choice of challenge, of how children record their work or by participation in our extra- curricular activities, our children are given the freedom to make their own decisions.
Respect is one of our school values and it is deeply embedded in all that we do. Part of our school ethos and behaviour policy has always revolved around core values such as respect, and children have been part of discussions and assemblies related to what this means and how it is shown. Our children know how important respecting one another is, and will demonstrate this in all that they do around school.
Tolerance of Those with Different Faiths and Beliefs
We develop children’s understanding of different faiths and beliefs through religious education studies, P.S.H.E. work, visits to various places of worship and by participating in celebrations such as Diwali. Assemblies and discussions involving prejudices and prejudice-based bullying are explored. Beliefs, traditions and customs are studied, with visitors being invited in to our school to enrich and extend the children’s knowledge. Through this, our pupils gain an understanding of their place in a culturally diverse society.
Throughout our curriculum, children undertake a range of history topics about the development of Britain through different periods of time. Through acts of worship, the sharing of stories, images, events and music we promote not only our school values, but British values as a whole.
As a community school, collective worship is non-denominational and recognises that those attending may have a wide range of faiths, or none. Our RE curriculum allows children to gain a greater understanding of religious diversity and practices represented in the UK.
We actively promote the concept of ‘fair play’ through our PE curriculum, following and developing rules and ensuring inclusion. We celebrate and reward success, encourage being magnanimous in defeat and promote kinship and affiliation with others.
By promoting our own school values of respect, honesty, responsibility, perseverance, friendship and trust, we secure a good understanding of British Values for our children.