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 have been reiterated by the Prime Minister this year.
At our school these values are reinforced regularly and in the following ways:
Democracy is an integral part of our school community. Pupils have the opportunity to have their voices heard through our School Council and Pupil questionnaires. The elections of Head Boy, Head Girl, House Captains, School councillors and Prefects, are based solely on the democratic process with children submitting the reasons why they would be suitable for the role, elections giving speeches and elections then occurring. The majority of policies are debated widely and incorporate pupil voice as children, parents, governors and staff work together to put policy into practice.
The Rule of Law:
The importance of Laws, whether they be those that govern the class, the school, or the country, are consistently reinforced throughout regular school PSHE lessons, as well as when discussing behaviour and through whole school assemblies. Pupils 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; Fire Service; Lifeguards etc. are regular parts of our calendar and help reinforce this message. Pupils are involved in deciding class rules and pupil charters linked to anti-bullying and SMSC outcomes.
Within school, pupils 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 young pupils to make choices safely, through provision of a safe environment and empowering education. Pupils are encouraged to know, understand and exercise their rights and personal freedoms and advised how to exercise these safely, for example through our E-Safety and PSHE lessons. Whether it be through choice of challenge, of how they record, of participation in our numerous extra-curricular clubs and opportunities, pupils are given the freedom to make choices and to respect the decisions and choices of others.
Part of our school Christian values, ethos and behaviour policy revolve around Core Values such as ‘Respect’, and pupils have been part of discussions and assemblies related to what this means and how it is shown. Posters around the school promote respect for others and this is reiterated through our classroom and learning rules, as well as our behaviour policy. Pupils will challenge each other when not showing respect and encourage each other to be respectful.
Tolerance of those of Different Faiths and Beliefs:
This is achieved through enhancing pupils understanding of their place in a culturally diverse society and by giving them opportunities to experience such diversity. Assemblies and discussions involving prejudices and prejudice-based bullying have been followed and supported by learning in RE and PSHE. Members of different faiths or religions are encouraged to share their knowledge to enhance learning within classes and the school. We give the opportunity to ensure that all faiths and beliefs are valued. Through our RE curriculum, which teaches the main faiths and focuses upon learning about religion and learning from religion, we promote tolerance of the beliefs of others.