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 by the Prime Minister in 2014. At Church Broughton C of E (C) Primary School, these values are reinforced regularly and in the following ways:
Democracy is embedded at 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 and regular questionnaires. The elections of the School Council members and House Captains and Vice Captains are based solely on pupil votes, reflecting our British electoral system and demonstrating democracy in action. They also voted for their class names. Children have many opportunities for their voices to be heard. The school council meet regularly to discuss issues raised in class council meetings. Children choose their own rewards for good behaviour during ‘Golden Time’. When appropriate, they choose their own learning activities from a ‘menu’ of increasingly challenging tasks. EYFS children have ‘Learning Choices’, enabling them to choose activities they would like to try during the school day. Children are encouraged to work democratically when carrying out group tasks, by identifying and allocating different roles.
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 school, as well as when dealing with any negative behaviour and through collective worship. Pupils are taught the value and reasons behind laws, in that they govern and protect us and the responsibilities that this involves and the consequences when laws are broken. Visits from authorities such as the Fire Service help reinforce this message. Our school has its own set of rules which are deeply embedded in our work every day. 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. The children are aware of different rules for different circumstances, such as swimming, using the playground equipment and use of the computers. The behaviour policy is shared with all stakeholders and a child-friendly version of the policy enables the children to have a clear understanding of the expectations within our school.
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 pupils to make choices safely, through provision of a safe environment. 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 learning challenge, of how they record, of participation in extra-curricular clubs and opportunities, pupils are given the freedom to make choices. Each child has their own space within the school, through a personal peg and a tray in which to keep their belongings.
Mutual respect is at the heart of our values. Children learn that their behaviour has an effect on their own rights and those of others. All members of the school community treat each other with respect. This underpins our work every day both in and out of the classroom. We celebrate each other’s achievements through a weekly Celebration Worship. These achievements may be academic, social or relate to children’s talents. Children learn how to respect and appreciate each other’s differences in an out of school context when they go on a residential each year during KS2. Our PSHCE curriculum encourages children to listen to each other’s opinions and value them, even if they are different to their own. Adults within school are positive role models for the children through the way they positively interact with each other. Teachers show respect for children’s work by marking it consistently and providing feedback. In return, children present their work with care and take pride in the content of their work.
Tolerance of those of Different Faiths and Beliefs
Church Broughton Primary School is situated in an area which is not greatly culturally diverse, therefore we place a great emphasis on promoting diversity with the children. Teaching in RE is planned to address this issue directly through the inclusion of stories and celebrations from a variety of faiths and cultures. Although Collective Worship is Christian its teachings, we do, at times, talk about other faiths and their festivals during this part of the day. Through the curriculum, children learn about other cultures in music, art, English, MFL and topic. Our link with Tuishimi School in Tanzania enables children to learn about children within another culture and identify similarities and differences. This year, we will focus on different faiths and cultures within one of our ‘House Days’, where children work in their houses on a particular topic. We also aim to invite visitors into school from different faiths and cultures.
At Church Broughton Primary School we will actively challenge pupils, staff or parents expressing opinions contrary to fundamental British Values, including ‘extremist’ views.