Promoting British Values
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 Woodfield Primary School we aim for our children to become valuable and fully rounded members of society who treat others with respect and tolerance, regardless of background. We promote the basic British values of democracy, the rule of law, individual liberty, and mutual respect and tolerance for those with different faiths and beliefs in the following ways:
Democracy is richly embedded within the school. Pupils have the opportunity to have their voices heard through our School Council, pupil questionnaires, Eco Team, enterprise events, meeting with the SLT (Senior Leadership Team) and through being a prefect. Our school behaviour and values policies involve rewards and sanctions; this is shared through all aspects of school life and also shared with parents, carers and children from Reception to Year 6.
Use opportunities such as general or local elections to hold mock elections to promote fundamental British values and provide pupils with the opportunity to learn how to argue and defend points of view.
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 days, as well as when dealing with behaviour and through school collective worship time. 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 and Fire Service are a regular part of our calendar events and help reinforce this message. Pupils are taught the importance of and reasons behind our school ‘values’, the responsibilities that this involves and the consequences when the ‘values’ are not kept. Each class agrees its own class rules at the beginning of the academic year. We have a variety of rewards when children keep the ‘values’ including golden time, class DoJo’s and the opportunity to be Star of the Week. These show children our values are special and in keeping them they will be rewarded.
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 all pupils to make choices safely, through provision of a safe environment and an empowering approach through the education. Pupils are encouraged to know, understand and exercise their rights and personal freedoms and are advised how to exercise these safely, for example through our e-safety and PSHE/SEAL lessons. Pupils are further empowered through being part of a school council and being able to take part in discussions which link directly to the senior leadership team or governors. Pupils are given the freedom to make a wide range of choices from attending extra-curricular clubs to supporting fund raising events.
Mutual respect is at the heart of our values. We are an inclusive school where everyone is valued and has a contribution to make to the school. As a school which holds values at the core of its ethos, our school Values and Behaviour policies have evolved around Core Values such as ‘Respect’. Respect is one of our values taught explicitly within lessons, collective worship and within the ethos of our School. It is shared with home through newsletters and website information. Adults throughout the school model, demonstrate and promote respect for others as do older children who have suitable, age related, tasks and responsibilities and this is reiterated through our classroom and learning rules, as well as our behaviour. Our children in Year 6 thoroughly enjoy the responsibility of being Buddies to our younger children in EYFS. This relationship contributes to a significant sense of mutual respect throughout the school.
Tolerance of those of Different Faiths and Beliefs:
At Woodfield Primary School we are a culturally rich and diverse school where children have unique opportunities to learn from each other by sharing and celebrating their different faiths and cultures. All different faiths and beliefs are explored and celebrated through assemblies, RE sessions and a variety of visitors into school. Collective worship and discussions involving prejudices and prejudice-based bullying have been followed up and supported by learning in RE and PSHE/SEAL. Children within our school with different faiths are encouraged to share their practices and special celebrations enabling a sharing of knowledge to enhance learning within classes and the school. Our school also has a link with the St Michaels’ Church and we have a visiting minister who regularly leads assemblies for us.