Promoting British Values
In November 2014, the Department for Education published guidance on promoting British values in school to ensure young people leave school prepared for life in modern Britain. The DfE states 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.”
All schools have a duty to “actively promote” the fundamental British Values which are defined by the DfE as:
- the rule of law
- individual liberty
- mutual respect for and tolerance of those with different faiths and beliefs
At St Erth Primary School, we ensure that these values are embedded throughout the curriculum and in our ethos. We value the diversity of backgrounds of pupils, families and the wider school community. Our curriculum takes a global approach to learning and our topics often consider a wider perspective and theme.
St Erth is situated in an area which is not greatly culturally diverse, and we therefore place great emphasis on promoting diversity with the children. The pupils enjoy a broad and balanced curriculum which celebrates individuality. In addition, topics studied also include learning about other countries and their beliefs, traditions and customs as well as their geography and history.
Our school reflects British Values in all that we do. We aim to nurture our children on their journey through life so they can grow into safe, caring, democratic, responsible and tolerant adults who make a positive difference to British society and to the world. We encourage our children to be creative, unique, open-minded and independent, respectful of themselves and of others in our school, our local community and the wider world.
At St Erth Primary School we take very seriously our responsibility to prepare children for life in modern Britain. We ensure that the fundamental British Values are introduced, discussed and lived out through the ethos and work of the school. All curriculum areas provide a vehicle for furthering understanding of these concepts and, in particular, our RE, Jigsaw, PSHE lessons provide excellent opportunities to deepen and develop understanding. Children embrace these concepts with enthusiasm and demonstrate a good understanding of their application to their own lives.
The school makes considerable efforts to ensure children have exposure to a wide experience beyond their local community. Their strong-rooted, values-based understanding gives them an excellent platform for embracing difference.
Each year the children decide upon their class rules and discuss their rights and responsibilities associated with this. All children contribute to this. Children have many opportunities for their voices to be heard. We have an active School Council which discuss issues raised in classes. Councillors are elected by the children. We hold an annual survey in which children are able to put forward their views about the school which are then addressed by senior management, enabling the children to understand how their voices can influence decision making.
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 the school day and through the school’s Behaviour policy. Pupils are taught the value and reasons behind rules (laws), the responsibilities that these involve and the consequences when rules are broken. Visits from authorities such as the Police, the Fire Service or local lifeguards help reinforce these messages.
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. Pupils are encouraged to know, understand and exercise their rights and personal freedoms and are advised how to do this safely, for example through e-safety and PSHE. Our Behaviour management focuses on pupils taking responsibility for their own behaviour and the need to make good choices; this is clearly linked to our rewards and sanctions. We also actively promote an anti-bullying culture through assemblies and our Jigsaw PSHE curriculum.
Mutual Respect and Tolerance of those with different Faiths and Beliefs
Mutual respect is a key value that we promote throughout the school. All members of the school community treat each other with respect and children learn that their behaviours have an effect on their own rights and those of others.
In addition to our RE and PSHE teaching, assemblies are regularly planned to reinforce this either directly or through the inclusion of stories and celebrations from a variety of faiths and cultures. Traditional values of empathy, respect and tolerance are reinforced. Members of different faiths or religions are encouraged to share their knowledge to enhance learning within classes and the school. Understanding that people have different faiths or beliefs to themselves (or having none) is promoted as something which is accepted alongside an understanding that, if it is not, this would be prejudicial or discriminatory behaviour.
We will actively challenge pupils, staff or parents expressing opinions contrary to fundamental British Values, including ‘extremist’ views.