Promoting British Values in our School
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 Sundridge and Brasted C.E. Primary school these values are reinforced regularly and in the following ways:
Democracy is extensive within our school. Pupils have the opportunity to have their voices heard through discussion and open forums within their classes; through brainstorming their ideas about what they would like to learn about a given topic; through the House Meetings held every Thursday, through interviews and through Pupil questionnaires. Pupils are given leadership roles throughout the school (particularly in Year 6) and are encouraged and enabled to lead teaching activities, fund raising events and monitoring duties.
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, when dealing with behaviour and through school and house Collective Worship. Pupils are taught the values and reasons behind laws, that they govern and protect us, the responsibilities that this involves and the consequences when laws are broken. This is also the case when explaining the school rules. We strive to teach the children to observe the laws of the school, stressing that the motivation for this is not in order to avoid punishment, but because it is the right thing to do for the whole of the 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 our pupils to make choices safely, through of provision of a safe environment and empowering education. Pupils are encouraged to know, understand and exercise their rights and personal freedoms and are advised how to exercise these appropriately. At Sundridge and Brasted we believe it important to give pupils the freedom to make choices as part of their education and preparation for life.
An important part of our school ethos and behaviour policy revolves around ‘Respect’. Indeed this is one of our seven values. Pupils have been involved in discussions and collective worship related to what this means and how it is shown. It is reflected in our classroom and learning rules, our daily conversations and expectations. We also carry out regular Respect weeks to remind the children about the meaning of this value.
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. Collective worship and discussions involving prejudices and prejudice-based bullying have been followed and supported by learning in RE and PSHE. We have undertaken multi-faith days where the children are taught in their house groups about other religions. We have also used multi- cultural days to ensure the children have a good understanding of other cultures around the world. Whenever possible we also invite in people to talk about both these concepts in their own environments.
British Values and our Curriculum
At Sundridge and Brasted C.E. Primary School we value the diverse ethnic backgrounds of all pupils as well as tackling a range of curriculum topics which have strong links to British history.
In KS2, pupils undertake a topic about World War Two and the impact that the military had in fighting for the British Empire. This is linked with the annual Remembrance Day celebrations where the whole school goes up to the War Memorial in St Mary’s Church and observes the two minute silence and last post. Children are also taught about the reasoning behind this.
In KS1, there is a strong focus on people who made a difference in shaping Britain as it is today with its values and traditions.
In English lessons across the school we study the works of English writers and poets and spend time discussing the impact of their work on British society as a whole as well as at a personal level.
In History lessons we focus on important moments throughout British history. The pupils learn about important figures throughout British history, for example leaders such as Queen Victoria and Winston Churchill; as well as key events which shaped British society, for example the age of exploration.
As a whole school, we have celebrated the Olympics, with Olympic themed sports days and our Queen’s Golden Jubilee.
On a more general level, the school undertakes daily acts of collective worship which uphold traditional British Christian Values. These are also taught within formal PSHE and RE lessons and on an informal nature throughout the school days. We have also undertaken Social Action Weeks and days which involve the children in inviting members of the community into the school and the local church. It has also involved jobs around the school to create a pleasant environment. In past years we have involved ourselves fully in the Go Givers Make a Difference Challenge run by the Cabinet Office. It presents an opportunity for children to take the lead in making a difference to their communities and provides an excellent context for meaningful and .
During the past 2 general elections Elm Class (Year 5 and 6) have presented a mock election: making manifestos, posters and policies to present to the rest of the school. The school has then had an election by secret ballot giving all the children a demonstration of democracy in action. In line with this we also had a visit from the Press and Educational Department of the House of Commons.
Below you can see some photographs of the above activities.