In 2015 the Government set out its definition of British values by issuing its ‘Prevent Strategy’ and now all schools are required 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.
These ‘British values’ have formed part of our school’s ethos since it was first established.
Democracy is promoted across all areas of school life. Our pupils have the opportunity to have their voices heard through our Pupil Council. The Council promotes democratic processes, using their voices to help the concept of freedom of speech and group action to address any needs or concerns of our pupils. An important element of this is the concept of holding others to account, including those in positions of authority and influence. Our school behaviour policy is applied consistently across the school and our school values are firmly embedded. We also have a Parent Council to promote the same values from a parental perspective. Prefects are employed over break times to promote collaboration, giving the pupils a sense of authority and independence.
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 assemblies, as well as when dealing with behaviour issues. 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. Promotion of ‘fair play’ is widely encouraged. We instil in our pupils the importance of following rules, we promote inclusion, we celebrate and reward success, we encourage our pupils to be magnanimous in defeat and we promote activities that encourage kinship and affiliation with others. Visits from authorities such as the Police help to reinforce this message.
Pupils are actively encouraged to make choices, knowing that they are in a safe and supportive environment. Pupils are encouraged to know, understand and exercise their rights and personal freedoms and advise how to exercise these safely, for example through our e-safety, PSHE and citizenship lessons. Pupils have many opportunities to make choices freely through our extensive extra-curricular and enrichment activities.
Mutual respect and tolerance of those of different faiths and beliefs
We strongly encourage mutual respect. The school’s ethos and behaviour policy revolves around our values. We use these values as topics in assemblies; exploring how our pupils relate to the values, their understanding of them and how we show them within daily school life. Our values are reiterated through learning routines and children are rewarded for demonstrating them. Children and adults are challenged if they are disrespectful in any way. Our behaviour policy is applied consistently by all staff and is firmly embedded across the school.
We also strongly encourage tolerance throughout all areas of the school and wider community. 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, PSHE and citizenship lessons. We learn about and celebrate different festivals in class and this helps to ensure our pupils are aware of other cultures within our society, other than their own.