PROMOTING BRITISH VALUES
The DfE explains 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 sets out its definition of British values in the Prevent Strategy. At St Saviours Infants these values are celebrated, taught and reinforced regularly in the following ways:
‘Pupil voice’ is a strong feature of our school, ensuring the children’s strong sense of involvement and responsibility.
We are working towards being a UNICEF Rights Respecting school. Each year the children decide upon their class charter and the rights associated with these. All the children contribute to the drawing up of the charter.
Children have many opportunities for their voices to be heard. We have a school council which meets regularly to discuss issues raised by their class councillors. The council has its own budget and is able to genuinely effect change within the school.
Children regularly vote to determine the direction of their topics. The children voted to choose the theme for our recently refurbished library, and to choose the new pirate ship in the playground.
The importance of voting to express personal opinions is regularly taught through the Philosophy for Children program in Key Stage One.
The Rule of Law
The importance of rules and codes of behaviour, 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 assemblies.
The Caring Code is widely understood and shared by all members of the school community. Pupils are taught the value and reasons behind codes, rules and laws, that they protect us, the responsibilities that this involves, the wider benefits we enjoy from having clear shared rules, and the consequences when laws and codes are broken.
Visits from authorities such as the Police and representatives from other areas of life where clear rules are needed to ensure everyone’s happiness and safety help reinforce this message. Children are involved in the creation of specific sets of rules within the school (for football, ‘snow days’, the Willow Garden etc).
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, through provision of a safe environment and empowering education.
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, the topics they are exploring, of how they record, of participation in our numerous extra-curricular clubs and opportunities, pupils are given the freedom to make choices.
The Caring Code is a key document, expressing our school’s fundamental values; ‘We show we care, We show respect, We do our best.’ The Caring Code is on display throughout the school, is referred to throughout the school day, and is well-known by all members of the school community.
As a Rights Respecting School, mutual respect is at the heart of our values. Children learn that their behaviours have an effect on their own rights and those of others. All members of the school community treat each other with respect.
Tolerance of those of Different Faiths and Beliefs
Although we have a relatively diverse intake of pupils for BANES we are situated in an area which is not greatly culturally diverse, therefore we place a great emphasis on promoting diversity with the children. All classes are named after different countries, and the pupils explore the key features of their class country. We are a Comenius school and have active links with schools and settings across Europe.
Assemblies and Collective worship are planned to address this issue either directly or through the inclusion of stories and celebrations from a variety of faiths and cultures. We have a weekly focus language, share music from a different culture each week, and offer language lessons in French, German, Spanish and Japanese to broaden the children’s understanding of diversity. Our RE and PSHE teaching reinforce this. Members of different faiths or religions are encouraged to share their knowledge to enhance learning within classes and the school.
Our Learning to Learn program actively teaches the value and importance of empathy and tolerance for other people within the ‘Team Worker strand.
At St Saviours Infants we will actively challenge pupils, staff or parents expressing opinions contrary to fundamental British Values, including ‘extremist’ views. ‘Critical thinking’ is directly taught through our ‘Philosophy for Children’ and ‘Learning to Learn’ programs.