The Government set out its definition of British values in the 2011 Prevent Strategy, and these values were reiterated last year (2014) with the DfE reinforcing 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.”
We ensure these values are reinforced regularly and in the following ways:
Our children have many opportunities for their voices to be heard. As a whole school, we vote for the head girl, head boy and school council every year. This teaches children about democracy and reminds them how valued their opinions are and how they can play an important role in decisions that are being made in the school. As a whole school, we have discussed and agreed our own school values: being brave, independent, enthusiastic, focused and having a positive attitude. All of the children and adults in the school discussed and agreed on these values. Our school is divided into four houses; named after four of the world’s greatest geographical features; Amazon, Everest, Sahara and Nile. The children receive team points to reward positive behaviour above and beyond what we would normally expect. Team points reinforce courteous and collaborative behaviour therefore encouraging them to work well and respect everyone in our community. With this in mind, we award a trophy, at the end of the school year, to a child who has shown this behaviour consistently throughout their school life. We participate in many sporting events and regularly receive the good sportsman awards demonstrating that we have respect for others.
The school council meets fortnightly with the AHT to discuss issues raised by the children in each class. The council has its own budget and is able to genuinely effect change within the school.
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 assemblies. 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 help reinforce this message.
Within school, pupils are actively encouraged to make choices and take responsibility for these choices, knowing that they are in a safe and supportive environment. As a school we have a responsibility to provide boundaries and safety for children through rules and regulations but also give them opportunities to make mistakes and to learn from their experiences. Pupils are encouraged to know, understand and exercise their rights and personal freedoms and advised how to exercise these safely, for example through E-Safety lessons. Whether it be through choice of learning challenges, of how they record a piece of learning, or through participation in our range of extra-curricular clubs and opportunities, pupils are given the freedom to make choices.
Respect is at the heart of our behaviour policy and this is reinforced in expectations of all members of the school community. Children learn that their behaviours have an effect on their own rights and those of others and all members of the school community are expected to treat each other with respect.
Tolerance of those of Different Faiths and Beliefs
At Burnham on Crouch Primary School, we value the diverse backgrounds of all our pupils and families and of the people in the wider community and we undertake a variety of events and lessons to celebrate these. We have found this approach to be enriching for all parties as it teaches tolerance, fairness and respect for the differences in our community and the wider world. In addition, the curriculum is at the heart of the school and so we take every opportunity to link to our strap line, ‘Connected to our World’ to develop British values and equip children with the skills and knowledge to take a full part in society, both now and in the future.
At BCPS we have a commitment to actively challenge pupils, staff or parents expressing opinions contrary to fundamental British Values, including ‘extremist’ views.
We have weekly value assemblies which uphold traditional values of empathy, respect and tolerance. These values are also taught within formal personal development lessons and RE lessons and on an informal nature throughout the school day. We have visits from parents and other members of the community, who share their experiences and beliefs.
We enjoy being involved in the local community events such as the carnival, the annual memorial service, supporting local charities and visiting the local market. We also celebrate important events such as the Commonwealth games, the Olympics, the World Cup, the Jubilee and the Queen’s birthday. We also celebrate and learn about the patron saints and with older children we take opportunities such as the Brexit and American Presidential elections to develop their political understanding.
In year 6, pupils undertake a topic about the Battle of Britain and World War Two and the impact that the military had in fighting for the British Empire. This is linked with the annual Poppy Day celebrations where the children sell poppies to other children in the school and all take part in a minute’s silence in assembly.
In year 4, pupils have studied influential people from Britain such as Charles Darwin. In literacy lessons, the unit on biographies is taught through his life story, focusing on his famous journeys and discoveries.
In year 2, children learn about Florence Nightingale and how she assisted British soldiers during the war and Mary Secole.