The DfE have reinforced the obligation for 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. Actively promoting these values means challenging opinions and behaviours that are contrary to, or undermine, these values. At St. Nicholas Primary, these values are reinforced regularly through SMSC (spiritual, moral, social and cultural) themes, these are planned for across all areas of learning and school life and ensures pupils are aware of the history and values of Britain and are prepared for life in modern Britain. We aim to help pupils understand the role of British values in society and this is done in the following ways:
Pupils are encouraged to take responsibility for their behaviour and understand how they can contribute positively to society. Pupils have the opportunity to have their voices heard through our School Council and Pupil questionnaires and interviews, they are taught about democracy and how it works in our country. The elections of House Captains and other roles are based on pupil votes. Through work in History and Geography, pupils learn about the advantages and disadvantages of democracy in contrast to other forms of government in other countries and other eras.
The Rule of Law
The importance of Laws and rules, 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 assemblies. Pupils are taught to distinguish right from wrong and to understand reasons behind laws, that they govern and protect us, the responsibilities that this involves and the consequences when the laws are broken. Visits from the authorities such as the Police and Fire Service help to emphasise how living under the rule of law is essential for wellbeing and safety.
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 the provision of a safe environment and empowering education. 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 and PSHE lessons.
Mutual Respect and Tolerance of those of Different Faith and Beliefs
As a Church school, our ethos and behaviour policy revolves around Christian Values such as “Respect”, and pupils have been part of discussions and assemblies related to what this means and how it is shown. We develop children’s knowledge, understanding, and awareness of Christianity as the predominant religion in Great Britain, and of the other principal religions represented in this country.
In Humanities lessons and, particularly, RE there are opportunities for enhancing pupils understanding of their place in a culturally diverse society. Opportunities are given for pupils to experience such diversity, for example, visits to places of worship other than Churches. Assemblies and discussions involving prejudices and prejudice-based bullying have been followed and supported by learning in RE and PSHE. Members of different faiths, religions and cultures within school are encouraged to share their knowledge to enhance learning and to promote harmony and respect between different cultural traditions.
Here are some of the things we do:
- School Council (elected and report to Governing Body)
- Class elections (Reflective Monitors, School Councillors, etc.)
- Governing Body (parents and staff elected)
- Class debates
- Staff meetings (all staff have equal rights)
- Open door policy (parents/carers)
- Opportunities to formulate class working ethos (class rules)
- Policies – Inclusion, Access, Equality to all
- Sport (mixed teams)
- Politicians visits and involvement in political debate
Rule of Law
- Class rules (positive)
- Policies (Behaviour, Bullying)
- Reward systems
- Modelling of good behaviour
- School Council – Playtime Rules
- Cycling Proficiency
- Staff contracts
- Code of Conduct
- Magistrates visits
Responsibility and Liberty
- Pupil Voice (children encouraged to have and express own opinions)
- Vertical grouping
- Encouraging pupils’ individual strengths
- Community links
- Independent thought – make choices
- Class jobs/monitors, hall monitors – all cared for environment/resources and happiness of other children
- School Council (liberty) freedom to speak
- Non School Uniform days
- Charity work
- Staff take priority leads on School Development Plan – report to Governing Body
- Subject Leaders
- Choice to enter competitions / extravaganzas etc.
- Learning without Limits – children choosing their own level of challenge
- Behaviour for Learning ethos
- Staff speak to children respectfully
- Adult child interaction
- House system, Good Citizens Awards, Headteacher Awards – recognition of achievement
- Respecting / celebrating all achievements in and out of school – competitions
- Vertical groupings
- Musical Extravaganza (Community Concert)
- Buddy system
- After school clubs run by staff
- Church services
- Respect to visitors
- Encourage parents to be an active part of the school community
- RE policy - other world faiths
- Celebrations / world festivals
- House system – mixed ability / age groupings
- Visits to places of worship (Christian and others)
- Mixed age playtimes
- Circle time
- Experiencing different members of the community
- Vertical grouping on themed days
- Tolerance of difference (behaviour / ability) modelling by staff.
In line with the Counter Terrorism and Security Act 2015, the Governing Body and staff have due regard to the need to prevent people being drawn into terrorism. In October 2015, governors and staff attended specific Prevent training for managing clear procedures across the school community and particularly in relation to pupils’ spiritual, moral, social and cultural (SMSC) development. The Governing Body undertook further training on Prevent in July 2016.