Promoting British Modern Values
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 Great Barford Primary Academy these values are reinforced regularly and in the following ways:
Pupils have the opportunity to have their voices heard through our School Council, with their elected representatives, whole school Assemblies, and Pupil Questionnaires. Our School Values and Behaviour policies involve rewards and sanctions which the pupils reflect on and adhere to. The Head-teacher’s door is always open for children who might have ideas or queries as to the organisation of the school. We believe that children should have the confidence to speak out and believe that they can effect change and make a difference.
The Rule of Law:
The importance of rules and laws, whether they be those that govern the class, the school, or the country, are consistently reinforced throughout regular school days through positive behaviour management, through RE, PSHE and school collective worship time. 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. They are given the opportunity to devise their own rules for the playground, Care Club and school life. We emphasise and reinforce the need for rules which keep us safe throughout our curriculum and activities. Through our PE and Sport curriculum children understand the need for rules and fair play. We encourage children to develop self-control. Visits from authorities such as the Police are a regular part of our calendar and help reinforce this message.
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 they are advised and know how to exercise these safely, for example through our E-Safety and PSHE lessons. Pupils are further empowered through having a school council and also having their voice heard at the whole school meetings. Examples of this are through choice of challenge during lessons, choice of how they record and present their outcomes, participation in our extra-curricular clubs and wider opportunities. These are all age related experiences e.g. Year Fours choosing a responsible position such as looking after the younger children at play. A further example is where Foundation Stage children have the opportunity to choose their extended learning through adult guided or child initiated play.
As a Values School part of our school Values and Behaviour policies have revolved around Core Values such as ‘Respect’, and pupils have been part of discussions and collective worship related to what this means and how it is shown. Values are taught explicitly through RE, SMSC and collective worship and are shared with home through newsletters and website information. This is further highlighted in our work with our partnership schools. Adults around the school promote respect for others as do older children who have suitable, age related, tasks and responsibilities. This is reiterated through our classroom and learning rules, as well as our behaviour, SMSC and Values policies. We further develop respect by ensuring that there are many visits, trips and opportunities for children to learn all about other faiths, creeds and cultures not just in this country but around the world.
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 have been followed and supported by learning in RE, SMSC and PSHE. As well as participating in regular events at our local church and within our community our children learn about life in a range of different countries and cultures. Our children originate from a range of different cultures, and parents over the years have been welcomed into school to share their faith, food and culture with us.