The Department for Education state that there is a 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 were reiterated by the Prime Minister in 2014. At South Malling CE Primary School these values are reinforced regularly and explicitly through Personal, Social, Health and Emotional (PSHE), Religious Education (RE) and through planning and delivering a broad and balanced curriculum.
Democracy is embedded at the school. Pupils are always listened to by adults and are taught to listen carefully and with concern to each other, respecting the right of every individual to have their opinions and voices heard. 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.
Pupils also have the opportunity to air their opinions and ideas through our School Council and regular questionnaires. The elections of the School Council members are based solely on pupil votes, reflecting our British electoral system and demonstrating democracy in action. The school council meets regularly to discuss issues raised in class council meetings.
Each week the children are able to nominate and vote for children to achieve ‘Friendship Award”.
Children have an annual questionnaire with which they are able to put forward their views about the school.
The Rule of Law
The importance of laws whether they are those that govern the class, the school or the country, are consistently reinforced. Our school has ‘Golden Rules’, which are deeply embedded in our work every day. Each class also discusses and sets its own rules that are clearly understood by all and seen to be necessary to ensure that every class member is able to learn in a safe and ordered environment. Our 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.
Our ‘Sun and Clouds’ system for behaviour management is aligned to an agreed set of codes and the management of behaviour is always set against the agreed school behaviour code. Children are asked to identify which aspect of the code they have broken to ensure that this connection is made and understood. A whole school reward has been introduced recently to reward children for always being on ‘the rays of the sun’ and living their life by the chosen set of rules. Visits from and to authorities such as the police, fire service, lifeguards etc. are regular parts of our calendar and helps reinforce an understanding of this value. One of the school’s key values for 2014-15 is ‘I make good choices’. This is discussed and reinforced in assemblies and through the award for an individual pupil of ‘Knight of the Week’.
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 our pupils to make choices safely, through the provision of a safe environment and an empowering education. Our pupils are encouraged to know, understand and exercise their rights and personal freedoms and are advised how to exercise these safely; examples of this can be clearly seen in our e-safety and P.S.H.E.(Lifeskills) lessons. Whether it is through choice of challenge; of how they record; of participation in our numerous extra- curricular activities; our pupils are given the freedom to make choices. We encourage the delivery of child led assemblies and ask pupils to evaluate assemblies which influences how adults deliver content in the future.
We encourage pupils to take responsibility for their behaviour, as well as knowing their rights through our key value ‘I make good choices’. We model freedom of speech through pupil participation, while ensuring protection of vulnerable pupils and promoting critical analysis of evidence. Stereotypes are challenged and we implement a strong anti-bullying culture.
Respect is one of the core values of our highly inclusive school and pupils know and understand that it is expected and imperative that respect is shown to everyone, whatever differences we may have and to everything, however big or small. Part of our school ethos is based around core Christian values such as ‘respect’ and ‘responsibility’ and these values determine how we live as a community at South Malling CE Primary School. Assemblies are often based on ‘Values for Life’ and are central to how we expect everyone to go about their life at our school. Children and adults alike, including visitors and parents, are challenged if they are disrespectful in any way. Values are highly visible around the school and can be seen in posters, certificates and as part of our agreed codes. There are frequent opportunities in the curriculum, assemblies and during playtimes to discuss differences between people, such as differences of faith, ethnicity, disability, gender or sexuality and differences of family situations.
Tolerance of Those With 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 in our local community which is by large white British. South Malling CE Primary School supports pupil’s understanding of different faiths and beliefs through religious education studies; P.S.H.E. work; visits to other settings and particpation in a range of celebrations and in depth study during themed weeks. We use opportunities such as the Olympics and World Cup to study and learn about life and culture in other countries. During our Globetrotters Learning Journey the whole school focuses on global issues and each class will specifically focus on one country.