Promoting British Values at St Paul’s Walden Primary School September 2017
The DfE have recently reinforced the need “to create and enforce a clear and rigorous expectationon 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 St Paul’s Walden Primary School, these values are reinforced regularly and in the following ways:
Democracy: making decisions together
Democracy is embedded within the fabric of our school. Pupils have the opportunity to have their voices heard through our School Council, pupil questionnaires and elephant ideas board. The elections of House Captains and School Councillors are solely based upon pupil votes. During the national General Election, the children learned about life in a democratic society, creating party manifestos and voting to elect their preferred party. Our school behaviour policy embeds democracy further, entitling every child to make the choice about appropriate learning behaviours to demonstrate across the school day. Children across the school also choose their desired learning menu for Friday afternoon Enrichment sessions.
The Rule of Law: understanding rules matter
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 managing 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. Staff and children collaborate to agree rules and codes of behaviour, for example to agree the rules about tidying up and ensure that all children understand that rules apply to everyone. Within our school curriculum, we provide opportunities for the Fire Service and Police to work alongside our children at school to reinforce this message.
Individual Liberty: freedom for all
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 of 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. Whether it be through choice of challenge, of how they record learning, of participation in our numerous extra- curricular clubs and opportunities, pupils are given the freedom to make choices. Through discussion, staff encourage a range of experiences that allow children to explore the language of feelings and responsibility, reflect on their differences and understand that we are free to have different opinions e.g. how they feel about traditional tale or feelings about transitioning to a new class.
Mutual Respect: treating others how you want to be treated
One of the aims of our school is ‘to create a happy, caring, safe and inclusive environment’ whichis embedded in all that we do. Our pupils have participated in discussions and assemblies to discuss their rights and responsibilities around being a member of the school community. Picking up someone else’s belongings, helping someone when they are hurt, saying sorry when something has not gone to plan are all ways in which our children and community demonstrate respect for each other.
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.
Assemblies and discussions involving prejudices and prejudice-based bullying have been followed and supported by learning in RE and PSHE. Members of different faiths or religions are encouraged to share their knowledge to enhance learning within classes and the school.