How we promote British Values at West Melton Primary School
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 were reiterated in 2014. At West Melton Primary these values are reinforced regularly and in the following ways:
- Our Whole School Ethos
We are committed to providing a fully accessible environment which values and includes all staff, pupils and parents regardless of their education, physical, sensory, spiritual, social, emotional and cultural needs. We aim to promote positive attitudes in children, staff and parents so that all our children can fulfil their potential regardless of their age, gender, abilities, ethnic origin or cultural background.
West Melton Primary has worked on the UNICEF Rights Respecting School programme. 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. Children have many opportunities for their voices to be heard. We have a school council which meets regularly to discuss issues raised in class council meetings. Council members from each year group are voted in by their class. Children are able to put forward their views about the school by using their school council members and attending council meetings.
- 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.
- Individual Liberty
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 provision of a safe environment and empowering education. Pupils are encouraged to know, understand and exercise their rights and personal freedoms and advised how to exercise these safely, for example through our E-Safety and PSHE lessons. Whether it be through choice of learning challenge, of how they record, of participation in our numerous extra-curricular clubs and opportunities, pupils are given the freedom to make choices.
- Mutual Respect
As a Rights Respecting School, mutual respect is at the heart of our values. Children learn that their behaviours have an effect on their own rights and those of others. All members of the school community treat each other with respect.
- Tolerance of those of Different Faiths and Beliefs
We place a great emphasis on promoting diversity with the children. Assemblies are regularly planned to address this issue either directly or through the inclusion of stories and celebrations from a variety of faiths and cultures. Our RE, PSHE teaching reinforce this. Members of different faiths or religions are encouraged to share their knowledge to enhance learning within classes and the school. Children visit places of worship that are important to different faiths.
- We are a Rights Respecting School
Each year the children decide upon their class rules and the rights and responsibilities associated with these. Each class creates their own ‘class charter’ which they then all sign and agree to.
Pupil voice is high on our agenda as a school; Children have many opportunities for their voices to be heard. We have a student council and the pupils all complete questionnaires on their lessons, the environment and anything they want to change. We also have a ‘Rights Respecting Citizens’ group, who meet to discuss how they can promote and ensure that all the rights of the children are understood, respected and promoted by both children and staff in school. They are also working on developing more of an ‘Ambassador for Rights’ role, by supporting other children’s rights in the local community and in other countries. They have helped to raise money to help children in Syria receive education packs, and have collected food banks to support local children in need. All children have the opportunity to talk to senior staff on a regular basis and use these occasions to share their views.
Both groups of pupils are democratically elected annually having shared their manifesto with the whole school and regular meetings also follow a democratic decision making process.
Democracy is explained and children are given many opportunities to debate the issues currently being addressed in the news.
In our daily assemblies we regularly uphold the traditional values of empathy, respect and tolerance. These are also taught within formal SEAL, PSHE, Citizenship and RE lessons and, indeed, the British values of respect, tolerance and empathy are fostered throughout all of our daily interactions: modelled by staff and nurtured in pupils. We also learn about significant people/events in history and their impact on British Society both past and present.
In Key Stage 1 pupils are taught about similarities and differences between ways of life in different periods, how changes within living memory reveal changes in national life and about events beyond living memory that are significant nationally. They also learn about the lives of significant individuals in the past who have contributed to national achievements.
In Key Stage 2 British history is taught through a carefully designed set of ‘key skills’ for history as pupils continue to develop their knowledge of British and local history. Periods of British history studied include Britain’s settlement by the Anglo Saxons, the Viking and Anglo Saxon struggle for the kingdom of England and local history. They also study an aspect or theme in British history that extends pupils’ chronological knowledge beyond 1066 ‘a significant turning point in British history.’
At West Melton Primary we will actively challenge pupils, staff or parents expressing opinions contrary to fundamental British Values, including ‘extremist’ views.