Promoting British 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 were reiterated in 2014. At Sutton Oak CE Primary School these are reinforced regularly and in the following ways:
We have a democratic approach to many aspects of school life. Children have opportunities for their voices to be heard. We have an active school council which meets regularly to discuss issues and their decisions have a direct impact on events in school. There are two councillors for each year group from Y2 to Y6. They are elected by their peers. This process helps to reinforce the implication of responsibility within a democratically elected body to act with integrity and to model positive behaviours. Children and their families are regularly asked their opinions about school developments. We use current events, such as the General Election, to explore democracy in the UK.
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 Worship. Children 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. The children and staff decide on rewards and our school behaviour policy has clear sanctions that operate on a whole school level. School rules are displayed prominently.
Within school, children are actively encouraged to make choices, knowing that they are in a safe and supportive environment. We educate and provide boundaries for young pupils to make choices safely, through provision of a secure environment and empowering education. Children are encouraged to know, understand and exercise their rights and personal freedoms and advised how to exercise these safely.
Respect for each other 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 are encouraged to treat each other with respect. We instil in children the need to show respect and understanding of other cultures, heritages and points of view, within home, school and the wider world, as well as the need to care for our environment.
Tolerance of those from Different Faiths and Beliefs
Sutton Oak CE Primary School is situated in an area which is not greatly culturally diverse; therefore we place great emphasis on promoting diversity with the children. Worship and lessons 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 and PHSE teaching reinforce this. We actively encourage children to be kind and friendly to others within the school community, as well as encouraging co-operation and developing positive relationships.
At Sutton Oak CE Primary School we will actively challenge pupils, staff or parents expressing opinions contrary to fundamental British Values, including ‘extremist’ views.