Promoting British Values
In November 2014, the Department for Education published guidance on promoting British values in school to ensure young people leave school prepared for life in modern Britain.
All schools have a duty to “actively promote” the fundamental British values:
- the rule of law
- individual liberty
- mutual respect for and tolerance of those with different faiths and beliefs
Al Alverton, we ensure that these values are embedded throughout the curriculum and in our ethos.
Each year the children decide upon their class rules and discuss their rights and responsibilities associated with this. All children contribute to this. Children have many opportunities for their voices to be heard. We have an active Parliament and a School Council which discuss issues raised in classes. Councillors and Ministers are elected by the children. We hold an annual survey in which children are able to put forward their views about the school which are then addressed by senior management, enabling the children to understand how their voices can influence decision making.
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 the school day and through the school’s Behaviour policy. Pupils are taught the value and reasons behind rules (laws), the responsibilities that these involve and the consequences when rules are broken. Visits from authorities such as the Police, the Fire Service or local lifeguards help reinforce these messages.
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. Pupils are encouraged to know, understand and exercise their rights and personal freedoms and are advised how to do this safely, for example through e-safety and PSHE. Our Behaviour management focuses on pupils taking responsibility for their own behaviour and the need to make good choices; this is clearly linked to our rewards and sanctions. We also actively promote an anti-bullying culture through assemblies and our PSHE curriculum.
Mutual Respect and Tolerance of those with different Faiths and Beliefs
Mutual respect is a key value that we promote throughout the school. All members of the school community treat each other with respect and children learn that their behaviours have an effect on their own rights and those of others.
In addition to our RE and PSHE teaching, assemblies are regularly planned to reinforce this either directly or through the inclusion of stories and celebrations from a variety of faiths and cultures. Traditional values of empathy, respect and tolerance are reinforced. Members of different faiths or religions are encouraged to share their knowledge to enhance learning within classes and the school. Understanding that people have different faiths or beliefs to themselves (or having none) is promoted as something which is accepted alongside an understanding that, if it is not, this would be prejudicial or discriminatory behaviour.
Alverton is situated in an area which is not greatly culturally diverse, and we therefore place great emphasis on promoting diversity with the children. The pupils enjoy a broad and balanced curriculum which celebrates individuality. In addition, we ensure that Black Lives Matters is a regular part of our curriculum and have taken part in events such as the Black History Month project where the children learned about a range of inspirational figures both past and present and we take opportunities to celebrate such diverse events as the Olympics or the Platinum Jubilee. Topics studied also include learning about other countries and their beliefs, traditions and customs as well as their geography and history.
We will actively challenge pupils, staff or parents expressing opinions contrary to fundamental British Values, including ‘extremist’ views.