Promoting British Values
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 the Prime Minister reiterated these values in 2014.
At Christopher Rawlins Church of England Primary School we uphold and teach children about British values which are defined as:
- the rule of law
- individual liberty
- mutual respect
- tolerance of those of different faiths and beliefs
These values are taught explicitly through our Personal, Social, Health and Emotional lessons (PSHE), and Religious Education (RE). They are also taught through the delivery of a broad and balanced curriculum which includes real opportunities for exploring them, for example in history and geography, and through our assemblies. Actively promoting these values also includes challenging opinions or behaviour in school that are contrary to them. These values are integral to our school ethos vision statement, and are reinforced regularly in the following ways:
Democracy is embedded at the school. Pupils are always listened to by adults and are taught to listen carefully and respect the right of every individual to have their opinions and voices heard. Pupils have the opportunity to have their voices heard through our School Council. Children put themselves forward through a short presentation and the election of the School Council members is based on pupil votes, thereby demonstrating democracy in action. Made up of two representatives from each class from Years 1 to 6, the School Council meets regularly to discuss issues raised by the different classes. To help ensure that all children’s views are represented, School Councillors from Year 5 and 6 share meeting discussions with children from our Foundation Stage classes. Other examples of ‘pupil voice’ include our termly pastoral groups; an effective vehicle for taking feedback from children to effect change working with different staff across the school. Children also have a chance to explore other leadership roles and take responsibility for change. Examples of these are: Worship Team, Sports Council, Eco-Warrior, Playleaders, Buddies and Secretaries. 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. We also encourage pupils to take ownership of their own learning and progress.
The Rule of the Law
The importance of rules and laws, whether they are those that govern the class, the school or the country, is consistently reinforced. The school has clear ‘Golden Rules’ which are discussed in every class and frequently referred to help ensure that every class member is able to learn in a safe and ordered environment. Our Christian values enable children to find examples of why we follow a code of conduct and to recognise and appreciate when others demonstrate positive behaviour. We teach the value and reason behind laws, that they govern and protect us, the responsibilities that this involves and the consequences when laws are broken. This value is reinforced in different ways, including visits to and from authorities such as the police and fire service, and during Religious Education when rules for particular faiths are thought about. The values are also considered during other school subjects, where there is respect and appreciation for different rules, such as in sports lessons.
Pupils are actively encouraged to make choices at our school, knowing that they are in a safe and supportive environment. As a school, we provide boundaries for our children to make choices safely. Pupils are encouraged to know, understand and exercise their rights and personal freedom and are advised how to exercise these safely, for example through our E-safety teaching and PSHE lessons. Pupils are given the freedom to make choices in many different ways and have the right to respectfully express views and beliefs.
Pupils are actively encouraged to make choices, through the provision of a safe environment and planned curriculum, and to understand and exercise their rights and personal freedoms safely, for example through our e-Safety teaching. As part of their PSHE in Year 6, children visit ‘Junior Citizen’ where they are taught how to make the good choices surrounding use of the internet, railways, drugs and alcohol.
Our children also have opportunities to direct their own learning by posing questions to co-construct learning. Our enrichment programme offers opportunities for children to work in mixed age teams and take control of planning, organising and holding an event e.g. Year 4 Art Gallery. In daily lessons children are provided with a choice in the level of challenge within some lessons, choices as to how they might record and display their home learning, what method they will use to record their writing.
Our school ethos and behaviour policy are based around Core Christian values such as “respect” and these values determine how we live as a community at Christopher Rawlins CE Primary School. Children are taught that it is expected and imperative that respect is shown to everyone, whatever differences we may have. Children learn that their behaviour choices have an effect on their own rights and those of others. Mutual respect is a value learnt from an early age and is re-emphasised in Year 6 with the buddy system, where children give and receive respect from their buddies. In R.E children learn to respect and tolerate other faiths. Foundation Stage children complete a wide range of outdoors activities, learning the value of making choices about their learning activities, as well as mutual respect for the natural world around them.
Worship is based on our Christian values and they are central to how we expect everyone to go about their life at our school. Values are highly visible around the school and can be seen in every class. Our pupils live by the values and are keen to identify them in one another. They understand what they mean and can demonstrate these fully.
Tolerance of those with different faiths and beliefs
Christopher Rawlins CE Primary School enhances pupils understanding of different faiths and beliefs through religious education studies; PSHE work; visits to places of worship, welcoming religious leaders and community members representing different faiths, inviting parents to share their different faiths and talk about their beliefs and festivals (Chinese New Year, Diwali Week in Year 3). We use opportunities such as the Christianity around the World, Olympics and World Cup to study and learn about life and culture in other countries. As part of our worship, children explore how a particular value is important across a range of faiths. Assemblies and discussions also involve themes of prejudices and prejudice-based bullying; these are supported by learning in RE and PSHE and draw on the expertise of external professionals to support the children’s knowledge development.