What are British Values?
Schools have been asked to explain how they promote British values. So what are ‘British’ values? There are certain values that have been attributed to being British, by the government and some institutions, and these fall into the following broad areas:
- The Rule of Law
- Individual Liberty
- Tolerance & Respect.
How do we specifically promote ‘British Values’?
We seek to promote British values in our policies and practice. Our activities and the way we manage learning and behaviour, clearly reflect British values. We promote these values in the following ways:
- Provide pupils with a broad general knowledge of, and promote respect for, public institutions and services – by discussing these whenever appropriate in curriculum work.
- Teach pupils how they can influence decision-making through the democratic process – e.g. in our School Council work.
- Include in the curriculum information on the advantages and disadvantages of democracy and how it works in Britain – e.g. when considering periods of history where democracy was not as fully developed as it is now.
- Encourage pupils to become involved in decision-making processes and ensure they are listened to in school – again through the work of theSchool Council.
- Organise visits to democratic establishments e.g. local council events such as Pupil Parliament.
- Hold ‘mock elections’ so pupils learn how to argue and defend points of view e.g. when electing representatives to the School Council for each class and when appointing ‘Ambassadors’ to work in school.
- Help pupils to express their views e.g. through English lessons and opportunities to present work and opinions.
- Model how perceived injustice can be peacefully challenged e.g. through our interactions with pupils and the school’s behaviour system and discussing scenarios in assemblies and class PHSE work.
The Rule of Law
- Ensure school rules and expectations are clear and fair e.g. by discussing these with pupils and establishing classroom rules with the pupils themselves - Children discuss and agree to their own classroom rules during transition days. School rules & Behaviour Policy – All staff promote high expectations for children to follow. Children know and strive to follow our Golden Rules
- Help pupils to distinguish right from wrong e.g. during everyday interactions and discussions of stories, fables and other literary materials.
- Help pupils to respect the law and the basis on which it is made e.g. by showing how rules help everyone to interact in an orderly and fair manner and protect the vulnerable in society.
- Internet law and safety – Support and up to date information given to parents through workshops, leaflets and the newsletter. Internet safety rules followed by units taught in computing to all children and security put in place to protect all children and staff. National 'e' Safety week promoted every February.
- Help pupils to understand that living under the rule of law protects individuals
- Include visits from the police in the curriculum e.g. have sessions with the Community Police Officers and visits from the Fire Service – Recurrent visits for children from EYFS through to upper KS2
- Teach pupils aspects of both civil and criminal law and discuss how this might differ from some religious laws.
- Develop approaches focused on fairness and justice to resolve conflicts e.g. as part of sanctions in our approach to behaviour.
- Mission Statement - Children and staff understand and live out our school mission statement.
- Values and Virtues - Children taught and encouraged to live out values and virtues each day. Half termly focus for one of our Christian values.
- Code of practice - All staff adhere to a school code of practice
- Support pupils to develop their self-knowledge, self-esteem and self-confidence. Independent learning – children are encouraged to make choices during activities and their own learning through being responsible of their targets and next steps in learning.
- Encourage pupils to take responsibility for their behaviour, as well as knowing their rights.
- Challenge stereotypes e.g. through SMSC/PHSE work and assemblies.
- Implement a strong anti-bullying culture – as enshrined in our policies for Anti-Bullying and Behaviour which is now firmly established.
- Problem solving opportunities – Planned across the curriculum
- Our new schoolLibrary – Children will have a choice of independent reading books
- Proud of Wall in each classroom - Weekly award given to children to praise them for their current achievements.
- Class Assemblies – Children lead their class assembly on a given theme.
- Challenge Stereotypes - Children participate in a range of sporting activities which challenge stereotypes such as dance (taught by a male specialist), Football (football for boys and girls), rugby, cricket and basketball for both genders. EYFS also support this by using a range of resources through independent play.
Respect and Tolerance
- Promote respect for individual differences in all areas of learning and interaction. Children are given opportunities to work in mixed ability groups.
- Help pupils to acquire an understanding of, and respect for, their own and other cultures and ways of life e.g. through our Religious Education work and SMSC/PHSE.
- Faiths – The children have a wide opportunity to celebrate all different faiths through R.E topics, Faith Focus Weeks and multicultural / art weeks.
- Challenge prejudicial or discriminatory behaviour e.g. through discussion and use of illustrative materials as well as our approach to behaviour in school.
- Organise visits to places of worship e.g. visits to the local churches and other diverse places of worship as appropriate to the curriculum.
- Visits and Visitors - Our children have many opportunities throughout the school year to take part in an extensive variety of school trips from residential to science, history and P.E. We also support the National Curriculum by having many visitors to our school. We value this greatly as it enriches the children’s learning in and outside of the classroom.
- Develop critical personal thinking skills throughout our curricular work.
- Discuss differences between people, such as differences of faith, ethnicity, disability, gender or sexuality and differences of family situations, such as looked-after children or young carers e.g. through our SMSC/PHSE and broader curricular work and through visitors to school sharing their experiences.
- Links with other schools – We regularly visit other primary schools within our local and wider community. This supports our learning of other faiths and celebrations and encourages the children to become confident in acquiring an understanding of, and respect for their own faith. We are currently in discussion with the REverend at St Elisabeth's for national and international links.