The Department for Education 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 have been reiterated in Promoting Fundamental British Value as part of SMSC in Schools, DfE 2014. At Linthwaite Ardron, these values are reinforced regularly alongside our key Christian values.
We actively teach and promote Fundamental British values in the following ways:
Democracy is embedded within the school. Pupils have the opportunity to have their voices heard through our School Council which meets each half term. The election of the School Council members reflects our British electoral system and demonstrates democracy in action. Candidates make speeches, pupils consider characteristics important for an elected representative and then pupils vote for their preferred candidate. Made up of two representatives from each class from Years 1-6, the school council are actively involved with the life of the school debating issues such as the curriculum, teaching and learning and our school environment. The School Council have been responsible for spending profits made from the fruit shop and also contributing to the design of the school playground.
Each year, pupils contribute to the development of their class charter and the rights associated with these, before signing it. The children are also asked to respond and reflect on the teaching and learning within the school, curriculum and safeguarding.
The Rule of Law
The importance of Laws, whether they be those that affect the class, School, or our country, are reinforced regularly in school assemblies, collective worship, PSHE, Citizenship, RE and other aspects of the curriculum. 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.
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 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
This is promoted through enhancing pupils’ understanding of their place in a multi-cultural society and by providing opportunities to experience diversity. World faiths are celebrated in collective worship and through RE. Members of different faiths are encouraged to share their beliefs and practices to enhance pupils’ understanding e.g. visiting the Gurdwara and celebrating Diwali.