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 these values have been reiterated by the Prime Minister. At Elmgrove Primary School and Nursery these values are reinforced regularly and in the following ways:
Children have many opportunities for their voices to be heard. We have a school council which meets regularly to discuss issues raised in class. The school council is able to genuinely effect change within the school. The council members for each year group are voted in by their class.
Children have an annual questionnaire with which they are able to put forward their views about the school.
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 school assemblies. 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 safety, through of provision of a safe environment and empowering education. Pupils are encouraged to know, understand and exercise their rights and personal freedoms and advise how to exercise these safely, for example through our online safety and PSHE lessons. Whether it be through choice of challenge, of how they record, of participation in our numerous extra-curricular clubs and opportunities, pupils are given the freedom to make choices.
Part of our school ethos and behaviour policy has revolved around Golden Values such as ‘Respect’, and pupils have been part of discussions and assemblies related to what this means and how it is shown. These assemblies, PSHCE lessons and the Golden Values promote respect for others and this is reiterated through the work in the playground, classroom, learning skills and on the sports field, as well as our behaviour policy.
The pupils know and understand that it is expected and imperative that respect is shown to everyone, whatever differences we may have.
Tolerance of Those of Different Faiths and Beliefs
Our Golden Value of Respect ensures tolerance of those who have different faiths and beliefs. This is achieved through enhancing pupils understanding of their place in a culturally diverse society and by giving them opportunities to experience such diversity. Assemblies and discussions involving prejudices and prejudice-based bullying have been followed and supported by learning in RE and PSHCE. Members of different faiths or religions are encouraged to share their knowledge to enhance learning within classes and the school, such as staff or parents leading school assemblies on their faith.
Beliefs, traditions and customs will be studied in depth across the curriculum, with visitors for varying faiths regularly being invited in to our school to enrich and extend understanding. Through this our pupils gain an enhanced understanding of their place in a culturally diverse society. Trips that enrich and support tolerance of those of different faiths include; visiting the local synagogue, church and mosque where customs are explained and pupils had the opportunity to investigate religions different to their own.