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.
Respect and Tolerance
Respect is one of our Golden Values at Elmgrove and every pupil understands that we respect and appreciate each other regardless of our differences. We are proud to be a multicultural and hugely diverse school with pupils and their families coming from many different countries, speaking over 48 different languages or dialects. Respect and tolerance for others is part of our day to day practice where our pupils and staff learn together and celebrate each other.
We offer a culturally rich and diverse curriculum in which all major religions are studied and respected. We believe that tolerance is gained through knowledge and understanding, through our curriculum and the routines of our daily school life along with assemblies, PSHE lessons, a religious school visit each year and welcoming visitors from a variety of different faiths into school. Trips include visiting the local synagogue, church and mosque where customs are explained, and pupils have the opportunity to investigate and understand religions different to their own. Children are encouraged to relate different faiths and beliefs to their own values, respecting similarities and differences between them, including people of no faith.