Teaching British Values
The DfE 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 since been reiterated by the Prime Minister.
Promoting British Values at Driffield Junior School
Democracy is rife within our school. Pupils have the opportunity to have their voices heard through our very active and high profile School Council representatives and via Pupil questionnaires. The elections of School Council representatives from each class are based solely on pupil votes. The School Council has visited the Town Council chambers to find out about democracy in out town. In addition teachers, in their leadership roles, ‘interview’ groups of pupils to find out about their learning and to ask them for ideas and suggestions. Informally, they also know that our staff will listen to their ideas or concerns at any other time or they can write their idea down and pop it in the suggestion box situated in the school entrance area.
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, and excellent links with the local PSCO help reinforce this. Children are made aware of their rights and their responsibilities as members of our school and the wider community.
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 our pupils to make choices safely, through the provision of a safe environment and empowering education. Pupils are encouraged to know, understand and exercise their rights and personal freedoms and are advised how to exercise these safely, for example through Online Safety sessions and discussion/circle time. Whether it be through choice of challenge, deciding what they what to find out about, of how they record their work or 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 Core Values such as ‘Respect’, and pupils have been part of discussions and assemblies related to what this means and how it is shown. Year 5 led a sensitive and emotional Remembrance Day service and all children and staff took part in a silence to pay their respects to those who have fought for our country, or who continue to do so. Posters around the school promote respect for others and this is reiterated through our classroom and learning rules, as well as our behaviour and anti-bullying policy.
Tolerance of those of 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 PSHE. We have a small but increasing number of children of different faiths, backgrounds or religions, and they are encouraged to share their knowledge to enhance learning within classes and the school. Our support for a school in Malawi and our Fairtrade Status activities also help promote tolerance of different faiths and beliefs.