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 were reiterated in 2014.
British values can play an important role in education and are promoted in so much of what we do, not least during our school assemblies, acts of worship and Religious Education sessions.
As well as actively promoting British values, the opposite also applies: we would actively challenge pupils, staff or parents expressing opinions contrary to fundamental British values, including ‘extremist’ views.
Schools are subject to a duty (Section 26, Counter-Terrorism and Security Act 2015) to have “due regard to the need to prevent people from being drawn into terrorism”. This duty is known as the Prevent duty.
Alongside rules and laws, we promote freedom of choice and the right to respectfully express views and beliefs. Through the provision of a safe, supportive environment and empowering education, we provide boundaries for our young pupils to make choices safely; for example:
- choices about what learning challenge or activity
- choices about how they record their learning
- choices around the participation in extra-curricular activities
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.
Acceptance Of Those Of Different Faiths And Beliefs
Mutual respect is at the heart of our aims and ethos as a Church of England school and it’s one of our three school rules: We respect everyone and everything.
Our pupils know and understand that it is expected and imperative that respect is shown to everyone, whatever differences we may have, and to everything, whether it is a school resource, a religious belief or whatever. Children learn that their behaviour choices have an effect on their own rights and those of others. All members of the school community should treat each other with respect.
Sadly, no school can guarantee that there will never be instances which are contrary to this value. At Pedmore CE Primary, such instances are extremely rare.
Pedmore CE Primary School is a UNICEF Rights Respecting school. Each year the children decide upon their class charter and the rights associated with these. All the children contribute to the drawing up of the charter.
Children have many opportunities for their voices to be heard. We have a school council which meets regularly to discuss issues raised in class council meetings. The council is able to genuinely effect change within the school. All council members are voted into position by their peers.
We also have a Worship Council and an Eco council who also have a voice within their respective areas too.
Children, through school council, choose a charity (or more than one) which they support through various fund-raising activities throughout the year.
Children have an annual questionnaire with which they are able to put forward their views about the school.
Pupils are always listened to by adults and are taught to listen carefully and with concern to each other, respecting the right of every individual to have their opinions and voices heard. We encourage pupils to take ownership of not only their school but also of their own learning and progress.
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 safely, through a provision of a safe environment and an 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 E-Safety and PSHE lessons. Whether it is through choice of challenge within learning, participation in extra-curricular clubs and opportunities, pupils are given the freedom to make choices. Pupils understand they have a responsibility for their behaviour and that they model freedom of speech through participation. Our curriculum challenges stereotypes and we are a school that respects the rights of individuals.
Examples at our school:
- Opportunities to celebrate achievement
- Anti-bullying policy which provides a system whereby issues can be reported
- Children’s voice- School Council, Worship Council, Eco Council
As a Church of England and Rights Respecting School, mutual respect is at the heart of our values; it is one of our four core 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.