TEACHING BRITISH VALUES
Promoting British Values at North Wheatley C of E Primary
The DfE consistently identify 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 by the Prime Minister in 2014.
These values are taught explicitly through Personal, Social, Health and Emotional (PSHE) and Religious Education (RE). We also teach British Values through our deep and rich, concept curriculum underpinned by our Christian Values.
At North Wheatley C of E Primary British values are reinforced regularly and in the following ways:
Democracy is firmly embedded within the life of the school. Pupils have the opportunity to have their voices heard through Pupil Leadership Team (PLT) and the Wellbeing Committee. Children have the opportunity to see democracy in practice, voting for their committee representatives on an annual basis. The PLT, then vote for the Chair, Vice-Chair and Secretary. We openly encourage pupils to share their views respectfully about different matters, whether this is during a discussion in curriculum time, debates or more informally, for example when holding pupil dialogue discussions or through the annual pupil questionnaires. The PLT also contribute to the appointment of new members of staff. The PLT also decide the charities which will be supported throughout the academic year, their achievements and the impact of these, are displayed and celebrated.
The Rule of Law:
The importance of laws, whether they be those that govern the class, the school, or the country, are consistently reinforced, both in the classroom and during whole school worship. 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. Pupils abide by rules on a daily basis, for example following our Code of Conduct, which was written by the children, or playing by the rules when representing the school at a sporting event. Our positive reward system ensures that praise is used effectively to motivate all. ‘Good Choice’ rewards inspire pupils to maintain high standards. Our weekly Celebration worship positively highlights those who are adhering to the school’s rules and values, whilst regular reminders are given in the classroom, during worship or at any point during the school, should there be any issues that need to be brought to pupils’ attention. The pupils, themselves, are constantly reminding each other about making ‘good choices’ and behaving in an appropriate manner. Consequences, in line with the school’s Behaviour Policy, remind the children that breaking the rules may impact on themselves and others. However, we also are keen for pupils to know that at North Wheatley C of E Primary, mistakes are an essential part of our learning and enable us to make progress both personally and academically. We want pupils to know that it is safe to make mistakes in school as we will learn from them.
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 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 E-Safety and PSHE sessions. Through the choice of challenge, of how they record and of participation in our numerous extra-curricular clubs and opportunities, pupils are given the freedom to make choices.
The Christian Value of respect underpins all that we do. It is threaded through our curriculum, ethos and values. Respect is consistently and frequently discussed with pupils through whole school worship, circle time and Committee meetings. Our positive behaviour philosophy is based around ensuring that all members of our community care for and respect one another and that they value everyone as individuals. In 2020, the school started work on its journey to become a ‘Rights Respecting School’ with a vision of ensuring that every member of our school community is empowered to talk about and promote rights with adults and children.
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. As a voluntary controlled Church of England school, we welcome children of all faiths. During whole school worship and our curriculum, we explore Christian values, for example, respect, hope and service. These apply equally to all faiths and beliefs. Different faiths, beliefs and festivals are explored in R.E lessons - all major faiths are studied over the different key stages. Visits by external organisations increases pupils’ understanding and respect for other beliefs and religious customs to develop and to hear speakers discuss what their faith means to them. Parents are also encouraged to participate in sharing aspects of their culture. A number of charities are supported by the school, both locally and globally, and these are chosen by the PLT, regardless of faith or belief. A longstanding partnership with Suryapal School in Nepal enables pupils to gain a firsthand understanding of others. Any incident of prejudice – which could be based on faith or belief – would be treated with utmost urgency in accordance with the school’s Anti-Bullying Policy.