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. Staff in school have recently undergone prevent training.
At St Joseph’s RCVA Primary School we value the diverse ethnic backgrounds of all our pupils and families and promote these in many different ways. We have found this approach teaches openness and respect for the differences in our community and the wider world.
They are reinforced regularly in the following ways:
Democracy is pervasive across our school. Pupils have the opportunity to have their voices heard through our School Council and pupil questionnaire both within school and our locality. The elections of school councillors are based on pupil votes. Our school behaviour policy involves rewards and sanctions and the children are regularly consulted on this. We also tackle the ideas of democracy through our curriculum and assemblies. We also take the school council to the Houses of Parliament.
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 the school day, as well as when dealing with behaviour and through school collective 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. Visits from different members of our community are regularly invited into school to 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 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 our E-Safety and PSHE lessons. Whether it be through choice and decision making in class and school, participation in extra-curricular clubs and opportunities, pupils are given the freedom to make choices. At St Joseph’s pupils are encouraged to take ownership of their own learning and are encouraged to be safe and supportive of their classmates.
Part of our school ethos and behaviour policy has revolved around core value such as ‘Respect’, and pupils have been part of discussions and assemblies related to what this means and how it is shown. All members of the school community treat each other with respect. Displays around the school promote respect for others and this is reiterated through our classroom and learning rules, as well as our behaviour 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 where we spend specific weeks throughout the year studying other faiths. Members of different faiths or religions and those who speak languages other than English are encouraged to share their knowledge to enhance learning within classes and the school through whole school assemblies. Due to our diverse community we embrace the culture of all our families and we ensure they are fully integrated into the life of our school. At St Joseph’s we receive children from some different ethnic and faith groups and it is paramount that all our pupils are treated with the same respect. The children have the opportunity to learn about many different faiths and may visit different places of worship as they progress through the school. This widens their understanding and promotes tolerance of everyone at our school, local community and the rest of the World. As you can see from some of the photos below we have a range of visitors into school to develop the childrens understanding from Buddhists, Sikhs to Muslims.