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 becoming increasingly prominent. At Lawnside these Values are reinforced regularly and in the following ways:
Democracy is evident within the school. Pupils have the opportunity to have their voices heard through our active School Council, meeting with head teacher and through being either a Play Leader, Year 4 Monitor or joining the BCUS youth parliament. Our 5 Golden Rules were decided upon democratically through our School Council, and these underpin our whole school reward system. Children also voted for how they wished to see their playing space be developed, with support from our PTA.
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. 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 are a regular part of our calendar and help reinforce this message. Further to this our older children take part in cluster wide Values days and are involved in the BCUS group of schools youth parliament program.
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 our 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 E-Safety and PSHCE lessons. Pupils are further empowered through having a school council, thus giving their voice a forum. Whether it be through choice of challenge, of how they record, of participation in our extra-curricular clubs and opportunities, pupils are given the freedom to make choices. These are all age related experiences e.g. year fours choosing a role of responsibility helping with the smooth running of the school. A further example is where foundation stage children have the opportunity to choose their extended learning through adult guided child initiated play.
As a Values School part of our school Values and Behaviour policies have 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. Respect is one of our values taught explicitly within lessons, and is shared with home through newsletters. Adults around the school promote respect for others as do older children who have suitable, age related tasks and responsibilities and this is reiterated through our classroom and learning rules, as well as our behaviour, SMSC and Values policies. We further develop respect by ensuring that there are many visits, trips and opportunities for children to learn all about other faiths, creeds and cultures not just in this country but around the world.
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 PSHCE. Members of different faiths or religions are encouraged to share their knowledge to enhance learning within classes and the school.