Promoting 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, mutual respect and tolerance of those with different faiths and beliefs."
The government sets out its definition of British values in the 2011 Prevent Strategy, and these values have been reiterated by the Prime Minister this year. At Billesdon School these values are reinforced regularly and in the following ways:
Democracy is promoted within the school. Pupils have the opportunity to have their voices heard through our School Council and pupil quesionnaires. The elections of House Captains and Prefects are based solely on pupil votes. Each teacher has different ways in which the pupils make their voices heard in their classroom e.g. through Circle Time, R Time including quesionnaires and discussions, decisions over classroom rules and consequences for behaviour. We try to challenge injustice through our curriculum and Collective Worship themes which are based on the Christian values. We are involved in The Global Learning Partnership and through this we look at people such as Martin Luther King and Rosa Parks.
The Rule of Law:
The importance of rules, whether they be those that govern the class, the school or the country, are consistently reinforced throughout regular school days and through Collective Worship. The children are taught right from wrong. 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; Fire and Rescue Service; Road Safety Officers etc. are a regular part of our calendar and help reinforce this message. There is a clear code of conduct for all pupils. Each family signs the home school agreement which includes the code of conduct as well as other linking themes. Work in RE on codes for living in different religions and the significance of the Golden rule for religious and non-religious people allow pupils to discuss the importance of this value.
Within school, pupils are actively encouraged to make choices, knowing they are in a safe, supportive environment. As a school we educate and provide boundaries for 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 advise how to exercise these safely, for example through our E-Safety and PSHE lessons. Whether it be through choice of challenge, of how they record, of participation in our numerous extra-curricular clubs and opportunities, pupils are given the freedom to make choices. All classes work towards incentives where their choices affect outcomes for themselves personally as well as the whole class. We also try to give ownership of learning to the children, through the use of the VLE, and promote a personal investigative approach. At break and lunchtimes the children are allowed to use the outdoor spaces according to their personal choices. Our shared values in the school promote both staff and children as good role models and we take opportunities to challenge stereotypes whenever the opportunity arises. Opportunities are also taken to explore that with individual liberty and freedom comes responsibilities to the local community and the wider world.
Part of our school ethos and behaviour policy has revolved around Core Values such as 'Respect', and pupils have been part of discussions and Collective Worship related to what this means and how it is shown. Displays around the school promote Christian Values and these are reiterated through our classroom and learning rules, as well as rewards and sanctions. The children themselves are peer mentors and have friendship benches which promote respect and friendships. Our equality and SEND policies reflect our core values. We support Anti-Bullying weeks and Dyslexia weeks in school.
We promote respect through R Time and circle time. Opportunities are provided for children to learn to respect others through visits to and from people from other cultures. Charities are supported in school which promote respect and tolerance to others.
Tolerance of those of Different Faiths and Beliefs:
This is achieved through enhancing pupils understanding of their place in a culturally diverse society and giving them opportunities to experience such diversity. Collective Worship themes involve prejudices and are supported by learning in RE and PSHE. Members of different faiths or religions are encouraged to share their knowledge to enhance learning within classes and the school. We celebrate festivals throughout the year from all the world religions. Visitors to school and visits to our link school in Leicester enhance our understanding. As part of our RE curriculum we visit places of worship. As a school we have the foundation level of the International School Award and have links with a school in India, through the Diocese of Leicester. We are also in the early stages of being part of The Global Learning Partnership.