Teaching British Values At St Mark’s CE Primary School
The Department For Education is currently reinforcing the requirement “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 set out its definition of British values in the 2011 Prevent Strategy and these values were reiterated by the Prime Minister in 2014. Here at St Mark’s Primary these values are explored in worships/assemblies, in lessons, are recognised in our present application to become a ‘Rights Respecting School’ and are reinforced regularly in the following ways:
Democracy is high profile within the school. Pupils have the opportunity to have their voices heard through our Pupil Council and pupil questionnaires. The election of class councillors and of House Captains in Year 6 is based solely on pupil votes. Our school values of Love, Trust, Respect and Inspire were chosen through democratic process including children. Children’s voice is always heard as part of monitoring work in school.
Children in the Ducklings regularly vote for their learning. This gives them an early start on realising that if you have a voice, you must use it and if you do in our democratic country it can make a difference.
The Rule Of Law:
The importance of laws, whether they be those that govern the class, the school, or the country, are consistently reinforced for example when dealing with behaviour and through school worships/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 Local MP Richard Drax, Police and Fire Service, etc. are regular parts of our curriculum calendar and 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 pupils to make choices safely, thus our education is empowering our young people. Pupils are encouraged to know, understand and exercise their rights and personal freedoms and we advise how children can exercise these safely, for example through our E-Safety and PSHE lessons. Whether it be through choice of challenge, of how they record or of participation in our numerous extra-curricular clubs and opportunities, pupils are given the freedom to make choices. At lunch times children have freedom of choice in respect of the selection of play activities which are on offer.
Our Mission Statement and Behaviour Policy revolve around our school values of Love, Trust, Respect and Inspire pupils have been part of discussions and worships/assemblies which focus on what our Mission Statement means and how it is ‘lived’ in our school. Signage and images around the school promote our school values which are reiterated through our Praise Points Values-based reward system. In our school everyone is equally valued and there is mutual respect in all relationships: staff-staff, staff-parent, governor-child, etc. We encourage everyone to be a ‘role model’ for mutual respect. Our website is accessible in multi-languages and school information can be translated by the school thus enabling everybody to understand it.
Acceptance without Exception Of Those With 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. Worships/assemblies and discussions involving prejudices and prejudice-based bullying have been followed and supported by learning in RE and PSHE. The school successfully supports children and families with English as an Additional Language. Staff and children are members of different faiths or religions and everybody is encouraged to share their knowledge to enhance learning within classes and the school. We have space where members of all faiths or religions can reflect on their specific faith/belief, safe in the knowledge that they are respected. We are a school which respects all faiths and those with no faith.
We have recently become a Stonewall school and offer training for both Staff, parents and governors in how to deal with LGBGTQ bullying.
(RE = Religious Education; PSHE = Personal, Social and Health Education)