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 Department for Education has introduced a statutory duty for schools to promote British Values more actively from September 2014, and to ensure they are taught in schools. The government set out its definition of British values in the 2011 Prevent Strategy.
The five key British Values are:
The rule of law
Tolerance of those of different faiths and beliefs
Actively promoting the values means everyone challenging opinions or behaviours in school that are contrary to fundamental British values.
Heyhouses Primary School is committed to serving its community. It recognises the multi-cultural, multi-faith and ever-changing nature of the United Kingdom. It also understands the vital role it has in ensuring that groups or individuals within the school are not subjected to intimidation or radicalisation by those wishing to unduly, or illegally, influence them.
We follow equal opportunities guidance ensuring that there will be no discrimination against any individual or group, regardless of faith, ethnicity, gender, sexuality, political or financial status, or similar.
Heyhouses Primary School is dedicated to preparing our children for their adult life beyond the formal, examined curriculum and ensuring that we promote and reinforce British values to all our pupils. We use strategies within the National Curriculum and beyond to secure such outcomes. The examples that follow show some of the many ways Heyhouses Primary school seeks to instill British Values.
Democracy is embedded in the ethos of our School. Pupils are listened to by adults and are taught to listen carefully and with concern to each other, respecting the right of every individual to have their opinions and voices heard. Our children have many opportunities for their voice to be heard. Throughout their school life there are times in which they can put themselves forward to take on extra responsibility within a clear system and to collaborate with others for the greater good. Every year the children decide on their class rules and expectations as a team. All children are involved in the drawing up of these agreements. They have the opportunity to air their opinions and ideas through our School Council and regular questionnaires. The elections of the School Council members are based solely on pupil votes, reflecting our British electoral system and demonstrating democracy in action. Children have an annual questionnaire with which they are able to voice their views about the school.
The Rule of Law (Be Responsible)
The importance of laws and rules, whether they are those that govern the class, school or the country are consistently reinforced during everyday life at Heyhouses Primary School. The importance of laws whether they are those that govern the class, the school or the country, are consistently reinforced. Each class discusses and sets its own rules at the start of the school year that are clearly understood by all and seen to be necessary to ensure that every class member is able to learn in a safe and ordered environment. Our children 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. We involve our pupils in making decisions and choices that are acceptable to the school community and society at large. They are helped to learn to manage their behaviour and take responsibility for their actions. Our Behaviour Policy is evidently embedded in pupils’ daily conduct promoting a safe environment. We have regular visitors to school to explore the rule of law with our pupils and this has included the local MP, local magistrates and the police.
Heyhouses Primary School children are actively encouraged to make choices knowing they are safe and responsible for those choices. They are encouraged to know, understand and exercise their rights and personal freedoms and advised how to exercise these safely. As a school we educate and provide boundaries for our pupils to make choices safely, through the provision of a safe environment and an empowering education. Our children are encouraged to know, understand and exercise their rights and personal freedoms and are advised how to exercise these safely; examples of this can be clearly seen in our e-safety and P.S.H.E. lessons. Whether it is through choice of challenge; of how they record; or of participation in our numerous extra-curricular activities; our pupils are given the freedom to make choices. We have introduced Forest Schools across our school to support our children in developing skills in managing risk for themselves through independent choice.
Children learn that their behaviours have an effect on their own rights and those of others from a very early age. We expect all members of our School to treat each other with respect. Respect is a core value of our school and is a strong theme within our assemblies. The children know and understand that it is expected and imperative that respect is shown to everyone and to everything. The core value of Respect at Heyhouses Primary School underpins our work every day both in and out of the classroom. Children at Heyhouses Primary School learn that we live in a country which is full of diversity. They are taught to respect and celebrate these differences, whatever they are. RE lessons, ethos statements and assemblies and work in other areas of the curriculum highlight the differences between cultures around the world. We ensure there are planned opportunities for our pupils to learn about different faiths and their beliefs. All pupils are encouraged to take part in sports and activities which would previously may have been gender influenced.
Tolerance of Those With Different Faiths And Beliefs
The core value of Respect ensures tolerance of those who have different faiths and beliefs. Heyhouses Primary School enhances pupils understanding of different faiths and beliefs through religious education studies; P.S.H.E. work; participation in celebrations such as Diwali. Our curriculum provides opportunities where pupils feel secure to explore, reflect, develop curiosity and independence, whilst working collaboratively within a culture which respects each other’s ambitions. Our RE lessons actively promote diversity, embrace different faiths and beliefs (including those who follow no faith), and we reinforce messages of tolerance and respect for others. Through Religious Education we are also able to develop an awareness and appreciation of other cultures. There are active links with local churches through visitors into school, visits to church and significant events in the Christian calendar.
Our Anti-Bullying culture has been developed through our P.S.H.E curriculum and we participate annual in the National Anti-Bullying Week led and promoted by our school council.
At Heyhouses Primary School we will actively challenge pupils, staff or parents expressing opinions contrary to fundamental British Values, including ‘extremist’ views.