The DfE have recently highlighted 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.”
British values are an integral part of what we do, not least during our daily acts of Collective Worship and in our RE lessons, and even though areas covered by British values will at times be taught discretely through our Christian ethos and values they are woven through all that we do and as such are something we seek to live out in our day-to-day interactions.
As well as actively promoting British values as part of our Christian ethos, the opposite also applies: we would actively challenge children, staff or parents expressing opinions contrary to fundamental Christian and therefore British values, including ‘extremist’ views.
Here are a few examples of how we promote British Values:
Children are taught about democracy from an early age at Great Preston C of E Primary School. The election of our school council members is based solely on pupil votes, reflecting our British electoral system and demonstrating democracy in action. Our school council meet regularly to discuss issues raised in class council meetings and bring issues to the attention of the Headteacher. Pupils who would like to run for our worship council are also elected by their peers and play an active role in preparing and running our Collective Worships.
Children are always 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. We encourage children to take ownership of not only their school but also of their own learning and progress. This encourages a heightened sense of both personal and social responsibility and is demonstrated on a daily basis by our children
Rule of the Law
The importance of laws, whether they are those that govern our classes, our school or the country, are reinforced throughout the day. We have three clear rules which are applied consistently throughout the school from Nursery to Year 6.
- Follow instructions
- Keep hands, feet and objects to yourself
- Use positive language and actions.
In keeping these rules children learn that they keep themselves and others safe and that when the rules are broken there are consequences. When children make the wrong choice and break the rules they are given an opportunity to think about how they can make things right again.
As part of PSHE we consider issues such as how to resolve conflicts independently and how to make the right choices. Our children are taught the value and reasons behind laws, that they govern and protect us and the consequences when laws are broken or guidance is ignored. These values are reinforced in different ways:
- visits from authorities such as the police and fire service
- during Religious Education, when rules for particular faiths are thought about
- during other school subjects, where there is respect and appreciation for different rules, for example behaviour and conduct conducive to good sportsmanship in a PE lesson.
Within school, children are actively encouraged to make their own choices, knowing that they are in a safe and supportive environment. At Great Preston CE Primary School, we educate and provide boundaries for children to make choices safely, through the provision of a safe environment. We support children in developing a growth mindset, where they believe in themselves, learn from their mistakes, take a positive approach to solving problems, and grow in confidence as a result. Children are taught to understand and exercise their rights and advised how to exercise these safely, for example through our PSHE lessons. In all aspects of the children’s learning, they are given the freedom to make choices.
Mutual Respect for and tolerance of those with different faiths and beliefs
Great Preston CE Primary School revolves around our core Christian Values ‘COMPASSION, PERSEVERANCE, RESPECT & THANKFULNESS’. Members of the worship council lead collective worship relating to what each of our values mean and have the opportunity to praise children displaying these in our weekly celebration assembly.
Our children know and understand that it is expected that respect is shown to everyone and to everything. Children learn that their behaviour and choices have an effect on their own rights and those of others. All members of the school community understand the need for us to be respectful in the way in which we speak to, and treat each other, in order for our school community to thrive.
This is achieved through developing children’s 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 as well as our annual anti-bullying week work. The children learn about the main faiths through following the Leeds agreed syllabus for Religious Education. Children are encouraged to learn about other religions and cultures through all areas of the curriculum such as history. Social, Moral, Spiritual and Cultural education (SMSC) is actively reflected in all areas of school life.