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 these values have been reiterated this year (2014). At Horton St Michael’s these values are reinforced regularly and in the following ways:
Children have many opportunities for their voices to be heard. Pupils 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 have a school council which meets regularly to discuss issues raised in class council meetings and is able to genuinely effect change within and beyond the school. Council members for each year group are voted in by their class. Candidates prepare manifestos and votes are cast by pupils using ballot boxes. on a daily basis by our pupils.
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 and through school assemblies. Our children decide upon the ‘golden rules’ which promote positive behaviour through the school. 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. We also teach the value of rules and laws in subjects such as RE and PE.
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 provision of a safe environment and empowering education. Pupils are encouraged to know, understand and exercise their rights and personal freedoms and advised how to exercise these safely, for example through our E-Safety and PSHCE lessons. Whether it be through choice of learning challenge, of how they record, of participation in our numerous extra-curricular clubs and opportunities, pupils are given the freedom to make choices.
Mutual Respect and Tolerance of those of Different Faiths and Beliefs
Mutual respect is at the heart of our values. Children learn that their behaviours have an effect on their own rights and those of others. All members of the school community treat each other with respect. Children are taught that it is expected that respect is shown to everyone, whatever differences we may have.
At Horton St Michael’s we will actively challenge pupils, staff, governors or parents expressing opinions contrary to the British Values outlined above, including ‘extremist’ views.