The Department for Education have recently said:
“Keeping our children safe and ensuring schools prepare them for life in modern Britain could not be more important. This change is an important step towards ensuring we have a strong legal basis for intervening in those schools where this is an issue.”
“The vast majority of schools already promote British values. This is about making sure we have the tools we need to intervene if children are being let down.”
Schools are required to actively promote and not undermine “British Values”
The government has set out its definition of British Values as:
Each year the children decide upon their class charter and the rights associated with these. All the children contribute to the drawing up of the charter.
Children have many opportunities for their voices to be heard. We have a school council which meets regularly to discuss issues raised in class council meetings. The council recommends to the head areas of development and are given a budget to purchase new resources. It is able to genuinely effect change within the school. Each council member for each classis voted in by their class.
Children have an annual questionnaire with which they are able to put forward their views about the school.
- 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. 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 and Fire Service help reinforce this message.
- individual liberty
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 PSHE 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
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.
- tolerance of those of different faiths and beliefs
St. Anne’s is situated in an area which is not greatly culturally diverse; therefore we place a great emphasis on promoting diversity with the children. We value the diverse ethnic backgrounds of all people and undertake a variety of events and lessons to celebrate these. We have found this approach to be enriching for all parties as it teaches tolerance and respect for the differences in our community and the wider world. Assemblies are regularly planned to address this issue either directly or through the inclusion of stories and celebrations from a variety of faiths and cultures. Our RE and PSHE teaching reinforce this. Members of different faiths or religions are encouraged to share their knowledge to enhance learning within classes and the school. Children visit places of worship that are important to different faiths.
As a Church of England Primary School we actively promote values, virtues and ethics that shape our pupil’s character and moral perspective, through the teaching in school, the example all adults set and the teaching of the Church. We are confident that our continued focus on the values chosen by our School Council and discussed every year in each class, will give our pupils the necessary awareness of what it means to be a good citizen in Britain today, and embed in them the building blocks of a future successful and productive life.
Through our RE, PSHE, SEAL, and Geography themes we are able to make real links between the values of our pupils and the lives of others in their community, country and the world in general. Through our Creative Curriculum we teach about democracy, civic responsibility, rules and laws, the monarchy, equality, values and virtues, environmental awareness and understanding of other faiths.