The Department for Education state that there is a 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 by the Prime Minister. At Gosfield Community Primary these values are intertwined within all of our lessons, discussions and are reinforced regularly and in the following ways:
Children have many opportunities for their voices to be heard. We have a school council which meets regularly to discuss issues raised in class. The school council is able to genuinely effect change within the school. The council members for each year group are voted in by their class.
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.
Within school, pupils are actively encouraged to make choices, knowing that they are in a safe and supportive environment. Pupils are encouraged to know, understand and exercise their rights and personal freedoms and are advised how to exercise these safely, for example through our E-Safety and PSHE lessons. Whether it be through choice of challenge, of how they record, of participation in our numerous extra-curricular clubs and opportunities, pupils are given the freedom to make choices.
Part of our school ethos and behaviour policy has revolved around golden values such as respect, and pupils have been part of discussions and assemblies related to what this means and how it is shown. These assemblies, PSHE lessons and our discussions around choices promote respect for others and this is reiterated through the work in the playground, classroom, learning skills and on the sports field, as well as our behaviour policy. The pupils know and understand that it is expected and imperative that respect is shown to everyone, whatever differences we may have.
Tolerance of those of Different Faiths and Beliefs:
Our golden value of respect ensures tolerance of those who have 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. Assemblies and discussions involving prejudices and prejudice-based bullying have been followed and supported by learning in RE and PSHE. Members of different faiths or religions are encouraged to share their knowledge to enhance learning within classes and the school, such as Parent Ambassadors leading school assemblies on their faith.
This academic year will also see our first 'Do Something Different Day' where classes focus on a different country and research/present facts about these countries. Beliefs, traditions and customs will be studied in depth, with visitors from varying faiths being invited in to our school to enrich and extend understanding. Through this we hope our pupils gain an enhanced understanding of their place in a culturally diverse society.