The Department of Education 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 more recently.
Eatock Primary is a community school and we recognise the importance of teaching our pupils mutual respect for those of different or of no faith. Our Religious Education Programme follows the local agreed syllabus.
At Eatock Primary, British values are reinforced on a day to day basis through what is sometimes known as “the hidden curriculum”. This is where the school’s ethos influences more abstract areas of personal development such as forming and maintaining relationships, self-esteem and patterns of behaviour.
We also offer regular activities and opportunities to our pupils which promote British Values in a more explicit and deliberate way.
At the beginning of the school year the children vote on who should represent their class within the school council. Unlike some schools, we allow pupils to stand for election again. This reflects an underpinning principle of the Democractic system – “If you do a good job, people will vote for you again! If you don’t do a good job, it is not likely you will be voted in!”
The school council meets fortnightly to discuss issues in school. They take these back to their class to gather opinion and bring back to the school council.
Members of the Governing Body of the school are elected following democractic principles.
Regular surveys of parents and carers, pupils and staff inform the School’s Self Evaluation and priorities for development each year.
THE RULE OF LAW
The importance of laws whether they are those that govern the class, the school or the country are consistently reinforced throughout the school day, when dealing with behaviour and through school assemblies. Each class are involved in developing their own set of “rules” thus enabling pupils to engage in how decisions and laws come about under a democractic system.
Pupils are taught the value and reason behind the laws that govern and protect us, the responsibility that this involves and the consequences when laws are broken.
Specific roles in society relating to the rule of law are explored in various year groups. For example, EYFS explore the role of police officers and community support officers during their topics and other year groups have talks from local authority councillors etc.
Within school, pupils are actively encouraged to make choices – knowing they are in a safe and supportive environment. As a school we educate and provide boundaries for young children to make safe choices through the provision of a safe environment and empowering education.
Pupils are encouraged to know, understand and exercise their rights and personal freedoms for example through PSCHE and online safety lessons and assemblies.
Many of our assembly themes explore issues around individual liberty, for example “Is it good to be different?” and another “Are equal rights important?”.
Mutual respect is at the heart of all our aims and code of conduct. Children learn that their behaviours have an effect on their own right and the rights of others. All members of the school community are expected to treat each other with respect. Staff are expected to be good role models at all times. Respect regularly features as one of our assembly themes and circle times and is a key factor in the school rules.
TOLERANCE OF THOSE OF DIFFERENT FAITHS AND BELIEFS
At Eatock we will actively challenge pupils, parents or staff expressing opinions contrary to fundamental British Values, including extremist views. Tolerating and indeed embracing individuals of differing faiths and beliefs enriches our school family by broadening our horizons and exploring our commonalities which are displayed around the building.