Teaching British Values
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 by the Prime Minister this year. At Bramley Grange these values are reinforced regularly in the following ways:
Democracy is given a high value through pupil voice. The children’s views are sought on a wide range of issues including how they feel about their learning, how this could be made better and how the school could be improved. Regular discussions with the head teacher and pupil questionnaires seek these views. In class and year group teams, children vote and choose their half termly behaviour reward activities as well as ‘Always club’ activities. Children elect school council representatives who act on behalf of their peers on a wide range of issues including developing the school website. In class children will vote on a range of choices including which book to read at story time. Visits from the elected mayor or parish councillors reinforce democracy in action in society.
The Rule of Law
The importance of rules to create a harmonious school community are reinforced daily through school rules and application of the behaviour policy. These are regularly reinforced through assemblies along with the consequences of breaking them. Children are encouraged to regulate their own and each other’s behaviour through governing sanctions when laws are broken. During P.E sessions children are taught ‘rules of the game’ and consequences of breaking these. Visits from the police, fire service reinforce these messages.
Children are constantly encouraged to make choices in a safe, supportive environment. Independence is a life skill we teach as part of the school’s curriculum and children are actively encouraged to make independent choices. Homework activities reinforce this as children have the choice around how they want to present their work. The behaviour policy is based around making the right choices. PSHCE teaches children about lifestyle choices and encourages safe choices whether this be through choosing to stay safe on the internet or out on the street.
The school ethos is based around mutual respect for all those within the school environment and its surroundings – including the classrooms and equipment within it. One of the school rules is ‘Respect’, children and adults alike are encouraged to show respect at all times whether this be to each or other, or visitors within or outside the learning environment. Sportsmanship is promoted in P.E and children are encouraged to show this in competitive sport. Children will show each other mutual respect through celebrating each other’s achievements.
Tolerance of those of different faiths and beliefs
The school is fully inclusive and celebrates equality and diversity through the school ethos. Children are taught to understand and value difference through exploring different cultures and learning about different countries in the world through global citizenship. Different faiths and beliefs are taught and discussed through sharing stories from a wide range of cultures, and the R.E scheme of work. Although the school is mostly white British, those who have different beliefs and faiths will happily share their own beliefs and values and are keen to ‘teach’ others about their culture or religion. Parents are willing to come into school to talk about their different faiths and beliefs.