Promoting British values at Chester-le-Street CE Primary School
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, 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 were reiterated by the Prime Minister in 2014.
At Chester-le-Street CE Primary School we uphold and teach pupils about the British Values which are defined as:
- The Rule of Law
- Individual Liberty
- Mutual respect
- Tolerance of those of Different Faiths and Beliefs
The promotion of democracy is extensive within the school. Pupils have many opportunities throughout the school day to have their voices heard for example they are able to choose class rewards through voting. They also have more formal opportunities to have their voices heard through our School Council, pupil questionnaires and when developing an understanding of Children’s Rights in Family Groups. Children in each class throughout the Primary vote yearly for those that they want to represent them on the School Council. They also hold elections for the House Captains within each house, with prospective House Captains writing their own speeches. Children are consulted and contribute to the development of school policies, for example our Behaviour Policy, (consequences and actions) and the school aims. Democracy is taught about in various areas of the curriculum. For example in Year 1 where the children consider how life has changed in terms of economy and politics, in Year 2 where children are involved in choosing and voting for ways to spend money that they raise through enterprise, in Year 4 where the origins of democracy in Ancient Greece are taught and in Year 6 where it forms part of the work on Junior Neighbourhood Watch.
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. When dealing with behaviour; school rules, consequences and actions is the language used by all. Children are rewarded for good behaviour and throughout school children are nominated to the Head Teacher for weekly rewards. Through many activities such as Collective Worship, Junior Neighbourhood Watch, Safety Carousels and class Circle Time pupils are taught the value and reasons behind laws; that they govern and protect us, as well as the responsibilities that this involves and the consequences when laws are broken. Visits from authorities such as the Police are regular parts of our calendar and help reinforce this message. In Year 6 part of the curriculum is to explore rules of living and to develop an understanding of these. We also spend time learning about the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child and use these to explore our understanding of laws. Each class sets its own charter of Rights and Responsibilities these are signed up to and referred to by all as the charter within the classroom.
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, through provision of a safe environment and empowering education. Pupils are encouraged to know, understand and exercise their rights and personal freedoms and advise how to exercise these safely. For example through E-Safety and PSCHE both of which are embedded into all aspects of school life. Pupils are given the freedom to make choices, for example signing up for extra-curricular and lunchtime clubs, choosing the level of challenge in lessons, choices of who to play with and building relationships with each other. Children are also encouraged to make decisions about what they would like to learn. This is evident in the curriculum and ‘Dare to’ weeks which are based on STEM activities. Children have opportunities to contribute to discussions in circle times sharing their ideas and thoughts. Pupils and parents share the setting of targets at Target Setting evening where the children are able to choose their own appropriate targets.
Our aims and ethos are based around core Christian values, which permeate all aspects of school life, including our School Improvement Plan and Behaviour Policy. This is supported by our values led Collective Worship time, hall displays and class reflective areas which all reflect the values we are focused upon. Pupils show respect for all and are inclusive of all pupils including those with SEND. Whole School Collective Worship twice a week contributes to the promotion of Mutual Respect and the Christian message of treating others as we like to be treated. Children in Year 6 are invited to apply to be Buddies, they have to apply and have supporting letters from others. We have a ‘Captains Table’ at lunchtime, once every half term, as a reward for those children demonstrating respect for all staff.
Tolerance of those of 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. Through visits to other places of worship children are given opportunities to talk to and learn from others about faith, belief and understanding. We have a yearly World Family Week throughout the primary school where children learn about and develop a greater understanding of acceptance of those with other faiths and beliefs. Throughout the week the children spend time meeting individuals, visiting places of worship and learning about how those of different faiths live their everyday lives.