British Values


Introduction

In June 2014, David Cameron emphasised the important role that British values can play in education. Further, how well a school promotes such values is an aspect of Ofsted’s inspection process. British values are promoted in all aspects of our school lives, not least during our acts of worship, Religious Education and PSHE lessons. The values are integral to our long-standing ethos which emphasises British values and always has done. As well as actively promoting British values, the opposite also applies: we would actively challenge pupils, staff or parents expressing opinions contrary to fundamental British values, including ‘extremist’ views.

Being part of Britain

As a school, we value and celebrate the diverse heritages of everybody at Much Birch Primary School. Alongside this, we value and celebrate being part of Britain. In general terms, this means that we celebrate traditions, such as customs in the course of the year; for example, Harvest festival and Remembrance Day during the Autumn Term. We also value and celebrate national events and Christian holidays. As a Christian country, we acknowledge and celebrate by regular assemblies with Reverend Simon. Children learn about being part of Britain from different specific perspectives. Geography allows pupils to explore what it is like to live in the UK. Pupils begin by developing their locational knowledge of the UK, using maps and photographs before proceeding to investigate ideas of identity and the UK’s changing population. History allows pupils to explore Britain’s past and develop a greater understanding of what made Britain the country it is today.

Democracy:

Children, parents and staff have many opportunities for their voices to be heard at Much Birch Primary School. Democracy is central to how we operate. An obvious example is our School Council. The election of the School Council members reflects our British electoral system and demonstrates democracy in action. Pupils consider characteristics important for an elected representative, pupils vote to decide the representative for their class. Made up of one representative from each class, the School Council meets regularly to discuss issues raised by the different classes.  The council is able to genuinely effect change within the school; in the past, the School Council has had a strong voice in the following:- The Behaviour Policy, fundraising and the recruitment of staff. Pupils are always listened to by adults and are taught to listen carefully and with concern to each other, respecting the right of every individual to have their opinions and voices heard. We encourage pupils to take ownership of not only their school but also of their own learning and progress. This encourages a heightened sense of both personal and social responsibility and is demonstrated on a daily basis by our pupils.

• making decisions together – class votes for books to read at the end of a school day, class votes on fundraising activities to carry out for our chosen charity.

• school council – pupils vote each year for new class representatives. The election of the School Council members reflects our British electoral system and demonstrates democracy in action.

• playground activity leaders have the opportunity to nominate and vote for children to receive a certificate for good playtime behaviour.

• parent and pupil questionnaires – views of the school community are regularly sought.

• class rules – agreed by every member of each class at the beginning of each academic year.

• class led worship – class vote for hymns to sing at class led worship, this also allows pupils to discuss how relates to them, their life, their school and the wider global community

The Rule of Law:

The importance of rules and laws, whether they be those that govern our school or our country, are referred to and reinforced often, such as in assemblies and worship and when reflecting on behaviour choices. At the start of the school year, each class discusses and sets its own Class Rules, a set of principles that are clearly understood by all and seen to be necessary to ensure that every class member is able to learn in a safe and ordered environment. The school has an overriding Golden Rule, ‘To treat others as you would be treated’.

• understand that rules matter and the importance of laws – that govern the class, the school, or the country are referred to and reinforced often, such as in assemblies and when reflecting on behaviour choices.

• golden rules – the value and reasons behind laws: that they protect us, the responsibilities that this involves and the consequences when laws are broken.

• visits from authorities such as the police and the fire service to help reinforce this message.

• during other school subjects e.g. sports lessons, where there is respect for different rule

Individual Liberty:

Alongside rules and laws, we promote freedom of choice and the right to respectfully express views and beliefs. Through the provision of a safe, supportive environment and empowering education, we provide boundaries for our pupils to make choices safely; for example choices around the participation in extra-curricular activities. Our pupils are encouraged to know, understand and exercise their rights and personal freedoms and are taught how to exercise these safely, such as in our e-safety and PSHE lessons.

• regular opportunities to make choices in school: attitude, behaviour, boundaries

• participation in extra-curricular clubs

Mutual respect:

Much Birch Primary School is in an area which is not greatly culturally diverse so we are proud to promote and celebrate different backgrounds and beliefs. Mutual respect is at the heart of this and we aim to develop understanding of and respect for a wide range of religious values, languages and cultural traditions and different ways of life. Our pupils know and understand that it is expected and imperative that respect is shown to everyone, whatever differences we may have, and to everything. Pupils learn that their behaviour choices have an effect on their own rights and those of others. All members of the school community should treat each other with respect.

• behaviours have an effect on their rights and consequences on others

• school ethos

Tolerance of those of Different Faiths and Beliefs:

• collective worship

• discussions involving prejudices

• discussions on prejudice-based bullying

• visits from members of different faiths or religions

• visits to places of worship