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. At Bradfield CE Primary School these values are reinforced regularly and in the ways outlined below.
Democracy is embedded within the school. Pupils have the opportunity to have their voices heard through our Pupil Council and Pupil questionnaires. Elections for School Council representatives are undertaken in each class in true democratic style. Children are always able to voice their opinions and we foster an environment where children are safe to disagree with each other.
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 supporting 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; Fire Service; etc. are regular parts of our calendar and help reinforce this message.
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 safely, through the provision of a safe environment and empowering education.
Pupils are encouraged to know, understand and exercise their rights and personal freedoms and advised how to exercise these safely, for example through our E-Safety and PSHE lessons and class circle time. Whether it be through choice of challenge, of how they record their learning, of participation in our numerous extra-curricular clubs and opportunities, pupils are given the freedom to make choices.
Our school ethos is distinctively Christian and inclusive. It is based on the core values of “Courage, Compassion, Resilience and Joy”. Underpinning these we actively promote a code of conduct which embraces mutual respect. We aim to honour others, show generosity to all and accept and celebrate everyone for their unique gifts and talents. Our assemblies show pupils what this means and how it is shown. In addition, our Peer Mediators are trained to support children to reconcile their differences in a mutually respectful way.
Pupils have further opportunities to explore and discuss these principles in depth through class assemblies. Respect for others is reiterated through our classroom and learning rules, as well as our behaviour policy.
Tolerance of Those of Different Faiths and Beliefs
We teach the West Berkshire Agreed Syllabus for Religious Education alongside the Oxford Diocese scheme, Understanding Christianity. We aim to enhance pupils understanding of their place in a culturally diverse society and give them opportunities to experience such diversity. Members of different faiths or religions are encouraged to share their knowledge to enhance learning within classes and the school.
In addition, we regularly promote the British Values within our whole school assemblies and through our class assemblies using current affairs and pupil’s interests which link directly to one of the British Values.