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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 Brickhill Primary School these values are reinforced regularly via staff training and in the following ways:
Democracy is richly embedded within the school. Pupils have the opportunity to have their voices heard through our School Council, through various Steering groups, pupil questionnaires, meeting with the Senior Leadership Team and through being either a Head boy, Head girl or a prefect. Our school behaviour and values policies involve rewards and sanctions; this is shared through all aspects of school life and also shared with parents, carers and children from Reception to Year 6.
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 dealing with behaviour and through school collective worship time. 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 and Fire Service are a regular part of our calendar events and help reinforce this message.
Within school, pupils are actively encouraged to make choices, knowing that they are in a safe and supportive environment. Empowered is a key value of the school which helps to ensure every child is aware of their own Liberty. As a school we educate and provide boundaries for all pupils to make choices safely, through provision of a safe environment and an empowering approach through the education. Pupils are encouraged to know, understand and exercise their rights and personal freedoms and are advised how to exercise these safely, for example through our E-Safety and PSHCE lessons. Pupils are further empowered through being part of a school council, a steering group and being able to take part in pupil forums which link directly to the senior leadership team or governors. Pupils are given the freedom to make a wide range of choices from attending extra- curricular clubs to organising and supporting fund raising events.
As a school which holds values at the core of its ethos, our school Values and Behaviour policies have evolved around Core Values such as ‘Tolerance’ and respect. Pupils have been part of discussions and collective worship related to what these values mean and how they are shown. Respect is taught explicitly within lessons, collective worship and within the ethos of being a school which is tolerant of others, makes sure that everybody feels valued and empowered. It is shared with home through newsletters and website information. Adults throughout the school model, demonstrate and promote respect for others as do older children who have suitable, age related, tasks and responsibilities and this is reiterated through our classroom and learning rules, as well as our behaviour.
Tolerance of those of Different Faiths and Beliefs:
At Brickhill Primary School we are a culturally rich and diverse school where children have unique opportunities to learn from each other by sharing and celebrating their different faiths and cultures. Collective worship and discussions involving prejudices and prejudice-based bullying have been followed up and supported by learning in RE and PSHCE. We have weekly ‘open the book’ assemblies which discuss different aspects of faith. Members of different faiths or religions regularly visit the school and pupils are encouraged to share their knowledge to enhance learning within classes and the school. Additionally, a number of our school trips are designed to explore different faiths and beliefs for example visits to churches, religious temples and Mosques.