British Values at Walesby C of E Primary School
The DfE stated in 2013 that, “Keeping our children safe and ensuring schools prepare them for life in modern Britain could not be more important. This change is an important step towards ensuring we have a strong legal basis for intervening in those schools where this is an issue.” Schools are legally required to actively promote ‘British Values’.
The five British Values that the government require schools to promote are:
The Rule of Law
Tolerance of those of different faiths and beliefs
Here at Walesby, as a Church of England School, we actively promote these values, as well as virtues and ethics that contribute towards shaping our pupils’ character and moral perspective through the teachings of the Church. We are confident that our RE and PSHCE curriculum give our pupils the necessary awareness of what it means to be a purposeful, considerate citizen in Britain today and to equip them with the tools for a successful and productive life in our multi-cultural, global society.
Through our RE and PSHCE curriculum, we are able to make real links between the values of our pupils and the lives of everyone in the local community, country and wider world. Throughout our 3-year planning cycles, we teach continuously about democracy, responsibilities, rules and laws, equality, values and beliefs, environmental awareness and understanding of other faiths and cultures.
Pupils at Walesby C of E Primary are made aware of the term ‘democracy’ and are encouraged to voice their opinions in a polite and respectful manner, whilst being mindful of differing opinions.
Communication is a key skill which runs throughout our curriculum. Pupils share their views, listen and support others, as well as constructively challenging opinions. They are also encouraged to reflect upon the impact of their words, choices and behaviours to one another.
Democracy in action in our school can be seen through:
electing school council members
Head Girl and Boy applications and the interview process
school council meetings and minutes
class debates and presentations
voting in talent shows
Locally and nationally, pupils are made aware of government elections, the build up to them and the formal procedures for voting. Discussions are held in class, through assembly and in collective worship, appropriate to the age of the children, based on any current affairs and issues.
The Rule of Law
Our children are taught to recognise that there are laws in the UK which they are expected to follow and that there are consequences for breaking the law. They are given the opportunity to explore and discuss the benefits of living in a law-abiding society and debate what life would be like without laws.
They are able to distinguish between how laws both govern and protect us as citizens. Visits from police, the fire service and the DARE programme enforce this message.
Evidence of the rule of law in action at our school:
class rules and behaviour systems which are set with the children at the start of the school year
‘The Walesby Way’ which all children are familiar with and follow in school, actively promoting law-abiding citizens; this continues to have a positive impact on behaviour and learning.
All staff, pupils and governors uphold the rules and follow guidelines.
Pupils have been introduced to the term ‘individual liberty’ and have discussed its meaning of having rights that they are able to exercise. These rights are valued and children realise that they have the right to say ‘no’ to ideas and activities that they believe to be wrong. We also impress upon the children the importance of reflecting upon their behaviours and the impact it has on other people. We stress at Walesby C of E that exercising your rights should never put anyone else in danger, or threaten them in any way – verbally or physically.
Pupils are encouraged to develop their independence in becoming good citizens, as well as co-operating with and supporting others. We involve children, through school council representatives, in funding raising and charitable events throughout the course of the year; this enables them to realise how they can make a positive contribution towards society. Non-uniform days support a range of charities – local and national – throughout the year.
Our curriculum aims to help children make informed choices; they are encouraged to know, understand and exercise their rights and personal freedoms and are advised on how to do this in a safe, appropriate way – for example through the teaching of e-safety.
Our school is underpinned by a Christian ethos and through the teaching of RE, PSHCE and SMSC our pupils are able to develop their self-esteem and confidence, recognise right from wrong, recognise the laws of the land and demonstrate these within their community. Pupils’ opinions are always valued and they are encouraged to express their thoughts freely and appropriately, whilst respecting the beliefs, cultures and religion of others.
Mutual Respect and Tolerance of those of Different Faiths and Beliefs
Our Christian ethos underpins mutual respect and tolerance of a multi-cultural society.
Pupils’ experiences about different faiths and beliefs are broadened through the teaching of RE, PSHCE and SMSC. Links are made between different religions, covering themes such as beliefs, practices, buildings and artefacts, tolerance and respect. Our assemblies explore different values within a Christian framework, yet linking beliefs and faiths of different cultures and places. Assemblies also address pertinent issues such as bullying, e-safety and child protection.
Pupils are able to recognise that discrimination in any form is unacceptable – work on ‘The Heartstone Odyssey’ and ‘Black History’ month have supported this, as well as assemblies on a variety of themes. Pupils understand the importance of equality and are introduced to the Equalities Act.
Our curriculum – supported by school visits and our links with our local Chuch - develops cultural appreciation, including aspects of British heritage such as local history (mining), art and music.
We also embrace the cultural heritage of our pupils and their families.
We pride ourselves at Walesby C of E Primary School in providing a wide range of opportunities for our children to have experiences outside of the classroom – all of which link into our broad and balanced curriculum.
Together, we love, learn and grow with God