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 South Hylton Primary Academy these values are reinforced regularly and in the following ways:
We seek to ensure that all pupils experience and gain an understanding of Democracy through concrete learning opportunities. For example we have an established Student Council in school. Pupils are regularly consulted as to their views and opinions through school council members, meetings, school assemblies and individually through pupil questionnaires. One example of listening and acting on the views of pupil was the introduction of our ‘Playground Buddies’ to ensure that breaks were happy occasions where children respected the rights of each other to be safe and secure and free from the threat of any sort of unkind behaviour. As a school we consistently, through our wall displays, school assemblies and individual classes, stress the ‘rights’ of other groups and communities in school.
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 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. We invite speakers from the community, including the police, into school to 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 all pupils to make choices safety, through the 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 our E-Safety, SEAL’s, Philosophy for children and PSHCE lessons. Whether it is through choice of challenge, of how they record, of participation in our numerous extra-curricular clubs and opportunities, pupils are given the freedom to make choices.
At South Hylton Primary Academy we take the obligation of mutual respect for others within the school, the local and wider community seriously. One of our priorities in this work is to ensure that all pupils, cultures and faiths are recognised and respected within our school. Our school ethos and Behaviour policy takes the core value of ‘Respect’ as a key starting point. Throughout the school year teachers and adults model this key value and discuss topics of respect through our class discussions and school assembly. Displays throughout the school emphasise the key aspects of what we believe and conversations with the pupils confirm their firm understanding of his concept.
Tolerance of those of Different Faiths and Beliefs
An integral part of or RE curriculum is that of encompassing other faith 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. Assemblies and discussions involving prejudices and prejudice-based bullying have been followed and supported by learning in RE and PSHCE. Members of different faiths or religions are encouraged to share their knowledge to enhance learning within classes and the school.