In June 2014, David Cameron emphasised the role that British values play in education. How well a school promotes such values is also part of the Ofsted school inspection process. Ofsted defines fundamental British values as “democracy, the rule of law, individual liberty and mutual respect and tolerance of those with different faiths and beliefs”.
At Barrington Primary School, British values are promoted in much of what we do. During collective worship, Religious Education (RE) lessons, Personal , Social and Health Education (PSHE) lessons and through our topic studies of the world.
All these aspects of learning shape our ethos and values.
As well as actively promoting British values, the opposite also applies. We actively challenge children, staff or parents expressing opinions that are contrary to fundamental values including “extremist” views.
Being Part of Britain
We celebrate a pattern of traditions and festivals across the year eg. Harvest Festival, Remembrance Day, Easter, a range of Christmas celebrations.
Humanities topics such as:
- World War II
- The Seaside
- Homes and Habitats
- Mighty Mountains
- Anglo Saxons
…… enable our children to look at natural features of the British landscape, famous British people and aspects of British life both past and present
Democracy is embedded at the school. Pupils are always listened to by adults and are taught to listen carefully and with compassion, to each other, respecting the right of every individual to have their opinions and voices heard.
Pupils also have the opportunity to air their opinions and ideas through our School Council and regular questionnaires are carried out by members of the Governing Body to find out how children are feeling about life at school in general. The elections of the School Council members based on pupil votes, reflecting our British electoral system and demonstrating democracy in action. The School Council influence, challenge and change many aspects of school life and take an active role in monitoring school improvement.
Rules and Laws
The importance of rules and laws, whether they be those that govern our country or school are referred to and reinforced often. Our pupils are taught the value and reasons behind laws, that they govern and protect us, the responsibilities that this involves and the consequences when rules and laws are broken and enables them to understand right from wrong.
Each class decides on its own rules to ensure their room is a happy, respectful, constructive and safe place in which to learn. Class rules and school rules ensure a safe and orderly work place. Roles of responsibility enable the children to reflect on how to make a contribution and our behaviour expectations challenge the children to consistently make positive behaviour choices.
Recent learning topics and collective worship themes, such as:
- Forest Schools
- Keeping healthy
- Science Week
- Stibbington residential trip….
support the children’s understanding of the importance of shaping communities by rules and laws.
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 our pupils to make choices safely, through the provision of a safe environment and an empowering education. Our pupils are encouraged to know, understand and exercise their rights and personal freedoms and are advised how to exercise these safely; examples of this can be clearly seen in our e-safety and P.S.H.E. lessons. Whether it is through choice of challenge; of how they record; of participation in extra- curricular activities; our pupils are given the freedom to make choices. All adults within our school community pro-actively build trusting, respectful relationships with all children to boost self-esteem and enable children to confidently make good choices.
Mutual respect and tolerance of those with different faiths and beliefs
Our school community does not reflect a wide cultural diversity which makes such learning opportunities and experiences even more important in preparation for later life and in understanding the cultural diversity of British society. Mutual respect is at the heart of our ethos and values. Our children know and understand that our expectation is the appreciation and respect of difference in all its forms.
The children develop understanding of the richness and diversity of differing cultures through:
- RE – the beliefs, festivals and celebrations of Christianity, Hinduism, Sikhism etc.
- PSHE – understanding community
- English fiction and non-fiction texts
- Art stimuli
- Famous people from across the globe eg. Nelson Mandela
- Theme weeks – learning about a major world event eg. Olympics, Commonwealth Games, Life in a different country/continent, Natural wonders of the world
- School trips to places of worship
- Through meeting members of the community and through conforming to social expectations in different settings.