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 this year (2014). At Netherton Moss these values are reinforced regularly and in the following ways:
At Netherton Moss we have a democratic approach to many aspects of school life. Each year the children decide upon their class charter and the rewards & sanctions associated with these. All the children contribute to the drawing up of the charter and sign to show their allegiance.
Children have many opportunities for their voices to be heard. We have a school council which meets regularly to discuss issues raised in class council meetings. The council meet regularly and have a direct impact on events in school. There are two school councillors from each Y2 to Y6, and they are ‘elected’ by their class members.
Children are given questionnaires and are asked their opinions on a regular basis. We use current events, such as the recent Scottish Independence vote and the upcoming General Election, to explore democracy in the UK.
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. Children 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. The children and staff decide on rewards and sanctions within their classes, and our school behaviour policy has clear sanctions that operate on a whole school level.
Within school, children 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 provision of a safe environment and empowering education. Children 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.
Respect is at the heart of our values. Children learn that their behaviours have an effect on their own rights and those of others. All members of the school community treat each other with respect. We encourage the children to show respect and understanding of other cultures, heritages & points of view, within home, school and the wider world, as well as the need to care for our environment.
Tolerance of those of Different Faiths and Beliefs
Netherton Moss is situated in an area which is not greatly culturally diverse; therefore we place a great emphasis on promoting diversity with the children. Assemblies and lessons are regularly planned to address this issue either directly or through the inclusion of stories and celebrations from a variety of faiths and cultures. Our RE and PSHE teaching reinforce this. Our ‘friendship’ value encourages children to be kind and friendly to others within school and the community, as well as encouraging co-operation and developing positive relationships.
At Netherton Moss we will actively challenge pupils, staff or parents expressing opinions contrary to fundamental British Values, including ‘extremist’ views.