The DfE have 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. At Smallthorne Primary Academy these values are reinforced regularly and in the following ways:
The school council meet regularly to discuss ideas and issue which are usually forwarded to the Deputy Head or the Head teacher. As a result of school council meetings, equipment has been purchased; e.g. an outdoor storage shed for playground equipment and pupils from KS2 act as ‘buddy readers’ to younger pupils. Representatives from the school attended the opening of the CLT Sixth Form College and had the opportunity to ask questions to ‘The Speaker of The House’. Year 6 pupils took part in a debate about ‘Sustainability in Education’ with other pupils from a number of other schools within the CLT. Teachers regularly provide pupils with the opportunity to ‘vote’ for example, pupils in then nursery vote on the names given to the chicks who visit the classroom in the spring term. In addition to this, children complete an annual questionnaire where they are able to put forward their views about the school.
The importance of laws, whether they are those that govern the class, the school, or the country, is consistently reinforced at Smallthorne Primary Academy. Pupils are taught from an early age the rules of the academy. Pupils are taught the value and reasons behind rules and 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 help reinforce this message. ‘Rules’, ‘Right are Wrong’ and ‘Laws’ are taught and embedded as part of the academy’s PSHCE scheme of work which is delivered throughout the whole academy.
At Smallthorne Primary Academy, pupils are actively encouraged to make choices, knowing that they are in a safe and supportive environment. As an academy we educate and provide boundaries for young pupils to make informed choices, through a safe environment and an empowering education. Pupils are given the freedom to make choices, for example, whether it is through choice of challenge, or simply by choosing to participate in our numerous extra-curricular clubs and opportunities. Our challenge homework projects allow children to partake in activities that interest them and present them in interesting ways.
Part of our academy ethos and behaviour policy has revolved around Core Values such as ‘Respect’, and pupils have been part of discussions and assemblies related to what this means and how it is shown. The school ethos and aims promote respect for others and this is reiterated through our classroom and Golden Rules, as well as our behaviour policy. Bullying has been an area whereby the academy has placed a strong focus and provided children with a variety of assemblies and workshops to help them to reflect upon and understand the impact of bullying others.
At Smallthorne Primary Academy, we actively promote diversity through our celebrations of different faiths and cultures each half term. Religious Education lessons and PSHE lessons reinforce messages of tolerance and respect for others. We have a growing number of religions represent within our pupil cohort which enriches the experiences and knowledge of all children. We have strong links with local churches and continue to further develop our links with representatives of other faiths and their places of worship.