The DfE have recently highlighted 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. At Sandiway Primary School these values are reinforced regularly and in the following ways:
Democracy: Children are taught about democracy from an early age at Sandiway Primary School. Pupils have the opportunity to have their voices heard through our School Council and Pupil Questionnaires and surveys. Each year, classes decide through an election who will represent them on the school council and meetings are held throughout the year. In 2015, the oldest children in the school looked into the voting system and visited the local polling station to coincide with the general election.
The Rule of Law: The importance of Laws, whether they be those that govern individual classes, our school, or the country, are reinforced throughout the day in school and children have an input into the school’s behaviour policy. The school has a clear set of values that are have been agreed by the staff and children. Working within these values is celebrated every week as part of school life. 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 have a close relationship with the local PCSO who is a visible presence in our school community. The School’s Values are displayed in every classroom across the school and are understood by all adults and children.
Individual Liberty: Within school, pupils are actively encouraged to make their own choices, knowing that they are in a safe and supportive environment. At Sandiway Primary School, we educate and provide boundaries for pupils to make choices safety, through of provision of a safe environment. Pupils are encouraged to know, understand and exercise their rights and we teach children how to exercise these safely, for example through our Online Safety and PSHE/Citizenship lessons. In all aspects of the children’s learning, they are given the freedom to make choices.
Mutual Respect: Our school mission, that was devised by the stakeholders in the school community, states that “together…we welcome…all” and this is evident through all areas of our curriculum and school environment. Sandiway Primary School revolves 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 School Values, as well as our behaviour policy.
Tolerance of those of Different Faiths and Beliefs: This is achieved through developing 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 PSHE/Citizenship as well as the annual anti-bullying week work in November. The children learn about the main faiths through following the Cheshire West and Chester scheme of work in Religious Education (see website for details). Children are encouraged to learn about other religions and cultures through all areas of the curriculum such as history where we focus on beliefs of different civilisations. Social, Moral, Spiritual and Cultural education (SMSC) is actively reflected in all areas of school life.