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. At Latchford St James CE Primary School, these values have always been, and continue to be shared and lived out by our staff and children. We have found this approach teaches tolerance and respect for the differences in our community and the wider world, for everyone in the school community. They are reinforced regularly in the following ways:
The principles of democracy are embedded in a variety of ways across our school. Pupils have the opportunity to have their voices heard through our School Ambassadors and an annual pupil questionnaire. The elections of school counselors are based solely on pupil votes and the democratic process is shared explicitly with the children. We also hold democratic elections for the Ethos Council. Each of our councils meet regularly and operate in a very democratic and transparent way, furthermore, they impact on school life in a very real and tangible way. The town Major, local councilors, local magistrates and our PCSO’s are regular visitors in school. The origins of our democratic system are taught explicitly in history and democratic process and the rule of law studied in detail in KS2, complemented by a visit to Westminster Palace.
The Rule of Law
The importances of Laws, whether they are those that govern the class, the school, or the country, are consistently reinforced at Latchford St James, particularly when dealing with behaviour and through school worship. 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. Our school rules are shared and referred to regularly and their role in strengthening our school society made explicit. Visits from authorities including our emergency services are regular parts of our school calendar and help 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 young pupils to make choices safety, through a safe environment and empowering education. Pupils are encouraged to know, understand and exercise their rights and personal freedoms and are advised how to exercise these safely, for example through our E-Safety and PSHE days. Whether it is through choice of challenge, of how they record, of partaking in our many extra-curricular clubs and opportunities, pupils are given the freedom to make choices. At Latchford St James, pupils are encouraged to take ownership of their own learning and are encouraged to be safe and supportive of their classmates.
Our topics are driven by pupil voice. At the beginning of a topic, children generate questions that determine what and how they will learn. They also have opportunities to think about, discuss and develop a response to difficult and sometimes controversial issues through our philosophy for children program, P4C.
Our school ethos, worship and behaviour policy has at their core values such as ‘Respect’, (see appendix 1). Discussions and assemblies are held, related to this value and what this means and how it is shown. All members of the school community treat each other with respect. Respect is reiterated through our classroom and learning rules, as well as in our behaviour policy. Children learn that their behaviours have an effect on their own rights and those of others. Our Christian values are explored in worship and in class discussion and children rewarded for living by our values.
Tolerance, Friendship and Understanding of Those of Different Faiths and Beliefs
At Latchford St James we actively promote and celebrate diversity through our celebrations of different faiths and cultures during curriculum time and regular worship. RE lessons and PHSE lessons reinforce messages of tolerance and respect for others. We explore, in depth, different faiths through RE lessons and our annual ‘Faith Week’. By the time our children move on to high school, they will have become ‘experts’ on each world faith, met followers of that faith and visited places of worship belonging to each faith. Our commitment to diversity, harmony and fellowship is unequivocal.
|Our Shared Values|
|July||Service and Thankfulness|
|All staff worked with Governors to define our values as a Christian school. These will be shared with the whole school community through worship and communicated to families in newsletters and on our website. It was agreed that these values will permeate all we do: our teaching and learning; our relationships with colleagues and the community we serve. The values in brackets are supplementary to the main value identified and will be addressed alongside. September 2015.|