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. At Castlecroft, these values are reinforced regularly and in the following ways.
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 has been able to genuinely implement change around school such as choosing equipment on the playground, deciding which charities we should raise money for and organising fundraising days.
The two members for each year group are voted for by their class.
The elections of House captains are based on pupil votes.
Each year the children decide upon their class rules and the rights associated with them.
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. Pupils are taught the value and reasons behind laws, that they govern and protect us, the responsibilities that this involves and the consequences when these are broken. Our school rules are promoted daily in class and through assemblies including Good Work Assembly.
Through self-assessment pupils are encouraged to express individual opinions on learning.
Visits from authorities such as the Police and Fire Service are regular parts of our calendar and help reinforce these messages.
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 safely, through provision of a safe environment and empowering education. Pupils are encouraged to know, understand and exercise their right and personal freedoms and advised how to exercise these safely, for example through our E-safety and PSHE lessons. Pupils are given the freedom to make choices whether it be through choosing the level of challenge in some lessons, choosing how they record work or deciding which extra-curricular clubs to attend. Children are encouraged to reflect on the sacrifice people have made to preserve our individual liberty during remembrance week and members of the school council have represented the school leaving messages from the children on Remembrance Day at a local cemetery.
At Castlecroft, mutual 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. The schools special rule is to ‘always treat others as would like them to treat you.’
School Council organise a Friendship Week in February. We have a well established Peer Mediator System which operates on the Junior and Infant playground promoting positive role models and mutual respect.
Social, Emotional Aspects of Learning are taught across all year groups as part of the PSHE Castlecroft Primary School Promoting British Values curriculum. Involvement in PSHE intervention groups has promoted independence, resilience and team work.
Tolerance of those of Different Faiths and Beliefs
This is achieved through enhancing pupils understanding of their place in a culturally diverse society and by giving them opportunities to experience such diversity. Assemblies are regularly planned to address this issue either directly or through the inclusion of stories and celebrations from a variety of faiths and cultures. Children are encouraged to discuss issues that arise relating to tolerance of background and culture with staff who provide support and direction.
Our RE scheme encourages children to think more deeply about their own and others faiths. More open ended questions about different religions are used to make children think more deeply and make comparisons between them.
Members of different faiths or religions are encouraged to share their knowledge to enhance learning within classes and the school. We also use opportunities such as The Olympics or The World Cup to learn about different cultures and there are enrichment days that further deepen the children’s understanding for example Bhangra dancing. This is used as a fun way of finding out about different customs from around the world.