British Values Statement
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.”
British values are promoted in so much of what we do, not least during our daily acts of Collective Worship and in our RE lessons, and even though areas covered by British values will at times be taught discretely through our Christian ethos and values they are woven through all that we do and as such are something we seek to live out in our day-to-day interactions.
As well as actively promoting British values as part of our Christian ethos, the opposite also applies: we would actively challenge children, staff or parents expressing opinions contrary to fundamental Christian and therefore British values, including ‘extremist’ views.
Below are just a few examples of how we promote British values. The first section is a general overview; the others are specific expectations set out by Ofsted.
Being part of Britain
As a school, we value and celebrate the heritages of everybody at our school. Alongside this, we value and celebrate being part of Britain. In general terms, this means that we celebrate traditions, such as customs in the course of the year; for example, Harvest festival during the Autumn term. We also value and celebrate national events, such as World Book day, Comic Relief, Children in Need, Jubilee celebrations, Olympics and so on.
Further, children learn about being part of Britain from different specific perspectives. Two specific examples of when we teach about being part of Britain are:
Geographically: Our Geography based topics ensures that children have a better understanding of what Britain is, learning more about:
its capital cities and counties, its rivers and mountains
how ‘ Great Britain ’ differs from ‘ England ’ and ‘the United Kingdom ’
where Britain is in relation to the rest of Europe and other countries in the world
Historically: Through our History based topics, which include British history. During the topics, children learn about different aspects life and how these has developed and changed over time.
Democracy: Children are taught about democracy from an early age at Tarporley CE Primary School. Children have the opportunity to have their voices heard through our School Parliament and Pupil Questionnaires and surveys. Each year, classes decide through an election who will represent them on the school Parliament and meetings are held throughout the year. The elections reflect our British electoral system and demonstrate democracy in action: candidates make speeches, children consider characteristics important for an elected representative, children vote in secret.
Children, parents and staff have many opportunities for their voices to be heard at Tarporley CE Primary. Democracy is central to how we operate.
Children are always listened to by adults and are taught to listen carefully and with concern to each other, respecting the right of every individual to have their opinions and voices heard. We encourage children to take ownership of not only their school but also of their own learning and progress. This encourages a heightened sense of both personal and social responsibility and is demonstrated on a daily basis by our children.
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.
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. These values are reinforced in different ways:
visits from authorities such as the police and fire service
during Religious Education, when rules for particular faiths are thought about
during other school subjects, where there is respect and appreciation for different rules – in a sports lesson, for example
We have a close relationship with the local PCSO who is a visible presence in our school community.
Individual Liberty: Within school, children are actively encouraged to make their own choices, knowing that they are in a safe and supportive environment. At Tarporley CE Primary School, we educate and provide boundaries for children to make choices safety, through of provision of a safe environment. Children 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, which was devised by the stakeholders in the school community, of ‘Inspire. Achieve. Enjoy. Together’ begins with the needs of the child and reaches out to the family and to the future. We want Tarporley CE Primary School to be a place where we all inspire a love of learning and respect for all. This is evident through all areas of our curriculum and school environment. Tarporley CE Primary School revolves around our Christian Values ‘LOVE, FRIENDSHIP, TRUST, HOPE, FORGIVENESS, JOY & CELEBRATION’ and children lead collective worship related to what they means and how it is shown. The school ethos and aims promote respect for others and this is reiterated through our Christian Values, as well as our behaviour policy.
Tolerance of those of Different Faiths and Beliefs: Our pupils know and understand that it is expected and imperative that respect is shown to everyone, whatever differences we may have, and to everything, whether it is a school resource, a religious belief or whatever. Children learn that their behaviour choices have an effect on their own rights and those of others. All members of the school community should treat each other with respect.
This is achieved through developing children 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 our annual anti-bullying week work. The children learn about the main faiths through following the Cheshire West and Chester scheme of work in Religious Education. 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.
Sadly, no school can guarantee that there will never be instances which are contrary to this value. At Tarporley CE Primary, such instances are extremely rare. They are treated seriously in line with our Behaviour and Anti-Bullying policies.
For those who would like to read about the reasoning behind the recent focus by the Government/Ofsted on British values please see the link below: