The Department for Education states that there is a 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 Department for Education defines British Values as follows:
– Respect for democracy and support or participation in the democratic process
– Respect for the basis on which the law is made and applies in England
– Support for equality of opportunity for all
– Support and respect for the liberties of all within the law
– Respect for and tolerance of different faiths and religious and other beliefs
It is important to make clear that we do not see these values as being solely ‘British’. In our view, ‘British Values’ can also be referred to as ‘Modern Values’.
We ensure that the fundamental Modern Values are introduced, discussed and lived out through the ethos and work of the school. All curriculum areas provide a vehicle for furthering understanding of these concepts and, in particular, RE, PSHE and Assemblies provide opportunities to deepen and develop understanding.
We encourage our children to be creative, unique, open-minded and independent individuals, respectful of themselves and of others in our school, our local community and the wider world. We aim to nurture our children on their journey through life so they can grow into safe, caring, democratic, responsible and tolerant adults who make a positive difference to society and to the world.
At Archibald First School, children’s awareness of democracy begins when they start with us.
They are encouraged to work together, take turns, share and negotiate outcomes in both learning and
play situations. The children demonstrate democracy through the showing of hands and, in addition, in Early Years the children have a Story Voting station.
Planet Protectors are elected from each class from Year 1 onwards whilst from year 2, our pupils are able to put themselves forward to stand as school councillors and art ambassadors at the beginning of each school year. Representing their classes, they take part in fundraising, choosing playground equipment and sharing the voices of their peers. In Key Stage 2, we also have language ambassadors.
Various pupil questionnaires are completed each year, and from these, action plans are devised.
Rule of Law
The importance of laws and rules for the class, the school and/or the country, are consistently reinforced throughout regular school days.
Our school rules and our core values are deeply embedded in our work every day. Rules and expectations are clear, fair and regularly promoted. Each class focuses on our rules to ensure that they are clearly understood by all and in turn that every class member is able to learn in a safe and ordered environment. Pupils are helped to distinguish right from wrong and helped to respect the law. They are taught the value and reasons behind laws/rules, that they govern and protect us, the responsibilities that this involves and the consequences when laws are broken.
Our Behaviour and Anti-Bullying policies are embedded across the school. We are committed to praising children’s efforts. Children are rewarded not only for achievement in curriculum areas, but also for behaviour. Rewards are given in the form of stickers, house points and certificates. Children’s achievements are also recognised during Celebration Assemblies.
Each half term children and staff nominate children to receive one of our Core Value Character Awards representing each of our character values.
Equality of Opportunity
Positive actions are fundamental in ensuring all stakeholders in our school have equal chance to achieve, participate and fulfil their roles in school and the wider community. Equality for all helps us to develop a sense of identity, social justice and to be successful as individuals, as a school and as a community.
We understand equity to mean treating everyone fairly and with dignity and by valuing their individual characteristics such as age, disability, sex, race, religion or belief, sexual orientation, gender reassignment, marriage and civil partnership, and pregnancy and maternity.
We further understand that people have different needs, situations and goals and some people may experience additional barriers and challenges.
Assemblies address issues involving prejudices and bullying. Our No Outsiders work supports our work on equality of opportunity. We invite charities into school such as Daft as a Brush, the NSPCC etc. We regularly support local food banks and children choose charitable and community projects to become involved with.
All children have equal access to the curriculum and we run a range of extra-curricular clubs available to all.
We invest a great deal of time in creating a positive culture in our school so that children feel that they are in a safe environment where choices and freedoms are encouraged. Through our values and PHSE curriculum, children are encouraged to build a positive sense of themselves, reflecting on their behaviour and achievements and the outcomes of choices that they have made and how these impact on others.
Pupils are empowered to make informed, safe, moral choices recognising not only their own right to liberty, but understanding that others have that right too. Assemblies regularly focus on the issues faced by others in our wider society, for example homelessness, refugees and victims of conflict.
Mutual Respect and Tolerance of those with different Faiths and Beliefs
Children are encouraged to treat others as they would wish to be treated themselves.
They learn how to be part of a community, manage their feelings and form relationships. The school has an ethos of inclusivity where different views, faiths and cultures are valued. We follow the Newcastle RE syllabus which gives the children the opportunity to learn about different faiths. We strongly believe that tolerance relies on understanding and we have interfaith and cultural events and visitors where
we give children the opportunity to explore the main ideas behind different religions and cultures as well as visit places of cultural and religious interest in the locality. School equally shares that not everyone may have a belief or a religion.
We are part of the E-Twinning community which gives the children chance to communicate and share learning with schools across Europe as well as develop understanding of different cultures.
Our Anti-Bullying week ensures that children are equipped to recognise their role in challenging bullying and antisocial behaviours.