In November 2014, the Department of Education 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 and these values have been reiterated by the Prime Minister this year. At Colville Primary School, these values are reinforced regularly and in the following ways:
Democracy is fully integrated within Colville Primary School. Both pupil and parent/carer voices play a central part in developing school improvement priorities. We actively encourage children and parents to have a voice and share their views and opinions regularly. Every September, children are elected by their peers by secret ballot to represent their class as Pupil Councillors. The school community engages well with this process and has great respect for the outcomes. The council meets regularly and takes the ideas from the meeting back to their classes for discussion. These election processes reflect our British electoral system and demonstrate democracy in action. We organise visits to the House of Commons and have had our Member of Parliament visit to talk about their role.
Every child also contributes their ideas to the creation of a class/teacher agreement. This sets ground rules for classroom conduct and establishes the standards of behaviour that children can expect from each other and their teacher over the year ahead. Governors also talk regularly to children to establish their views as a way of ensuring that school self-evaluation is robust and accurate, and therefore effective in moving the school forward.
The Rule of Law
Children are taught to understand:
- the value and need for laws
- that they are there for individual protection
- the responsibilities that are required of them as citizens
- the consequences when laws are broken.
Children are taught that the freedom to hold other faiths and beliefs is protected in law. Assemblies and discussions in class focus on recognising right from wrong. Children have to abide by school rules on a daily basis and these are supported by the home-school agreement. Children play by rules when representing the school at sporting events and workshops that they attend out of school. Children and staff follow the Behaviour and Discipline Policy and clearly understand the rewards and sanctions that are used. Consequences, in line with the school’s Behaviour and Discipline Policy, remind children that breaking the rules may impact on themselves and others. We organise visits to/from our local Police and Fire Service to reinforce this.
Within school, children are actively encouraged to make choices and decisions, knowing that they are in a safe and supportive environment. Children are taught to understand their personal freedoms and how to use their rights to best effect in order to ensure they make choices in a safe manner (via Online Safety and PSHCE lessons). Through challenges in the classroom, participation in extra-curricular clubs and other opportunities to be on various school committees, pupils are given the freedom to make choices.
Children learn that their behaviour has an effect on their own rights and those of others. All members of the school community are expected to treat each other with respect. At Colville, our first and foremost core value is respect. This underpins the Colville Code and is embedded across the school and modelled by all the staff including the leadership team.
Developing Tolerance and Understanding (Different Faiths and Beliefs)
We are a diverse school and actively promote this diversity through our celebrations of different faiths and cultures. Religious Education/PSHCE lessons and assemblies reinforce messages of tolerance, empathy and respect for others. The children visit places of worship that are important to different faiths. Children learn about the beliefs and practices of people of the following world faiths; Judaism, Sikhism, Hinduism, Buddhism and Islam whilst at Colville. Furthermore, they are taught that some people may choose to be agnostic, humanist or atheist.
At Colville we actively challenge children, staff or parents expressing opinions contrary to fundamental British and Human Values, including those expressing ‘extremist or extreme’ views.