Promoting British values at Sandridge Primary School
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, and these values have been reiterated by the Prime Minister this year.
Democracy is widespread within Sandridge School; pupils have the opportunity to have their voices heard through our School Council and pupil questionnaires. The elections of House Captains, School Council and School Representatives are based solely on pupil votes. Children are given the opportunity to debate and discuss in many areas of the curriculum. Opportunities for all pupils to have their say can be seen particularly in Religious Education, English and PSCHE; although all subjects will involve discussion, turn taking, debate and decision making.
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 assemblies. The school’s behaviour policy is shared through the school’s fair rules. At the start of the school year pupils generate a class charter which reinforces the expectations and consequences.
Children at Sandridge know they have the freedom to make choices. The school’s safe and supportive environment encourages pupils to make choices and use initiative supporting their own interests; pupils have raised money for their chosen charity by running an event. As a school we provide boundaries for young pupils to make choices safely. Pupils are encouraged to know, understand and exercise their rights and personal freedoms and advise how to exercise these safely, for example through our E Safety and PSCHE lessons. The headteacher is responsible for E-Safety across the school and ran safety awareness through the Spring term during whole school assembly. The school Council chose to donate funds from the talent show they were organising to the headteacher’s London Marathon 2015 charity Blind Children UK. The School Council also organised a healthy snack stall which runs twice a week at break times – selling fruit and veg and other healthy snacks.
Part of our school ethos and behaviour policy has revolved around Core Values such as “Respect”, and pupils have been part of discussions and assemblies related to what this means and how it is shown. Posters around the school promote respect for others and this is reiterated through our classroom and learning rules, as well as our behaviour policy. Our celebration of different cultures through our international links work and faiths through our teaching of Religious Education, our links to the local church re-enforce this aspect of British Values.
Tolerance of those of Different Faith 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 and discussions involving prejudices and prejudice- based bullying have been followed and supported by learning in RE and PSHE and poetry in English. Members of different faiths and religions are encouraged to share their knowledge to enhance learning within classes and the school. Our work on International links has been hugely successful. Our international food week saw the coming together of many different cultures as we celebrated Hungarian, Portuguese Lithuanian, Spanish, French, Polish, Australian Greek and Italian cuisine at our school. Children were invited to try new foods and our new international parents were able to meet in a welcoming community.