The Department for Education (DFE) have 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’s definition of British values is set out in the 2011 Prevent Strategy; in 2014, it became statutory to publish how these are promoted in each school.
At Templemoor Infant and Nursery School British values are reinforced through high quality teaching, a rounded programme of assemblies, a broad and balanced curriculum and a positive Rights Respecting Behaviour Policy. Fundamental British values are also taught and embedded through our Personal, Social and Health Education curriculum, wellbeing programs and through our Rights Respecting work. This gives children opportunities to develop and demonstrate skills and attitudes that will allow them to participate fully in and contribute positively to life in modern Britain.
Democracy underpins the values of our school. All children are treated fairly and have an equal right to express their views and to be listened to. The children learn about democracy in a range of contexts, which are meaningful to them. Children have the opportunity to have their voices heard through our School Council, Rights Respecting School Council, Pupil Conferencing and Pupil Surveys, where they are encouraged to express their views freely. Members of the School Council and Rights Respecting School Council are elected democratically by their classmates in a yearly ballot which introduces them to the principal of democratic elections. Both Councils have been involved in such things as promoting the voice of the child, fund raising ideas, planning school events and supporting environmental issues and local issues, such as the rise in homelessness.
Children learn about the importance of democracy within assemblies and within curriculum areas such as history and PHSE. Children have the opportunity to take part in class debates which focus on a range of topics.
Rule of Law
From entry to school, children are continually taught to recognise the difference between right and wrong and this, alongside their developing maturity, helps them to apply their understanding of these concepts in their daily lives.
We have a strong and positive Rights Respecting Behaviour Policy. Through this we consistently promote our high expectations of all. Children work alongside their class teacher to create their own Class Charter. Everyone is expected to follow our school rules. Children are taught the reasons behind school rules, taught the importance of observing our rules and what the consequences will be should they forget to follow any of the rules. The rewards for good behaviour and sanctions for unacceptable behaviour are reinforced regularly with the children.
Within our school, children are actively encouraged to make choices, knowing that they are in a safe and supportive environment. Through the provision of a clear context for learning, and a framework of expectations, boundaries are provided, within which the children are safe and empowered to make choices. Through our PHSE and Rights Respecting sessions we discuss different choices that the children can make and encourage them to make the right choices. Our Rights Respecting Behaviour Policy also gives an excellent forum for staff to discuss the choices that children make about their behaviour in school. Children are given opportunities to resolve conflicts effectively and fairly.
Children are respected as individuals, and are encouraged to know, understand and exercise their rights and personal freedoms and advised how to exercise these safely, for example through e-safety lessons.
Throughout each day children have the opportunity to make choices – for example, the games they choose to play and the options to take on additional responsibilities such as being a Register Monitor or class helper.
Our whole school ethos is built around mutual respect and we believe that respect for others is a vital component of moral development. We are an inclusive school where it is acknowledged that everyone is valued and has a contribution to make to the school. Children learn that their behaviours have an effect on their own rights and those of others.
We encourage open discussions in all areas but particularly in lessons which promote citizenship such as PSHE. Through our Rights Respecting work, staff help children to understand how to respect by talking about how actions/words can affect others.
We actively support all children to develop their own reasoned views about moral and ethical issues through our topic work on themes such as the Brazilian Rainforests and the environment in our local area.
Our community involvement, such as collecting food donations for the Sale Food Bank and local charitable work for Francis House, The Wood Street Mission, as well as global charities such as UNICEF enables children to show respect and generosity to others outside our school community.
The vast majority of the school community treat each other with respect.
Tolerance of those of different Faiths and Beliefs
We value the diverse ethnic backgrounds of all pupils and families and undertake a variety of events and lessons to celebrate these. We have found this approach to be enriching for all parties as it teaches tolerance and respect for the differences in our community and the wider world.
Assemblies are planned to give children the opportunity to reflect on a variety of beliefs, cultures and moral values. Our curriculum incorporates teaching and learning opportunities for children to explore aspects of the wider world and an appreciation of cultural diversity as in for example – Festivals, Divali and Chinese New Year. The RE curriculum is also carefully planned to equip children with the knowledge which will enable them to understand the diverse nature of peoples beliefs. We help children to understand, accept, respect and celebrate diversity.
At Templemoor Infant and Nursery School we will actively challenge children, staff or parents expressing opinions contrary to fundamental British Values, including 'extremist' views.
Preparing children for Life in Modern Britain
At Templemoor Infant and Nursery School we take very seriously our responsibility to prepare children for life in modern Britain. We ensure that the fundamental British 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 our RE and PSHE lessons provide excellent opportunities to deepen and develop understanding. Children embrace these concepts with enthusiasm and demonstrate a good understanding of their application in their own lives.
The school makes considerable efforts to ensure children have exposure to a wide experience in and beyond their local community during which these concepts are shown, through for example a range of visits and visitors, school events such as raising money for Made With Hope and our community involvement, such as taking part in the Sale Scarecrow Challenge. Their strong rooted values-based understanding gives our children an excellent platform for embracing differences.