PROMOTING BRITISH VALUES
The 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 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 The Gattons Infant School we define these British values as:
• Democracy - the respect for democracy and support for participation in the democratic process.
• The rule of law – the respect for the basis on which law is made and applies in England
• Support for equality of opportunity for all
• Individual liberty – support and respect for the liberties of all within the law
• Mutual respect and tolerance of those of different faiths and beliefs.
At The Gattons Infant School we actively promote values and ethics that shape our pupils’ characters and moral perspectives. We are a Rights Respecting School which ensures the culture, values and day to day relationships of the school are understood, accepted and appreciated as an integral part of our organisation.
Democracy underpins the values of the school. All children are treated fairly and have an equal right to express their views and be listened to. Pupil Voice is an important aspect of our provision, ensuring children have the opportunity to be heard through the school and class councils, the Rainbow School Council and Playground Buddies. Members of these groups are democratically elected by their class peers providing experience in democratic elections. Annual pupil questionnaires provide children with opportunities to voice their opinions about a range of topics. The children self-evaluate some learning journeys. Children are also encouraged to engage in the learning process by developing independence, voicing opinions and ideas, making choices and responding to teachers marking. Staff regularly discuss learning journeys with the children so that they have a say in their learning.
The Rule of Law
Children are clear about their rights and the rights of others. We ensure children are able to distinguish right from wrong in a wide range of situations both in the school and the community. 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. Visits from authorities such as the police and fire service are regular parts of our PSHE provision and help to reinforce this message.
Within the school, pupils are actively encouraged to make choices, knowing they are in a safe and supportive environment. As a school our aim is to empower children to make safe choices through the provision of boundaries and a safe environment. Children are encouraged to know, understand and exercise their rights and personal freedoms and are advised how to exercise these safely, for example, through our E-Safety and PSHE lessons. Children learn about the importance of rights through the UNICEF Rights Respecting Schools agenda.
Our aims and values include the importance of respect which is clearly demonstrated throughout the school. School charters, discussions and assemblies promote and explore respect for self and others which is reinforced in our behaviour policy. Children thoroughly enjoy lessons and are active learners who display very good behaviour because they understand the right of all children to learn and thrive in an atmosphere of mutual respect. Children are expected to treat the views and opinions of others with respect even if they differ from their own.
Tolerance of those with different faiths or beliefs
All staff are committed to developing the language children need to express their views, emotions and feelings so they are able to negotiate and resolve disagreements peacefully. We actively seek opportunities to enhance children’s understanding of their place in a culturally diverse society by providing real life experiences in their learning journey, for example, visiting shops, restaurants, the local Church, role play and class based activities. Through assemblies, RE lessons, Understanding the World activities and discussions involving prejudices and prejudiced based bullying, children are supported in their learning about diversity, respect and tolerance.