The Department of Education 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. At Stokesay Primary School the fundamental British values of “democracy, the rule of law, individual liberty and mutual respect and tolerance of those with different faiths and beliefs” are reinforced regularly and in the following ways:
Our children are actively encouraged to have a strong voice and share their views and opinions regularly, in lessons, assemblies and in Class and School Council. Ideas from pupils form part of our school development plan and inform special days (ie. Themes for non-uniform days). Linked to the May 2015 general election, we held an election week across school. A secret ballot was held and the results were announced in a special assembly and celebrated in the newsletter.
Our children also take the lead in: Break Buddies at break and lunchtime, pupil librarians, as well as involvement in Rotary Club and deciding what charities we support. Every Summer, the children plan and deliver a ‘party on the playground’ to raise money for charity. The children also complete an annual questionnaire giving their views on the school and their views are responded to and acted on.
Governors and school leaders also talk regularly to children, in order to ensure that school self-evaluation is robust and accurate, and therefore moving the school forward.
'Pupils2Parliament' has been given permission by both Houses of Parliament to use the term 'parliament' in its title. We have worked with Dr Roger Morgan (former Children's Commissioner), to give our pupils a real voice in UK democracy. They discuss current issues before parliament and give their views. Pupils2Parliament then sends these views in a report to Parliament.
Please click here for an example of a topic that our Y5 and Y6 pupils were involved in ("Sugar Levy", October 2016).
Please click here for another ("Flying Drones Laws", Spring 2017)
ALSO - please click here for a Facebook post, showing how our involvement in "Pupils2Parliament" has been shared with the wider school community (2016/17)
July 2017: The MP for Schools Standards (Nick Gibb, MP), asked for a personal copy of our latest report (on changes to SATs). Very exciting!
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 the school day, as well as when dealing with behaviour and through school assemblies. Behaviour is a central focus of every ‘Monday’ assembly, where improved behaviour is celebrated. This also happened on Fridays, with parents present. 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. Our schools rules, rewards and sanctions are clear and understood by all, as an example of this . Regular visits from authorities such as the Police (ie PCSO Dave Baron, who is also on our Safer School Committee) or the Fire Service help reinforce this message.
Within school, children are actively encouraged to make decisions and choices, knowing that they are in a safe and supportive environment. As a school we educate and provide boundaries for young children to take risks and make choices safely. Children are encouraged to know, understand and exercise their rights and personal freedoms and advised how to exercise these safely, for example through our E-Safety and PSHE lessons. Whether it be through choice of learning challenge, how they record their learning, participation in one of our extra-curricular clubs and opportunities, children are given the freedom to make choices and make decisions. Reflection books are completed by KS1 and KS2 pupils following assemblies and in PSHE to allow pupils chance to reflect deeply on what they have heard.
Mutual respect is at the heart of all that we do. Adults model the behaviour they expect from all children. Children learn that their behaviours have an effect on their own rights and those of others. All members of the school community treat each other with respect.
Tolerance of Those of Different Faiths and Beliefs
We are increasingly a culturally diverse community in school and we place a great emphasis on promoting diversity with the children. Assemblies and visitors address this either directly or through the inclusion of stories and celebrations from a variety of faiths and cultures. Our RE and PSHE teaching reinforces this, with children exploring major world faiths. Members of all faiths or religions are encouraged to share their knowledge to enhance learning within classes and the school.
At Stokesay Primary School we will actively challenge children, staff or parents expressing opinions contrary to fundamental British Values, including those expressing ‘extremist’ views, and treat them seriously, in line with Child Protection procedures. Staff and governors have received training and relevant teaching taken from www.preventforschools.com are included in each Key Stage’s PSHE curriculum also. In addition, information on our approach to this have been shared with parents, and are noted on our website under Safeguarding.
Preventing Radicalisation and Extremism
Radicalisation is defined as “the act or process of making a person more radical or favouring of extreme or fundamental changes in political, economic or social conditions, institutions or habits of the mind”.
Extremism is defined as “the holding of extreme political or religious views”.
We have a zero tolerance approach to extremist behaviour for all school community members. We rely on our strong values to steer our work and ensure the pastoral care of our children protects them from exposure to negative influences. A separate policy exists on this and can be found on our website.
We are fully committed to safeguarding and promoting the welfare of all children. As a school we recognise that safeguarding against radicalisation is no different from safeguarding against any other vulnerability. All staff, governors and children uphold and promote the fundamental principles of British values, including democracy, the rule of law, individual liberty and mutual respect, and tolerance of those with different faiths and beliefs.