The DfE has 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.
Throughout school life at Purwell School, we reinforce these values in the way the children learn and the way they behave around the school.
Democracy is a fundamental part of school life. Pupils have the opportunity to vote for whom they wish to represent them on the School Council. Elections for School Council representatives are carried out with a secret ballot. Older children are given the opportunity to put forward their views and present themselves as candidates. Pupils are encouraged to put forward ideas at weekly Pupil Voice sessions. Pupil Voice is enabled through these sessions, pupil interviews and pupil questionnaires. Within the classroom, pupils are encouraged to voice and share their opinions, as well as to listen to and respect the opinions of others.
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. Children are fully involved in the creation of class rules, and our Year 6 Playleaders and peer mediators have an important role in the smooth running of lunchtimes on the Key Stage 1 playground. This takes place through their monitor jobs, which not only give them a sense of responsibility, but also help them to understand the Rule of Law. Pupils 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 by the police and the fire brigade also reinforce this message.
Within school, pupils are actively encouraged to make choices, knowing that they are in a safe and supportive environment. As a school, we educate and provide boundaries for young pupils to make choices safely, through the provision of a safe environment and empowering education. 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 PSHE/SEAL lessons. (PSHE – Personal, Social and Health Education/SEAL – Social and Emotional Aspects of Learning). Whether it be through choice of challenge or participation in extra-curricular activities, pupils are given the freedom to make choices.
Respect for each other is an essential part of our ethos at Purwell School. Pupils have been part of discussions and assemblies relating to what this means and how it is shown. Pupils are constantly reminded about showing respect to pupils and adults, whoever they are, around the school. This is carried right through to lessons where they are taught to respect the opinions of classmates during talk partner and group work discussions, and when sharing their work with each other.
Tolerance of those of Different Faiths 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. Collective worship and discussions involving prejudices and prejudice-based bullying have been followed and supported by learning in RE and PSHE. The school has a high-profile vocabulary around our core values which remain at the heart of all we do and how we behave so pupils understand their responsibility in respecting others. Members of different faiths or religions are encouraged to share their knowledge to enhance learning within classes and the school. Visitors from different faiths and cultures are invited into our school to share facts, beliefs and rituals with our pupils. Our pupils have visited other places of worship.