The Department for Education state that there is a 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 were reiterated by the Prime Minister in 2014. At Richard Avenue Primary School, these values are also integral to our vision and values. As well as actively promoting British values, the opposite also applies: we would actively challenge pupils, staff or parents expressing opinions contrary to fundamental British values, including ‘extremist’ views.
Below are just a few examples of how we promote British values:
Democracy is central to how Richard Avenue Primary School operates, so it is fundamental that children, parents and staff are given opportunities for their voices to be heard. We embed this in many different ways:
- Parent surveys/questionnaires are conducted at the end of the year. Parents are encouraged to identify what the school is doing well in, and how we can improve further. We value and take on board all suggestions and aim to address these.
- Taking into consideration the pupils’ views, the School Council is formed. Children who want to be considered as candidates for the School Council nominate themselves. They then express to their peers why they would be a good class councillor. The rest of the class then vote for their chosen counsellor to represent the class at our regular school council meetings. Our School Council represents the views of all our pupils. It gives children the opportunity to make their voices heard and feel part of the whole school community.
- At the beginning of each school year, pupils discuss the importance of rules and why we have them. They contribute towards drawing up the Class Rules which are displayed in each class.
- Children were given the opportunity to share ideas and give their opinions on the new playground equipment (MUGA and exercise equipment). The children helped decide on the rules, and then evaluated these after a trial period. These playground rules are now displayed next to the equipment.
- Annual pupil questionnaires where pupils are given an opportunity to put forward their views about the school. The school aims to address the views/suggestions made by pupils the following academic year.
The Rule of Law
Throughout the year, the importance of laws, whether they be those that govern the class, the school or the country, are continuously and consistently reinforced by all members of Richard Avenue staff. We believe that it is vital that 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. We address the Rule of Law in several ways:
- Class Rules. At the start of the year, each class discuss and agree on their own Class Rules, which are understood by pupils. The rules are displayed in the classroom and are referred to continuously to ensure that all pupils are able to learn in a happy, safe and secure environment.
- Visits from authorities such as the Police and Fire Service who reinforce this message. The Police also discuss key issues such as racism, e-Safety and litter.
- During Religious Education, where rules for particular faiths are looked at and discussed.
- Subjects like PSHCE where there is respect and appreciation for different rules.
Individual Liberty is taught alongside the Rule of Law at Richard Avenue. We promote freedom of choice and the right to respectfully express views and beliefs. Providing a safe, supportive environment and empowering education, we aim to provide boundaries for our pupils to make choices safely.
- Choices around the participation in extra-curricular activities
- Choices about how they record their learning
- Choices about what learning challenge or activity to do
- Choices about what activities to do during play and lunch time sessions
- We study historical examples of when individual liberty was violated, and use this to reinforce the importance of Human Rights. For example, Nelson Mandela Day, Black History Month.
During our PSHCE lessons, pupils are encouraged to know, understand and exercise their rights and personal freedoms, and are advised and taught how to exercise these safely.
Mutual Respect and Tolerance of those of Different Faiths and Beliefs
Being proud and appreciative of our pupils coming from many different backgrounds and beliefs, tolerance, politeness and mutual respect are at the heart of our aims and ethos. We pride ourselves in educating our pupils to know and understand that everyone should be treated with respect regardless of any differences we may have. This is constantly reinforced throughout the curriculum. Children learn that their behaviour choices have an effect on their own rights and those of others. All members of the school community should treat each other with respect.
Below are specific examples of how we at Richard Avenue enhance pupils’ understanding and respect for different faiths and beliefs:
- At Richard Avenue, we provide a wide range of opportunities for our families with English as an additional language, in order to promote community cohesion and celebrate the rich cultural diversity within our school. This includes parent classes in English, phonics, maths and computing.
- As well as assemblies led by teaching staff, who focus on stories and celebrations from a variety of faiths and cultures, different year groups plan and deliver year group assemblies that celebrate the different festivals celebrated by pupils at Richard Avenue.
- Our Religious Education curriculum further reinforces this.
- Children visit places of worship that are important to different faiths.
- We encourage and invite members of different faiths or religions to share their knowledge to enhance learning within classes and the school.
- Displays promoting different faiths.