Promoting British Values at Colebrook Junior School
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 Colebrook Junior School these values are reinforced regularly and in the following ways.
Democracy is embedded at the school. Pupils are always listened to by adults and are taught to listen carefully and with concern to each other, respecting the right of every individual to have their opinions and voices heard. Pupils also have the opportunity to air their opinions and ideas through our School Council, questionnaires and pupil voice discussions. The elections of the School Council take place at the beginning of every academic year and are based solely on pupil votes and reflect our British electoral system, demonstrating democracy in action. Initially children vote for class representatives and then, following election speeches etc, pupils vote in a secret ballot using ballot boxes for the Chair and Vice Chair of the School council. The School Council meet weekly and have been actively involved in recruitment of teaching staff of the school.
The Rule of Law
The importance of laws whether they are those that govern the class, the school or the country, are consistently reinforced. Our school has ‘Golden Rules’, which are deeply embedded in our work every day. Each class also discusses and sets its own rules that are clearly understood by all and seen to be necessary to ensure that every class member is able to learn in a safe and ordered environment. Our 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. Our behaviour policy is consistently applied across the school by all staff. We are committed to praising children’s efforts. We endeavour to praise the children informally, individually, during group work, in front of the whole class and the whole school. Children are rewarded not only for achievement in curriculum areas, but for working towards our school's 'Star Qualities.' Rewards are given in the form of stickers, house points and certificates. Children’s achievements are also recognised during Celebration Assemblies. Before starting school, children, parents and the Head teacher commit to our Home School Agreement. School Rules are reviewed with the children at the start of each academic year and children agree on class rules with their teacher. Lunchtime Supervisors promote Playground Rules for fair and happy playtimes.
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 our pupils to make choices safely, through the provision of a safe environment and an empowering education. We have a 'Worry Monster' in every classroom if children need to voice any concerns and feel that they are unable to talk to an adult directly. Our pupils are encouraged to know, understand and exercise their rights and personal freedoms and are advised how to exercise these safely; examples of this can be clearly seen in our e-safety and P.S.H.E. lessons. Whether it is through choice of challenge; of how they record; of participation in our numerous extra- curricular activities; our pupils are given the freedom to make choices.
Part of our school ethos has revolved around Christian values such as respect, forgiveness, generosity etc. and pupils have been part of discussions, Collective Worship and assemblies related to what the values mean and how they are shown in our everyday life. Our values are reinforced through displays, newsletters, our website and in the curriculum when opportunities arise. Respect for others is reiterated through our classroom and learning rules, as well as our behaviour policy.
Tolerance of Those With Different Faiths And Beliefs
This is achieved through enhancing children’s 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 followed and been supported by learning in RE and PSHE. Members of different faiths or religions are encouraged to share their knowledge to enhance learning within the school.
Underpinning all of this is a range of curriculum topics which have strong links to the British Empire.
At Colebrook Junior School, we will actively challenge pupils, staff or parents expressing opinions contrary to fundamental British Values, including ‘extremist’ views.
Click here to see an at a glance sheet of activities at our school that support the teaching of British Values.
Click here to see how our PSHE scheme JIGSAW covers British Values.