Promoting British Values at Norham First School
The DfE 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 regularly in the following ways:
We promote Democratic rule throughout the school curriculum. Pupils have the opportunity to have their voices heard through our very active Student Council, through Pupil questionnaires, and talking to school staff about aspects of their learning and life in school. The election of student council representatives takes place using pupil votes. Children also have the opportunity to take part in discussions during weekly assemblies where, due to the nature of a small school, all voices are heard and all contributions valued by all adults within the school. Children are also encouraged to share and discuss matters of concern to them, within classes.
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 regular school days, as well as when dealing with behaviour and through school assemblies. 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 from authorities such as the Police; Fire Service; etc. are regular parts of our calendar and help 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 our 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 PSHCE lessons. Whether it is through choice of challenge, of how they record, or participate in extra-curricular clubs and opportunities, pupils are given the freedom to make choices.
Our school ethos and behavior policy has been built around the core value of ‘Respect’, and pupils are part of discussions and assemblies related to what this means and how it is shown. Our School Agreements raise the profile of respect for others and this provides a common language throughout the school.
Tolerance of those of Different Faiths and Beliefs:
This is achieved through enhancing understanding of pupils’ place in a culturally diverse society and by giving them opportunities to experience such diversity. Assemblies and discussions involving prejudices and prejudice-based bullying have been followed and supported by learning in RE, E-Safety and PSHCE. We encourage visitors to support our pupils understanding on how to live peacefully together. Visits to places of worship support pupils to understand cultural differences. Members of different faiths or religions are encouraged to share their knowledge to enhance learning within classes and the school.