Teaching British Values
Promoting British Values at Alderman Payne Primary School
The DfE have recently reinforced the need “to create and enforce a clear and rigorous expectation on all schools to promote 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 this year (2014). At Alderman Payne these values are reinforced regularly and in the following ways:
The school rules are annually reviewed with the children in each class. We have a Children’s council, which meets regularly during the school year. These children have had to write a presentation to their peers to persuade them why they should be elected to the role at the start of the year. Each school councillor was voted for by their class. The school council is genuinely able to effect change within the school.
Democracy is also actively practised in classes with children voting on a range of issues, from how to improve the facilities on the school playground to which bird should be the national British bird.
The children have electronic questionnaires on issues about the school for example what they think of new teaching schemes introduced in school. These then feed into future planning.
How we influence democracy is explored through PSHCE and assemblies. This includes looking at historical figures such as Nelson Mandela and Rosa Parks and exploring the effectiveness of different approaches.
The Rule of Law
The importance of laws, whether they be by those that govern the class, the school, or the country is consistently reinforced at Alderman Payne.
Pupils are taught from an early age the ‘rules’ of the school. These are our Alderman Payne Golden Values. Pupils are taught the value and reasons behind rules and laws, that they govern and protect us, the responsibilities that this involves and the consequences when laws are broken.
Many of these rules and laws are taught through our PSHCE curriculum and in assemblies. This includes many safety aspects, such as: road safety, firework safety, e-safety and fire safety. We also have strong links with our community support officer who comes into school to work with our older children.
At Alderman Payne, 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 from where pupils can make informed choices, through a safe environment (both in the real world and through our online learning platform – Starz Plus.) and an empowering education. Pupils are encouraged to know, understand and exercise their rights and personal freedoms and are advised how to exercise these safely, for example through our e-safety and PSHCE lessons. Whether it be through choice of challenge, of how they record (for example using an iPad or not or how they present group work), of participation in our extra-curricular clubs and opportunities, pupils are given freedom to make choices.
Stereotypes are regularly challenged at Alderman Payne and we’ve worked hard to raise the aspirations of all of our children through our annual Y6 careers convention. This provides opportunities for children to see and experience different career possibilities.
Mutual respect is at the heart of our values. Children learn that their behaviours have an effect on their own rights and the rights of others. All members of the school community treat each other with respect.
We have a space for children, which organises support for children (sometimes with outside agencies) and the development of specific children’s social and emotional skills for example art therapy and social skills.
Anti-bullying has a high profile within the school with it being addressed through general classroom practice, the PSHCE curriculum, assemblies and outside people, such as theatre groups.
Children are also taught about respect and bullying in the online world, through our e-safety lessons. They also know what to do if they see something disrespectful.
Tolerance of those of Different Faiths and Beliefs
Alderman Payne is not an especially diverse school. So we actively promote diversity through our celebrations of different faiths sand cultures and our international primary curriculum. Religious Education lessons, assemblies and PSHCE lessons actively challenge stereotypes and reinforce messages of tolerance and respect for others no matter their ethnicity, beliefs, gender, disability, sexual orientation, age or any other protected characteristics (as outlined in the 2010 Equalities Act and article 14 of UNICEFs Rights of the child).
Members of different faiths and religions are encouraged to share their knowledge to enhance learning within the classes and school. Major religious festivals are acknowledged through assemblies and the RE curriculum.
At Alderman Payne, we actively challenge pupils, staff or parents expressing opinions contrary to the values we hold as a school, including ‘extremist’ views.
Teaching British Values in practice
Tolerance of faiths and beliefs
The Rule of law
Unfortunately not the ones with chocolate chips.
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