The DfE has 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. At Westbrook Old Hall these values are reinforced regularly and in the following ways:
Democracy is endemic within the school. Pupils have the opportunity to have their voices heard through our School Council and Pupil Questionnaires. The election of School Councillors, as well as the weekly winner of our Family Values Award - the Golden Apple - are based solely on pupil votes.
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 and Safeguarding Agencies 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 provision of a safe environment and empowering education. Pupils are encouraged to know, understand and exercise their rights and personal freedoms and are advised how to exercise these appropriately, for example through our E-Safety and PSHE lessons. Whether it is through choice of challenge, or participation in our numerous extra-curricular clubs and opportunities, pupils are given the freedom to make their own choices.
Part of our school ethos and Positive Behaviour Policy has revolved around Core Values such as ‘Respect’, and pupils have been part of discussions and assemblies related to what this means and how it is shown. Posters around the school promote respect for others and this is reiterated through our classroom and Golden Learning Rules, as well as our Positive Behaviour policy.
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. Assemblies and discussions involving prejudices and prejudice-based bullying have been followed and supported by learning in RE, SMSC and PSHE. Members of different faiths or religions are encouraged to share their knowledge to enhance learning within classes and the school. Children are encouraged to understand that no one way is the right way and that opinions of others, while different to their own, must still be respected.
At Westbrook Old Hall we reinforce the Spiritual, Moral, Social and Cultural Values in the following ways:
Spiritual development of pupils is shown by their:
- Ability to be reflective about their own beliefs, religious or otherwise, that inform their perspective on life and their interest in, and respect for, different people’s faiths, feelings and values
- Sense of enjoyment and fascination in learning about themselves, others and the world around them
- Use of imagination and creativity in their learning
- Willingness to reflect on their experiences
Moral development of pupils is shown by their:
- Ability to recognise the difference between right and wrong, readily apply this understanding in their own lives and, in so doing, respect the civil and criminal law of England
- Understanding of the consequences of their behaviour and actions
- Interest in investigating and offering reasoned views about moral and ethical issues, and being able to understand and appreciate the viewpoints of others on these issues
Social development of pupils is shown by their:
- Use of a range of social skills in different contexts, including working and socialising with pupils from different religious, ethnic and socio-economic backgrounds
- Willingness to participate in a variety of communities and social settings, including by volunteering, cooperating well with others and being able to resolve conflicts effectively
- Acceptance and engagement with the fundamental British values of democracy, the rule of law, individual liberty and mutual respect and tolerance of those with different faiths and beliefs
Cultural development of pupils is shown by their:
- Understanding and appreciation of the wide range of cultural influences that have shaped their own heritage and that of others
- Understanding and appreciation of the range of different cultures within school and further afield as an essential element of their preparation for life in modern Britain
- Knowledge of Britain's democratic parliamentary system and its central role in shaping our history and values, and in continuing to develop Britain
- Willingness to participate in and respond positively to artistic, sporting and cultural opportunities
- Interest in exploring, improving understanding of, and showing respect for, different faiths and cultural diversity, and the extent to which they understand, accept, respect and celebrate diversity, as shown by their tolerance and attitudes towards different religious, ethnic and socio-economic groups in the local, national and global communities