Promoting British Values at Sandy Lane Primary School
The Department for Education have recently stressed 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 2011 Prevent Strategy sets out the Government’s definition of British Values, with these values being reiterated in 2014. At Sandy Lane Primary School these values are regularly reinforced and we explore the meaning of British Values and how they might relate to everyday life in the following ways:
Everyone at Sandy Lane Primary School has a say, a voice and we create change for the better through working together, talking about what we want to achieve together and working towards achieving those goals. Each year the children decide upon their class rules and the rewards and consequences associated with these and all the children contribute towards this. We have a student council which meets every week with the School Inclusion Leader and a Higher Level Teaching Assistant to discuss any issues in and around school life. The school Council has also worked to support the local community by raising money for a local food bank and litter picking in the local area. The curriculum and events such as voting for classroom helpers through mock elections provide opportunities for pupils to develop their understanding of democracy and the parliamentary system of government.
The Rule of Law
The importance of laws, whether they be those that govern the class, the school, or the country, are consistently reinforced at Sandy Lane Primary School. Pupils are taught from an early age to recognise the difference between right and wrong and, importantly, to understand the consequences of their actions. Pupils are also taught that laws are for everyone, that they keep us safe and protect people. Respect for the law is developed through pupils’ understanding of the importance of following school rules: classroom rules, playground rules and safety rules. Visits from authorities such as the Police, E-Safety Offices and The Fire Service help us to reinforce this message.
At Sandy Lane Primary School, pupils are consistently given the confidence and encouraged to make choices, knowing that they are in a safe and supportive environment. We also ensure we provide a safe environment, with clear boundaries, which enables young people to make informed choices. Pupils are encouraged to know, understand and exercise their rights and personal freedoms and are taught how to exercise these safely, for example through our eSafety and PSHE lessons.
We consider mutual respect is at the core of our values. Children are taught that their behaviours have an effect on their own rights and those of others, and this is regularly reinforced. Together we are one community and all members of the school community treat each other with mutual respect.
Tolerance for Different Faiths and Beliefs
Sandy Lane Primary School is an incredibly diverse school. We actively promote diversity through our celebrations and learning about different faiths and cultures. We encourage pupils to be think carefully about their own beliefs and be respectful of the faiths and cultures of others and our Religious Education and our Personal, Social, Health and Citizenship Education lessons reiterate messages of tolerance and respect for others. Members of different faiths and religions are encouraged to share their knowledge to enhance learning within classes and the school.
At Sandy Lane Primary School we will challenge pupils, staff or parents who express opinions conflicting with fundamental British values, including any views that are of an ‘extreme’ nature.