In June 2014, the Prime Minister emphasised the important role that British values can play in education and how well a school promotes such values is an aspect of Ofsted’s inspection process. Although this is something which is developing in its significance for schools, it is not something new at St Andrew’s C.E Primary School where British Values are promoted in much of what we do, during the school day. The values are integral to our vision and our Christian values and as such they are incorporated and embedded into our whole school acts of Collective Worship and Religious Education, as well as across both our planned curriculum and our hidden curriculum (for example that which arises from how staff respond to children and children respond to other children).
As well as actively promoting British values, the opposite must also apply; we would actively challenge pupils, staff or parents expressing opinions contrary to fundamental British values, including ‘extremist’ views. The values we espouse are not unique and we acknowledge that they may not differ from the values of the many countries and the cultural backgrounds that may be represented by families within this country.
UN CRC Article 12: Children have the right to say what they think should happen, when adults are making decisions that affect them, and to have their opinions taken into account.
St Andrew’s is a UNICEF Rights Respecting school. Each year the children decide upon their class charter and the rights associated with these. All the children contribute to the drawing up of the charter.
Children have many opportunities for their voices to be heard, including our Head Boy and Head Girl, our Eco Rangers and School Council. Our School Council meets regularly to discuss issues raised both in class and in school as well as consider issues and matters in the wider school environment. The council has its own budget and is able to genuinely effect change within the school. Two council members for each class are voted in by their class.
Children have an annual questionnaire with which they are able to put forward their views about the school. When appropriate we organise visits to local council offices and we include in relevant curriculum delivery the advantages and disadvantages to democracy and how it works in Britain.
We do this to:
• Provide pupils with a broad general knowledge of, and promote respect for, public institutions and services
• Teach pupils how they can influence decision-making through the democratic process
• Encourage pupils to become involved in decision-making processes and ensure they are listened to in school
• Help pupils to express their views
• Teach pupils how public services operate and how they are held to account
• Model how perceived injustice can be peacefully challenged
The Rule of Law
UN CRC Article 19: Governments should ensure that children are properly cared for, and protect them from violence, abuse and neglect by their parents, or anyone else who looks after them.
The importance of Laws, whether they be those that govern the class, the school, or the country, are consistently reinforced both through the curriculum, Collective Worship and our broader expectations, such as when managing behaviour. 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 and Fire Service help reinforce this message. We endeavour to ensure school rules and expectations are clear and fair and where appropriate develop restorative justice approaches to resolve conflicts
We do this to:
•Help pupils to distinguish right from wrong
•Help pupils to respect the law and the basis on which it is made
•Help pupils to understand that living under the rule of law protects individuals
•Teach pupils aspects of both civil and criminal law and discuss how this might differ from some religious laws
UN CRC Article 31: All children have a right to relax and play, and to join a wide range of activities.
UN CRC Article 15: Children have the right to meet together and to join groups and organisations, as long as this does not stop other people from enjoying their rights
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 these 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 advised how to exercise these safely, for example through our E-Safety and PSHE lessons. Whether it be through choices in learning, how they record, of participation in our numerous extra-curricular clubs and opportunities, pupils are given the freedom to make choices.
We do this to:
•Support pupils to develop their self-knowledge, self-esteem and self-confidence
•Encourage pupils to take responsibility for their behaviour, as well as knowing their rights
•Model freedom of speech through pupil participation, while ensuring protection of vulnerable pupils and promoting critical analysis of evidence
•Implement a strong anti-bullying culture
•Follow the UNICEF rights respecting schools agenda
Mutual Respect and Tolerance of those of Different Faiths and Beliefs
UN CRC Article 2: The Convention applies to everyone, whatever their race, religion, abilities, whatever they think or say and whatever type of family they come from.
UN CRC Article 30: Children have a right to learn and use the language and customs of their families, whether these are shared by the majority of people in the country or not.
UN CRC Article 14: Children have the right to think and believe what they want, and to practise their religion, as long as they are not stopping other people from enjoying should their rights. Parents guide their children on these matters.
As a Rights Respecting School, mutual respect is at the heart of our values. Children learn that their behaviours have an effect on their own rights and those of others. All members of the school community treat each other with respect.
St Andrew’s is situated in an area which does not show great cultural diversity, therefore we place a great emphasis on promoting diversity. Collective worship is regularly planned to address this issue either directly or through the inclusion of stories and celebrations from a variety of faiths and cultures. Our RE, PSHE and RRSA teaching reinforce this. Members of different faiths or religions are encouraged to share their knowledge to enhance learning within classes and the school. Children visit places of worship that are important to different faiths.
At St Andrew’s we will actively challenge pupils, staff or parents expressing opinions contrary to fundamental British Values, including ‘extremist’ views.
We do this to:
•Promote respect for individual differences
•Help pupils to acquire an understanding of, and respect for, their own and other cultures and ways of life
•Challenge prejudicial or discriminatory behaviour
•Develop critical personal thinking skills
•Discuss differences between people, such as differences of faith, ethnicity, disability, gender or sexuality and differences of family situations, such as looked-after children or young carers