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 by the Prime Minister this year.
At Oughtrington Community Primary these values are reinforced regularly and in the following ways:
Democracy is all around us at Oughtrington. Pupils have the opportunity to have their voices heard through our School Council and Pupil questionnaires. Each class goes through a full election process at the end of the year, where all children get to vote for their class representative. The elected member then holds class discussions and takes any ideas forward to the main school council meetings. The school council work closely with the Senior Leadership Team to implement suggested changes. They have recently introduced a new whole school reward process, helped develop the outdoor learning environment and the structure of the school day. Children also have an annual questionnaire with which they are able to put forward their views about their school.
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 Oughtrington. Pupils are taught the rules from an early age in the Foundation Stage. Each class set up an agreed set of rules at the start of each academic year for both the class and the class teacher. The children are aware of the consequences of not following the rules in school. The children learn to understand the difference between right and wrong in all aspects of school life throughout the day. There is an opportunity for children to put right what has been done wrong, wherever possible. Children are given opportunity to understand aspects of civil and criminal law and discuss how this might be different from some religious laws. Pupils in our school expect and receive a fair system where actions are always respectfully justified. Pupils are taught the value and reasons behind rules and laws; that they exist to govern and protect us, the responsibilities that this involves and the consequences when laws are broken. Visits from authorities such as the Local Police and Fire Service 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 of 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 PSHE & C lessons. Whether it be through choice of challenge, of how they record, of participation in our numerous extra-curricular clubs and opportunities, pupils are given the freedom to make choices.
Our whole school ethos and behaviour policy revolves around mutual ‘Respect’, and pupils are taught this through assemblies, PSHE & C lessons and circle time sessions. Posters around the school promote our core termly themes with respect for others being a key one. Respect is reiterated through our classroom and learning rules, as well as our 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 and PSHE & C. Members of many different faiths or religions are encouraged to share their knowledge to enhance learning within assemblies and RE lessons. Part of our RE curriculum involves class visits to local places of worship.
We work tirelessly to build a culture that will stand the test of time, where our pupils can become good, effective citizens. We teach our children to respect everyone regardless of any differences. At Oughtrington Community Primary School we will actively challenge pupils, staff or parents expressing opinions contrary to fundamental British Values, including ‘extremist’ views.