Promoting British Values at Send Church of England Primary School
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, mutual respect and tolerance of those with different faiths and beliefs and anti- radicalisation.” The government set out its definition of British values in the 2011 Prevent Strategy, and these values have been reiterated by the Prime Minister in 2014. In Send CofE Primary School, we value the diverse ethnic background of our pupils and families and undertake a variety of events and lessons to celebrate these. We have found this approach to be enriching, as it teaches tolerance and respect for the differences in our community and the wider world. At Send these values are reinforced regularly through our Values Education programme. Pupils engage with the values and understand their implications for making choices about their attitudes and responses. Through reflecting on the values pupils discover what it means to be good citizens. Underpinning all of this are a range of curriculum topics which have strong links to the British Empire, such as The Queen and Monarchy, The Church, Our School, Muslim life in Britain, Christianity, Tudors and Victorians. In addition, the school promotes British Values through a geography curriculum that covers global citizenship and a religious education curriculum that teaches about the belief and practises of all major religious groups.
Democracy: Democracy is a strong theme within our school. Pupils have the opportunity to have their voices heard formally through our School Council, Eco Council and the annual school questionnaire as well as other parents and children surveys, as well as informally through class discussions, debates and an open culture where opinions and views of others are respected. The elections of House Captains, as well as the weekly selection of each class Values Award, are based solely on pupil votes. In Year 1, when the pupils learn about the Victorians they learn about a significant historical figure, Florence Nightingale and how she assisted British soldiers in Scutari so they could convalesce after being injured. Florence Nightingale is seen as a 'martyr' by many children in the year group as they find her work and approach to making changes to hospitals both fascinating and inspiring. Wherever possible, examples of British historical figures are used as exemplars and models of inspiration. In Year 2, the pupils learn about the Queen and Monarchy, exploring: what a Monarchy is and who is involved; key figures in the current Monarchy; the role of the Queen and key historical events in the Monarchy (including the Coronation, Royal births, deaths, succession and marriages.)
In Year 3 during Citizenship week pupils focus on Disability Awareness. They investigate if people with disabilities have equal rights. In Year 4, the pupils explore Invaders and Settlers as part of their Roman topic and significant figures who have had an impact and made changes. In Year 5, pupils learn about Ancient Greeks and it’s legacy and visit the British museum. In Year 6, pupils undertake a U.N rights PSHCE topic and explore Democracy within the Victorian era. The whole school also undertakes the annual Poppy Day remembrance events and a minute's silence is held in addition to a range specially created assemblies
All year groups undertake debating as part of their English curriculum through their topics.
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 each school day. Our pupils have a strong sense of right and wrong and a keen sense of fairness and justice. They understand rewards and sanctions and what to do to follow them. 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 are regular parts of our school calendar and help reinforce this message. In French pupils learn about Saint Valentine: and discover why he was imprisoned and martyred for his faith under Roman law. Pupils then compare this to British laws. During Health and Fitness week, Year 6 children learn about drugs education. They learn the different classifications of drugs and the law towards these classifications. In the summer term Year 6 also take part in the Services led “Junior Citizen " programme which highlights both law and community moral purpose alongside practical skills to enable our pupils to keep themselves and others safe.
Individual Liberty: Within school, pupils are actively encouraged to make choices, knowing that they are in a safe, supportive and loving environment. As a school we educate and provide boundaries for our pupils to enable them to make choices safety, through a well-constructed 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 programme and PSHCE lessons. Our pupils are given the freedom to make choices, to take calculated risks, to learn from errors and to apply newly learnt skills for the good of the school community. For example, in Years 1 and 6, pupils explore individual liberty through their topic on the Victorians to different levels of complexity. The pupils travel back in time to the Victorian era and experience first-hand the results of inequality and how it differs from their lives today.
In Year 2 pupils undertake the topic ‘Explorers.’ They compare the lives of key figures in the past to modern day and the inequalities they faced. In French, pupils learn about French National Day which introduces them to the French Revolution. Pupils discuss the monarchy and democracy and the values of liberty, equality and fraternity which are represented in the French flag.
Mutual Respect and Tolerance of those of Different Faiths and Beliefs:
Our school ethos and behaviour policy is underpinned by our Values programme where concepts such as ‘Respect’, are actively taught on a monthly basis (see Values Education section of this website) and pupils are active participants in discussions, assemblies and class reflections related to what this means and how it is shown. This is achieved through enhancing pupils understanding of their place in a culturally diverse society and by giving them opportunities to experience such diversity. We have staff from other countries and visitors from other faiths who share their language and culture with our children. Assemblies and discussions involving prejudices and prejudice-based bullying have been followed and supported by learning in RE and PSHCE. International Week in the Spring term also supports children’s understanding of different faith, beliefs and how to avoid stereotypes. Send has strong links with the community with pupils visiting St Mary’s C of E Church, the Mosque in Woking and through enjoying termly assemblies from the Christian charity ‘Engage’ and Reverend Shutt. We also endeavour to recognise all significant cultural celebrations shared by families in our school, e.g. Diwali, Ramadan, Eid etc.
As part of our commitment to keeping children safe, we have an important part to play in educating children about extremism. At Send CofE Primary school, we ensure through our school vision, values, rules, diverse curriculum and teaching we promote tolerance and respect for all cultures, faiths and lifestyles. We have a duty to prepare our children for life in modern Britain and keep them safe. Pupils who attend our school have the right to learn in safety. We do not tolerate bullying of any kind and will challenge derogatory language and behaviour towards others (please see Behaviour policy). Our governing body ensures that the school meets its statutory duties with regards to preventing radicalisation. As a school we ensure that the curriculum addresses the issues involved in radicalisation and that staff conduct is consistent with preventing it. In addition, all staff have received prevent training (including governors).