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,’ 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 Somerlea Park these values are reinforced regularly and in the following ways:
Democracy is promoted within the school. Pupils have the opportunity to have their voice heard through our School Council and Pupil questionnaires. The elections of House Captains are based solely on pupil votes. Each teacher has different ways in which the pupils make their voices heard in their classroom e/g through Circle Time, R Time including questionnaires, discussions, and decisions over classroom rules etc. We also have visits and assemblies led from time to time by Valley CIDS. We also aim to challenge injustice in our curriculum e.g. in assemblies we discuss influential people such as Martin Luther King and Rosa Parks.
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 and through school assemblies. The children are taught right from wrong. Pupils are taught the value and reasons behind laws; that they govern and protect us, the responsibilities that this involves and the consequences when the laws are broken. Visits from authorities such as the Police; Fire Service, Road Safety Officers etc. are regular parts of our calendar and help reinforce this message. Each family signs the Home School Agreement which includes the Code of Conduct as well as other linking themes. Work in RE allows children to discover how different religions live and rules that govern these religions.
Within schools, 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 pupils to make choices safely through the 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 lessons. Whether it be through choice of challenge, of how they record, of participation in extra curricular clubs and opportunities, pupils are given the freedom to make choices. All classes work towards incentives such as ‘Golden Time’ where their choices affect outcomes for themselves personally as well as a whole class. We also try to give ownership of learning to the children. At break and lunch time children are allowed to use the outside spaces according to their personal choices. Our shared values in the school promote both staff and children as good role models and we take opportunities to challenge stereotypes whenever the opportunity arises. Opportunities are also taken to explore individual liberty and freedom and the responsibility to the local community and the wider world.
Part of our school ethos and behaviour policy revolves around our core values, and pupils have been part of discussions and assemblies related to what this means and how it is shown. Our Equality and Inclusion policy reflects our core value. We support events such as Anti Bullying Week.
Tolerance of those of different Faiths and Beliefs:
This is achieved through enhancing pupils understanding of their place in the culturally diverse society and by giving them opportunities to experience such diversity, Assemblies and discussions involving prejudices and prejudiced based bullying have been followed and supported by learning in RE and PSHE.