The DfE has 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.
At Lower Kersal these values are reinforced regularly and in a variety of ways across the curriculum.
The following are some of the examples of how British Values are actively promoted:
At Lower Kersal pupils have the opportunity to have their voices heard through our regular School Council and Eco Committee meetings. Hustings are held every September in Year 2 to Year 6. Pupils are then given voting papers to elect their councillors. Once our school council has been formed, they meet in mixed age groups to discuss issues and to suggest ways to improve the life of the school, for example playground activities, clubs, allotment developments etc. Children identify charities they would like to support and organise fund-raising events. We teach pupils how they can influence decision making and we give them opportunities to do so. School has a series of 'suggestion boxes' located around the building. These are actively used by members of our school community. An action plan displayed in the school hall shows children responses to their ideas and how some of these have been implemented.
The Rule of Law:
The importance of laws, rights and responsibilities are consistently debated, agreed and reinforced. At the start of each school year classes agree their own class rules and decide sanctions for breaking these rules. 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 are regular parts of our calendar and help to reinforce this message. Throughout their time at Lower Kersal, children are taught right from wrong and we encourage children to understand that living under rule helps.
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 a 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 Online-Safety and PSHE lessons. Whether it is through choice of challenge within learning, participation in extra-curricular clubs and opportunities, pupils are given the freedom to make choices. We aim to develop self esteem, self confidence and self knowledge. Pupils understand they have a responsibility for their behaviour and that they model freedom of speech through participation.
Mutual Respect and Tolerance:
School encourages respect for differences and pupils have opportunities to visit buildings and communities linked with other faiths. We encourage personal thinking skills and discuss the differences between people, faith, ethnicity, disability and gender. Special assemblies and celebratory events help re-inforce this message in a positive, enjoyable way.