The Department for Education 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.”
In accordance with The Department for Education we aim to actively promote British values in schools to ensure young people leave school prepared for life in modern Britain.
Pupils are encouraged to regard people of all faiths, races and cultures with respect and tolerance and understand that while different people may hold different views about what is ‘right’ and ‘wrong’, all people living in England are subject to its law.
The Key Values are:
- Rule of law
- Individual liberty
- Mutual respect
- Tolerance of those of different faiths and beliefs
Here at Merley First School these values are explored in assemblies, in lessons, are recognised in our personal development strategy and are reinforced regularly through different ways:
Democracy is high profile within the school. Pupils have the opportunity to have their voices heard through our Pupil voice champions and pupil questionnaires. The election of class representatives is based solely on pupil votes. Children’s voice is always heard as part of monitoring work in 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, for example when dealing with behaviour and through school assemblies. 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, etc. are regular parts of our curriculum calendar and help reinforce this message. Our Early Years children have a specific topic based around people who help us.
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 pupils to make choices safely, thus our education is empowering our young people. Pupils are encouraged to know, understand and exercise their rights and personal freedoms and we advise how children can exercise these safely, for example through our online safety and PSHE lessons. Whether it be through choice of challenge, of how they record or of participation in our numerous extra-curricular clubs and opportunities, pupils are given the freedom to make choices. At lunch times children have freedom of choice in respect of the selection of play activities which are on offer.
Our Vision Statement and Behaviour Guidance revolve around our school values and pupils have been part of discussions and assemblies which focus on what our vision statement means and what it looks like in our school. In our school everyone is equally valued and there is mutual respect in all relationships: staff-staff, staff-parent, governor-child, etc. We encourage everyone to be a ‘role model’ for mutual respect. Should members of the public request it, school information can be translated by the school thus enabling everybody to understand it.
Tolerance Of Those With 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. The school successfully supports children and families with English as an Additional Language. Staff and children are members of different faiths or religions and everybody is encouraged to share their knowledge to enhance learning within classes and the school. We have space where members of all or no faiths or religions can reflect on their specific faith/belief, safe in the knowledge that they are respected. We are a school which respects all faiths and those with no faith