The Department for Education state that there is a 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.” It also requires schools to promote the historical and current values that underpin the national identity known as ‘being British’. Within this, all schools are required to ensure that the curriculum actively promotes these fundamental British values.
Actively promotes means:
- To focus on, and show how, the school’s work is effective in securing these values
- Challenging pupils, staff or parents who express opinions contrary to British values
The government set out its definition of British values in the 2011 Prevent Strategy and these values were reiterated by the Prime Minister in 2014. Tywardreath School these values are reinforced regularly and in the following ways.
Democracy is embedded at the school. Pupils are always listened to by adults and are taught to listen carefully and with concern to each other, respecting the right of every individual to have their opinions and voices heard. Pupils also have the opportunity to air their opinions and ideas through School Council and regular questionnaires. The elections of the School Council members and the awarding of the half termly Cup of Kindness are based solely on pupil votes, reflecting our British electoral system and demonstrating democracy in action.
The Rule of Law
The importance of laws, whether they are those that govern the class, the school or the country, are consistently reinforced. Our school has a small number of rules which are deeply embedded in our work every day. Our 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. We also work with the police and community; a group of children have been monitoring the speed of motorists in the village.
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 our pupils to make choices safely, through the provision of a safe environment and an empowering education. Our pupils are encouraged to know, understand and exercise their rights and personal freedoms and are advised how to exercise these safely. Whether it is through choices of challenge; of how they record; participate in our numerous extra-curricular activities; our pupils are given the freedom to make choices. We support pupils to develop their self-knowledge, self-esteem and self-confidence. Through our positive behaviour system we encourage the pupils to take responsibility for their behaviour. We have also implemented a strong anti-bullying culture and work with agencies to support this.
Respect is one of the core values of our school. The pupils know and understand that it is expected and imperative that respect is shown to everyone, whatever differences we may have and to everything, however big or small. The core value of respect underpins our work every day both in and out of the classroom. We help pupils to acquire an understanding of, and respect for, their own and other cultures and ways of life by discussing differences between people, such as differences of faith, ethnicity, disability, gender or sexuality and differences of family situations, such as looked-after children or young carers.
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 the learning in RE and PSHE. Members of different faiths or religions are encouraged to share their knowledge to enhance learning within classes and the school.