The DfE have 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, and these values have been reiterated by subsequent Prime Ministers. At Ropery Walk Primary School, these values are reinforced regularly and in the following ways:
Pupil voice is a very important part of life in Ropery Walk Primary School. Election Day takes place every year when new MPs will be elected by their class peers.
Year 6 will campaign and then deliver their manifesto speeches on election day. During the afternoon, the whole school will take part in a secret ballot to elect a Prime Minister, Deputy Prime Minister and Speaker. Throughout the school year, School Parliament ensures that everybody’s voice is heard at regular meetings. Ideas and suggestions are debated and voted upon and then taken to the Monarch (Mrs Bell) for approval.
Pupil questionnaires and interviews are also conducted throughout the year. We know that the formation of the School Parliament and the active participation of our pupils will sow the seeds for a more sophisticated understanding of democracy in the future.
The Rule of Law
Our pupils will encounter rules and laws throughout their entire lives. We want our pupils to understand that whether these laws govern the class, the school, the neighbourhood or the country, they are set for good reasons and must be adhered to.
This understanding of the importance of rules will be consistently reinforced through assemblies and our curriculum. The involvement of our pupils in the creation of class charters, which encourages the children to focus on their rights and the relevant responsibilities, and our anti-bullying policy helps them to understand the reasons behind the rules and the consequences if they are broken. Throughout the year we welcome visits from members of the wider community including police and the fire brigade. We believe that clear explanations and real life stories emphasise the importance of the rule of law for our pupils.
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 the provision of a safe environment and empowering education. Pupils are encouraged to know, understand and exercise their rights and personal freedoms and are advised how to exercise these safely, for example through our E-Safety and PSHE lessons. Whether it be through choice of challenges, of how they record their work, of participation in our numerous extra-curricular clubs, pupils are given the freedom to make choices. As a Rights Respecting school, we help our children to understand their rights and the responsibilities they entail.
Mutual respect is at the core of our school life. Students learn to treat each other and staff with great respect. This is evident when walking around the school and in the classrooms. Pupils have been part of discussions and assemblies related to what respect means and how it is shown. Posters around the school promote respect for others and this is reiterated through our classroom and learning charters, as well as our behaviour policy. Our work towards the Equality Award has helped us to learn about and respect different protected characteristics.
Tolerance of those of Different Faiths and Beliefs
In school, we offer a culturally rich and diverse curriculum in which all major religions are studied and respected. We strongly believe that tolerance is gained through knowledge and understanding. Through our curriculum and the routines of our daily school life, we strive to demonstrate tolerance and help children to become knowledgeable and understanding citizens who can build a better Britain for the future. The work we have done previously, to achieve International School status, has ensured that what we have learned about different countries and cultures has been firmly embedded in the curriculum.
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