Fundamental British Values
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 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 the Prime Minister this year.
At The Brent these values are reinforced regularly and in the following ways:
Every member of our school community has a voice and we regularly seek the opinions of our stakeholders on a whole range of decisions. At the start of every school year, each class are given the opportunity to share their views on the rules that should be in place for that specifically relate to their classroom, creating their own Class Charters.
Our democratically elected School Council represent the views of the children within the school, and they regularly consult the class to gain their perspective on any proposed changes or events that will affect them. We have a suggestions box where children are encouraged to share their views or ideas about how we can further develop the school. The council raises money for the school to fund projects of their choice. Through this they are able to genuinely effect change within the school. Six class council members for each year group are voted in by their class.
Once a week, a class make a judgement about the behaviour they have seen in school and share their decision in our celebration assembly. In addition, children are often given the chance to complete surveys and questionnaires on issues such as E-Safety, Playground developments and their perception of how well they are doing at school.
The Governors form an elected body that represent the staff, parents, local community and local education authority to lead the school along with the Headteacher and staff from the school. They make informed decisions that are based on what is best for the children at the school. Parent surveys are used to give parents the opportunity to have their voice heard.
The Rule of Law:
Our school has a system of basic rules that govern the behaviour of all members of our school community in order to allow the school to run in a safe and successful manner. Rules are important and we have a shared responsibility for them. Our school values are built around the three Rs: Respect, Responsibility and Resilience. These are used to support behaviour and we celebrate examples of how and where members of our community demonstrate these values. Children are used to debating and discussing laws/rules and their application.
We use a restorative approach, when dealing with any behaviour issues, with all staff trained in this approach. Our next step is to train our Mental Health Champion children as peer mediators to facilitate this approach during break and lunch times.
Consistency of our principles and laws, with a degree of flexibility as appropriate, is fundamental to supporting the diverse needs of our school community. Alongside our own school systems we promote the national rules and laws that ensure all people living in Great Britain can enjoy their life in a safe and organised manner, while enjoying the freedom and liberty as such a fundamental principle of British life.
We celebrate and congratulate individuality and diversity within our school and offer a wide range of opportunities for children to express their own personality. This happens throughout the curriculum and in the range of extracurricular activities organised by the school. Within school, pupils are actively encouraged to make choices, knowing that they are in a safe and supportive environment
Through our broad curriculum , we aim to develop children’s understanding of how to express their own personality and freedoms in a safe environment, while respecting and acknowledging the views of others. The philosophy of our teaching and learning places emphasis on the right to have our own thoughts and views. Children are strongly encouraged to develop independence in learning and to think for themselves. Whether it is through choice of challenge or how they record their learning, pupils are given the freedom to make choices.
Equality is a principle which is regularly discussed through assemblies, using fiction and real life stories to identify the protected characteristics and how we can ensure we are fully inclusive.
Our core value of ‘respect’ and the importance of showing ‘four way respect’ underpins this crucial element and is regularly referred to through assemblies, all curriculum lessons and school rules. The term ‘Respect’ features throughout our Behaviour Policy and is used in discussion with children in relation to the members of our school community, the local environment and the wider society beyond.
Children learn that their behaviours have an effect on their own rights and those of others. All members of the school community treat each other with respect. An understanding of respect and tolerance is developed through our school ethos. Pupils have been part of discussions and assemblies related to the value ‘Respect’ discussing what this means and how it is shown.
By utilising the diversity of our own school community, the children in our school learn about the range of beliefs and traditions that make up our diverse and fascinating nation.
Tolerance of those of Different Faiths and Beliefs:
We live in a culturally diverse society and it is imperative that all children establish an understanding and tolerance for those within our local and wider community who may have a different faith or belief.
Assemblies and discussions involving prejudices and prejudice-based bullying have been followed and supported by learning in RE and PSHE.
Our curriculum outlines the background and cultures from around the world, and promotes the benefits of the global community we live in. By following the Kent Religious Education (SACRE) syllabus, all children learn about a wide range of religions and the belief structures they follow. Additionally, we encourage children from within our school community to share their beliefs with their peers. Equality and tolerance are fundamental elements of our school ethos.
It is the responsibility of every member of our school community to ensure that we all follow the principles outlined in all of our policies and procedures. We welcome any contribution to our assemblies or to talk to specific groups about different faiths and beliefs. Additionally, should stakeholders, including parents and carers, feel that the school or any member of the school team is not upholding these values, we encourage them to raise concerns with the Headteacher or Chair of Governors.