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 this year (2014). At Orchard these values are reinforced regularly and in the following ways:
Orchard Primary Academy is a democratic school. Each year the children discuss their class charter and the rights associated with these. All the children contribute to the drawing up of the charter. Children have the opportunity to apply for positions within school; play leaders, classroom monitors etc.
Children have many opportunities for their voices to be heard. We have a school council which meets regularly to discuss issues raised in class council meetings.
The council has its own budget and is able to genuinely effect change within the school. Council members for each year group are voted in by their classes.
Children have an opportunity to share their opinions through Pupil Voice and Pupil questionnaires. (For example – Pupil Voice questionnaire for assemblies)
The Rule of Law
The importance of Laws, whether they be those that govern the class, the school, or the country, are consistently reinforced throughout regular school days, as well as 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 help reinforce this message. Children have the opportunity to study Crime and Punishment through the ages, comparing this to present day (Year 4). In addition, Year 6 children visit a court and local magistrates visit school.
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 provision of a safe environment and empowering education. Pupils are encouraged to know, understand and exercise their rights and personal freedoms and advised how to exercise these safely, for example through our E-Safety and PSHE lessons. Whether it is through choice of learning challenge, of how they record, of participation in our numerous extra-curricular clubs and opportunities, pupils are given the freedom to make choices.
Mutual respect is at the heart of our values. 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.
Tolerance of those of Different Faiths and Beliefs
Orchard is situated in an area which is culturally diverse; therefore we place a great emphasis on promoting diversity with the children. Assemblies are regularly planned to address this either directly or through the inclusion of stories and celebrations from a variety of faiths and cultures. Our RE and PSHE teaching reinforce this. Members of different faiths or religions are encouraged to share their knowledge to enhance learning within classes and the school. Children visit places of worship that are important to different faiths. Our curriculum reflects our understanding of British Values as well as our understanding of a multi-cultural society; subjects such as History, Geography, Art, Literacy as well as RE and PSHE all give opportunities for children to research, experience and learn about events, British traditions, laws and the influence of other cultures within our society. In Religious Education, students study Judaism, Christianity and Islam and all of these major faiths base their values on the ‘Ten Commandments’, which also underpin our British rule of law.
At Orchard, we will actively challenge pupils, staff or parents expressing opinions contrary to fundamental British Values, including ‘extremist’ views. Staff and Governors closely monitor any issues arising.