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 further reiterated by government more recently. At Little Hadham, these values are reinforced regularly and in the following ways:
Democracy is intrinsic within the school. Pupils have the opportunity to have their voices heard through our School Captains, Class Councils, School Councillors, Pupil Voice interviews and Pupil termly questionnaires. Our school Behaviour Policy reinforces this.
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 the school, as well as when dealing with specific 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 the Parish Vicar, are regular parts of our calendar and help reinforce this message.
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 safety, through the provision of a safe environment and empowering education. This is particularly supported through the strategies of Protective Behaviours. Pupils are encouraged to know, understand and exercise their rights and personal freedoms and advise how to exercise these safely, for example through our E-Safety and PSHE lessons. Whether it be through choice of challenge, of how they record, of participation in our many extra-curricular clubs and opportunities, pupils are given the freedom to make choices.
Part of our school ethos and Behaviour Policy has revolved around Core Values such as ‘Respect’, and pupils have been part of discussions and assemblies related to what this means and how it is shown. ‘Behaviour Code’ posters around the school promote ‘respect for others’ and this is reiterated through our school Golden Rules, as well as our Behaviour Policy.
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. The ‘real’ link with Cherry Tree Primary School in Watford helps our children who come from a mainly White British background to appreciate this further. Assemblies and celebrations, such as Black History Month, promote further understanding of diversity. Where possible, the school encourages children of other faiths and cultures to share their knowledge to enhance learning within classes and the school.
Ms S Connolly