Teaching our children about the British Values of ‘mutual respect’
In our school we teach children to be respectful of each other and we believe that by learning about the differences and beliefs of others we will develop a greater understanding and tolerance. Our one school rule of 'RESPECT' supports this.
The government set out its definition of ‘British values’ in its Prevent Strategy. Schools are required to provide for the spiritual, moral, social and cultural (SMSC) development of their pupils which we do readily. As part of this requirement, we are expected to actively promote fundamental British values. The government defines these as:
- The rule of law
- Individual liberty
- Mutual respect and tolerance of different faiths and beliefs
Our efforts to promote fundamental British values are designed to prepare children for life in modern Britain and we aim to help pupils understand; ‘the importance of combatting discrimination’, ‘how we can influence decision-making by taking part in democratic processes like voting’, ‘our freedom under British law to choose different faiths and beliefs’, ‘that the law is there to keep us safe’
We reinforce these regularly and in the following ways:
- Democracy: Pupils have their voices heard through our School Council and Pupil questionnaires. We elect House Captains, our School Council, as well as vote on ‘Charity for the Year’.
- The Rule of Law: The importance of Law, i.e. those that govern the class, the school, or the country, are consistently reinforced, as well as when dealing with behaviour and through school assemblies. Pupils are taught the value and reasons behind laws, that govern and protect us, responsibilities this involves and the consequences when laws are broken. Visits from authorities such as the Police; Fire Service; Lifeguards etc. are regular parts of our calendar. Pupil are regularly rewarded for great behaviour with stickers, certificates, house points and verbal recognition.
- Individual Liberty: Our pupils are actively encouraged to make choices, knowing that they are in a safe and supportive environment. We educate and provide boundaries for children to make choices safety. Pupils are encouraged to know, understand and exercise their rights and personal freedoms through our E-Safety and PSHE lessons. Pupils are given the freedom to make choices.
- Mutual Respect: Our school ethos and behaviour policy revolves around our one school rule of 'RESPECT.' Assemblies relate to what this means. Posters around the school promote respect for others and this is reiterated through our classroom and learning 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. We offer opportunities to experience diversity through visits to places of worship and year group links to other schools in areas which are different to our own. Assemblies and discussions involving prejudices and prejudice-based bullying are followed and supported by learning in RE and PSHE.
Spiritual, Moral, Social & Cultural Development (SMSC)
These aspects of learning are covered in numerous ways throughout the curriculum.
Spiritual development encourages pupils to be reflective about their own beliefs. It also involves learning about and respecting the beliefs of other people. Pupils have many opportunities to learn about the world around them throughout the curriculum. Spiritual Development also involves pupils using their imagination and creativity in their learning.
This is the ability to recognise the difference between right and wrong. Pupils are taught to recognise this and the consequences of their behaviour or actions. Children are encouraged to offer their own views in discussions but to also listen and appreciate the views of others.
This involves the ability to work and socialize with others. Pupils are encouraged to work co-operatively and to find ways to resolve disputes effectively with guidance when it is required. Children have many opportunities to meet and socialize with children from other schools at sporting events throughout the year, gifted and talented workshops and transition days and cluster events.
Pupils have opportunities, throughout the curriculum, to learn about different cultures in the world as well as cultural influences from the past. For example, this can be through a History topic like the Romans or learning about Diwali in Religious Education