The Government set out its definition of British values in the 2011 Prevent Strategy. 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.”
At Carlton Primary School we take opportunities to actively promote British Values, defined by the government as the following:
- The rule of law
- Individual liberty
- Mutual respect
- Tolerance of those of different faiths and beliefs
Actively promoting also means challenging pupils, staff or parents expressing opinions contrary to fundamental British Values. As we continue our work as a UNICEF Rights Respecting School, values of tolerance and respect permeate all areas of school life. We aim to create a climate within which pupils feel safe and secure and which facilitates the fulfilment of potential. Pupil Voice plays an integral part in driving the school forward and making the right choices at different levels is seen as the foundation upon which this can be achieved.
Below are just some aspects of school life that enable children to get a sense of these fundamentals as they move on through their time at school.
Children have many opportunities for their views to be heard. Throughout the year various Pupil Voice interviews take place to gain children’s insight and views of their learning. All children are actively encouraged to participate in class discussion and in their learning.
We have a number of pupil forums and councils, including our School Council who have worked alongside the governing body and played an active role in interviewing candidates for teaching positions. These groups meet regularly to discuss issues, monitor school development priorities from a pupil perspective and to make decisions about events in school. They also fundraise for chosen charities and present assemblies.
We deliver a broad and balanced curriculum that teaches elements of democracy, responsibility, equality, values and virtues, environmental awareness and understanding of other faiths (through the wider curriculum and discrete RE lessons).The curriculum provides opportunities for debate and children take part in choosing HOW and WHAT they would like to learn at the start of each Learning Journey.
The Rule of Law
The importance of rules/ laws at all levels is taught explicitly in PSHE sessions but is constantly reinforced through the daily running of the school and within assemblies. These include the expectations within the class, the school, the community or within the country. Each class creates and agrees its own set of class rules. Our ‘Behaviour for Learning’ values helps to ensure that children understand how to behave in a positive way that helps to create a high quality learning environment. Our House Point system reinforces this also .Pupils are taught that they have responsibility to uphold laws and they realise through our Behaviour Policy that making poor choices has consequences.
Children and parents sign our home/school and E safety agreements upon entering Carlton Primary School which sets out the expectations for pupils’ learning and behaviour. These commitments mirror the expectations set by society and enable positive participation in school life.
Through our PSHE curriculum, children are taught about emotional well-being and how their individual choices can affect those around them. By encouraging children to take responsibility for their own choices, we are promoting the ownership of behaviour and adherence to the rule of law in wider society.
Within school, pupils are actively encouraged to make choices, knowing they are in a safe and supportive environment. Through PSHE and regular assemblies pupils are taught how to make safe choices. Whether it be through choice of learning challenge, of how they record, or taking part in extra-curricular opportunities, pupils exercise their rights to make choices and are encouraged to exercise their rights and personal freedoms. They also take on roles and responsibilities, such as Playtime Buddies, House Captains, Sports Leaders etc.
Children are taught about rights and respect for the rights of others in our PSHE curriculum and also through assemblies. Children’s achievements are celebrated in Special Mentions assemblies and through sharing assemblies where we celebrate achievements outside of school. This instils in them a sense of worth and creates ambitious pupils who believe in themselves.
Children are taught about making ‘good’ choices and have a full understanding that they are the ones that make choices about how they act, whether those choices are well made or not.
Respect is on of our Carlton Skill Set and is an integral part of our school ethos.
Through our positive Behaviour Policy, which encourages tolerance and mutual respect, pupils learn that their behaviours have an effect on their own rights and those of others. All people in and around school treat each other with respect, with adults acting as role-models for the pupils. Assemblies uphold traditional values of empathy, respect and tolerance. These are also taught within circle time sessions, RE lessons and on an informal nature throughout the school day. Children are taught to respect others regardless of their individual differences. Bullying of any kind is not tolerated.
Equality is promoted in every aspect of school including the work we do as a UNICEF Rights Respecting School. We actively promote gender equality and teach the children about racial equality. The charity work that Carlton Primary School children participate in is extremely valuable in helping them to develop a respect for others whilst also supporting the development of their role as active citizens in the wider society. For example, the children regularly support Red Nose Day and Children in Need. They also deliver parcels at Christmas to the older members of community. Some pupils carry out the role of ‘Peer Mentoring’ at lunchtimes and playtimes where they help to organise activities with other pupils in order to enable them to have enjoyable lunchtimes. This fosters a mutual respect between all parties across a range of ages.
We have participated and will continue to join in cluster project and training days that include children and staff from other schools working together to achieve a common goal. Through many community events our pupils learn and understand about community cohesion, collaboration and respect for others.
Tolerance of those of Different Faiths and Beliefs
We teach a range of world religions, as part of the North Yorkshire Religious Education curriculum. Assemblies and lessons use a wide variety of resources, including stories, ICT, visitors etc. to help pupils understand a variety of faiths and cultures. We celebrate in school through displays, stories and music from different parts of the world. Visits and visitors into school also enhance pupils understanding.
During PSHE sessions, children learn to accept and embrace difference and to understand how individuals feel. This work crosses all potential barriers of faith and religion. Supporting this, children’s RE lessons enable them to develop a growing understanding of different cultures and beliefs. The more children learn about religions, the more likely they are to understand different people’s motivations and feelings, thereby enabling them to be more tolerant of those cultures and beliefs that differ from their own.
Our Equalities Policy ensures that people of all religious beliefs, genders, ethnicities, abilities or any other differences are offered the same opportunities to thrive at our school. This is supported by the teaching and sharing of other languages.
At Carlton Primary School, we will actively challenge pupils, staff or parents expressing opinions contrary to fundamental British Values, including ‘extremist’ views.
Please look at our weekly newsletter for information about ways we have been actively promoting British Values around school.
Please also take a look at these useful vidoes that summarize and explain British Values: