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 Gosforth CE School these universal values are taught through PHSE, RE and daily collective worship. We take opportunities to actively promote British values through whole school systems and structures such as running a successful school council. We actively promote British values through ensuring that our broad and balanced curriculum planning and delivery includes real opportunities for exploring universal values.
Our British values are clearly displayed in school and are in child friendly speak. The pupils are given opportunities to discuss, practice and observe these vales throughout the school. At our school British values are reinforced regularly and in the following ways:
‘We vote for who represents us on the school council.’
We have a proactive School Council which meets regularly to discuss issues raised by pupils and to decide what proactive work they would like to complete. The school council members for each year group are voted for by their classes. Our curriculum planning in KS2 is led by a theme based on values such as courage, responsibility, leadership etc. Each week we have star of the week awards in each class where children are nominated for meeting such values. Children have questionnaires at times with which they are able to put forward their views of their learning and their school.
The Rule of Law
‘We help develop school policies including those on behaviour and the aims of the school.’
‘We help develop fair rules for our class and school.’
‘We know that everyone has rights and responsibilities.’
The importance of laws and rules, whether those governing the class, the school or the country are consistently reinforced through the school day, when dealing with behaviour and through collective worship. Our system for behaviour is aligned to an agreed set of rules and children have input into these are the beginning of school years. Children also agree to their part of a home school agreement. Children 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 to reinforce these messages.
To encourage and promote good behaviour, attitude and work, we have reward systems which are follows throughout the school. We are committed to praising children’s efforts informally, individually, during group work, in front of the whole class and the whole school. Children are rewarded for achievement in curriculum areas and for adherence to values. Rewards are given in the form of stickers, stamps, house points and certificates. Children’s achievements and participation are recognised during celebration assemblies and on our newsletter.
‘We have the freedom to make choices about choosing the level of challenge in some lessons.’
Children are actively encouraged to make choices at school, knowing that they will be supported by the people around them. As a school we provide boundaries for our children to make choices safely, through provision of a safe environment and empowering education. Children are encouraged to know, understand and exercise their rights and personal freedoms but always taught how to exercise these freely, through for example e-safety teaching and PSHE lessons. Pupils are given the freedom to make choices in the challenge of learning and through extra-curricular opportunities.
‘We work together to help one another.’
Mutual respect is at the heart of our school and all members of our school community are encouraged to treat each other with respect. Children learn about how their behaviour affects others. Our school ethos is based on values such as respect and responsibility and these values determine how we live as a community. Children are part of discussion and collective worship that explore what such values mean and how they can be shown in our daily lives.
Tolerance of those of different faiths and beliefs
‘We enjoy learning about different faiths and cultures from around the world.’
‘Members of different faiths are welcome in our school.’
Our school is situated in an area that is not very cultural diverse, so we give thought to promoting the concept of diversity and to enhancing the children’s understanding of their place in what is a cultural diverse country. This concept is explored though collective worship and includes stories and celebrations from a variety of faiths and cultures. Our RE and PHSE teaching reinforces this. Within Literacy we use some stories, poems and non-fiction information from different faiths and cultures.
People of different religions and beliefs and those who speak different languages are encouraged to share their knowledge and enhance learning within classes. Children throughout their time in our school are exposed to a range of places of worship – different Christian denominations, mosques, synagogue & Buddhist temple. Discussions about prejudice are explored in RE and PHSE. We have used opportunities such as the Olympics to study and learn and life and culture in a range of countries. We have termly theme days where we study a different part of the world, including their beliefs, practices and celebrations.
At our school we will actively challenge any pupils, staff or parents who may express opinions contrary to fundamental British values, including ‘extremist’ views.