Teaching of British Values
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 the Prime Minister has reiterated these values this year. At Shaw Primary Academy, these values are reinforced regularly and in the following ways:
Being part of Britain
As a school, we value and celebrate the diverse heritages of everybody at Shaw Primary Academy. Alongside this, we value and celebrate being part of Britain. In general terms, this means that we celebrate traditions, such as customs in the course of the year; for example, Harvest festival during the Autumn term, and what could be more British than a trip to a pantomime around Christmas time! We also value and celebrate national events, a recent example being the Olympics.
Pupils learn about being part of Britain from different specific perspectives. Two specific examples of when we teach about being part of Britain are:
Geographically: Through our themed topics pupils have a better understanding of what Britain is, learning more about:
• its capital cities and counties, its rivers and mountains
• how ‘Great Britain’ differs from ‘England’ and ‘the United Kingdom’
• where Britain is in relation to the rest of Europe and other countries in the world
Historically: Through our themed topics, pupils learn about an aspect life and how this has developed and changed over time including inventions and discoveries, or houses, or medicine.
Democracy - We all have the chance to help make decisions
Each year the pupils decide upon and contribute to their class rules and the rights associated with these. Pupils have many opportunities for their voices to be heard. We have a school council which meets regularly with the Deputy Headteacher to discuss issues raised in class council meetings; these meeting are chaired by the Year 6 representatives. Two council members are elected by their class peers and are involved in making the school a better place to learn. The school council is able to genuinely effect change within the school.
Pupil questionnaires and interviews are also conducted throughout the year. We know that the formation of the school council and the active participation of our pupils will sow the seeds for a more sophisticated understanding of democracy in the future.
Pupils in our school also have the opportunity to effect change in their school by contributing to policy and practices within the school. In KS1 the pupils have had the chance to help make decisions by choosing where their enquiry based learning takes them and wherever possible, we present the pupils with opportunities to make decisions about their learning and vote as a class for various purposes. We empower the pupils to vote on educational activities where relevant.
Pupils in our school take part in Parliament week where they gain more knowledge and understanding of parliamentary democracy, why we have a parliament and how we are able to vote. It will also enable pupils to explore what means to them and their community.
The Rule of Law - We all follow the rules
Our pupils will encounter rules and laws throughout their entire lives. We want our pupils to understand that whether these laws govern the class, the school, the community or the country, they are set for good reasons and must be adhered to. The involvement of our pupils in the creation of the school rules, that are fair and reasonable, helps them to understand the reasons behind the rules and the consequences if they are broken. Pupils are taught from Reception the rules of the school i.e. School Rules, Playground Rules, Dinner Hall Rules and they are also encouraged to be role models throughout the school.
In individual classes, pupils discuss various rules and the importance of following them.
The understanding of the importance of rules will be consistently reinforced through assemblies and our curriculum. Throughout the year we also welcome visits from members of the wider community including police, the fire brigade and many more, this helps reinforce this message.
Individual Liberty - We all have the opportunity to make our own choices
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. Pupils are given important roles in school, such as play leaders, diners award and a variety of pupils jobs throughout the school. Pupils are also encouraged to understand responsibility in school in terms of behaviour and attitude to learning.
Pupils are given the choice at lunchtime to either spend this outside or at the indoor provision. Lessons often give pupils opportunities to choose different approaches to their learning for example choosing different methods or resources to solve calculation in maths. In our Literacy, Topic and Science lessons our pupils have the opportunity to choose how to present their learning through role play, poetry, leaflets, diary entries, letters etc. In EYFS and KS1 during structured activity time, pupils are able to choose which tasks they would like to complete and when. Pupils are given the opportunity to learn at their own pace and partake in activities that interest and engage them.
We offer a range of clubs which pupils have the freedom to choose from, based on their interests.
Mutual Respect - We all respect one another
Mutual respect is at the core of our school life. Pupils learn to treat each other and staff with great respect. This is evident when walking around the school and in the classrooms. Our schools motto is “Safe, Happy, Aiming High, Working Together” and this is seen throughout the various relationships between pupils and staff. During our weekly SAM assembly pupils show respect for the efforts of others.
Pupils work together in class with a wide range of abilities, supporting each other through ‘Peer Tutoring.’ Older pupils often listen to younger pupils read or vice versa. Within our Inclusion suite, pupils take part in Lego therapy, where the pupils learn how to take turns and work together.
Tolerance of those of Different Faiths and Beliefs - We all accept each other’s differences
Shaw Primary Academy is a diverse school and we actively promote diversity through our celebrations of different faiths and cultures. Religious Education lessons, RE themed weeks and PSHE lessons reinforce messages of tolerance and respect for others. Our multicultural activities illustrate our commitment to exploring our diverse school community. Members of different faiths and religions are encouraged to share their knowledge to enhance learning within classes and the school. The children visit places of worship that are important to different faiths.
Through our curriculum and the routines of our daily school life, we strive to demonstrate tolerance and help children to become knowledgeable and understanding citizens who can build a better Britain for the future.