Promoting British Values at Cockfield Primary School
The Department for Education state that there is a 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 were reiterated by the Prime Minister in 2014.
At Cockfield Primary School these values are reinforced regularly and in the following ways.
These values are taught explicitly through Personal, Social, Health and Emotional (PSHE), and Religious Education (RE). We also teach British Values through planning and delivering a broad and balanced curriculum. We have achieved the following external accreditation which demonstrates evidence of our commitment to British Values:
- Ofsted grade of ‘Outstanding’ behaviour May 2011
- UNICEF UK Rights Respecting School Award 2011
The school takes opportunities to actively promote British Values through our assemblies and whole school systems and structures such as electing and running a successful Pupil Task Force. We also actively promote the British Values through ensuring our curriculum planning and delivery includes real opportunities for exploring these values. Actively promoting British Values also means challenging pupils, staff or parents expressing opinions contrary to fundamental British Values, including ‘extremist’ views.
At Cockfield Primary School we uphold and teach pupils about the British Values which are defined as:
- Rule of Law
- Individual Liberty
- Mutual Respect
- Tolerance of those with different faiths and beliefs
Democracy is an important value at our school. Pupils have the opportunity to have their voices heard through our Pupil Task Force. The elections of members of the Pupil Task Force are based on pupil votes. The children have worked together and agreed a set of codes which we at Cockfield Primary School actively work and live by; this is our ‘Class Charter’. These codes are available in each classroom and are actively used by children and adults to influence others behaviour.
The Rule of Law
The importance of laws and rules, whether they are those that govern the class, the school or the country, are consistently reinforced throughout regular school days. If children are given verbal warnings this is always set against the agreed school behaviour policy. 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 fire service 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 Rights Respecting School, we educate and provide boundaries for our pupils to make choices safely, through the provision of a safe environment, a planned curriculum and an empowering education. Pupils are encouraged to know, understand and exercise their rights and personal freedoms and are advised how to exercise these safely, for example through our e-safety teaching and PSHE lessons. Pupils are given the freedom to make choices, e.g. signing up for extra-curricular clubs.
Respect is one of the core values of our school. This can be seen and felt in our pervading ethos in school. The pupils know and understand that it is expected and imperative that respect is shown to everyone, whatever differences we may have and to everything, however big or small. The core value of respect at Cockfield Primary School underpins our work every day both in and out of the classroom. Values are highly visible around the school and can be seen in posters, certificates and as part of our agreed codes.
Tolerance of Those with 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 in our local community where the vast majority are white British. Assemblies and discussions involving prejudices and prejudiced-based bullying have been followed and supported by learning in RE and PSHE. We are very proud to be linked to a school in Chittagong, in Bangladesh.
We celebrate ‘European Day of Languages’ as a whole school encouraging children to research and discover differences and similarities between us and our European neighbours.
Likewise we use opportunities such as the Olympics and World Cup to study and learn about life and culture in countries who participate. We also employ a Spanish teacher, one
morning every week, to teach our children Spanish in class 2, 3 and 4.
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