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Promoting British Values at Cockfield Primary School
In support of the Department for Education (DofE) document: Promoting fundamental British values as part of SMSC in schools, Departmental advice for maintained schools, November 2014.
At Cockfield Primary School, we value the diversity of the backgrounds of all pupils, families and the wider school community and strongly believe in upholding British values through all aspects of our school provision.
The DofE states 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”.
Our school reflects British values in all that we do. We aim to nurture our children on their journey through life so they can grow into safe, caring, democratic, responsible and tolerant adults who make a positive difference to British society and to the world and the wider world. We want our children to be good people who go on to do great things.
At Cockfield Primary School these values are taught explicitly through Personal, Social, Health and Emotional (PSHE), SMSC and Religious Education (RE). We also teach British Values through planning and delivering a broad and balanced curriculum.
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.
What is meant by British values?
Learning about British values forms a key part of children’s spiritual, moral, cultural and social education. The five British values that the Government has identified for schools to focus on are:
- The rule of law
- Individual liberty and mutual respect and tolerance of those with different faiths and beliefs
- Developing personal and social responsibility
- Respect for British Institutions
How should we help our children prepare for adult life as citizens of Britain?
- Develop their self-confidence and self esteem.
- Develop their understanding of right and wrong, and their respect for the law.
- Encourage them to take responsibility for their behaviour.
- Encourage involvement in the community and wider society.
- Encourage respect for the public services and institutions of Britain.
- Promote tolerance of and respect for all cultures and faiths.
- Encourage participation in the democratic process.
How does our school develop children’s understanding of British values?
We uphold the British value of Democracy by:
- facilitating a democratic process for electing Pupil Task Force members
- teaching about the democratic process in Britain, at both a local and national level. We teach about communities and pressure groups, how children can participate in these and make changes to life at all levels from local to global.
- Creating class charters – a set of codes which we at Cockfield Primary School actively work and live by.
- taking turns in class, at dinner time and in after school clubs.
We uphold the British value of the Rule of Law by:
- teaching children an understanding of human rights, in particular the UNICEF rights of the child.
- implementing our class charters which have clear and agreed statements, and ensuring that the children know their own right and respect the rights of others.
- teaching children to learn about the process of law-making and the part that citizens can play in that process.
- implementing our procedures and protocols for dealing with any behavioural or bullying issues and the very rare incidents of racial, homophobic and other forms of discrimination, which demonstrates to pupils that we take these issues very seriously, mirroring the attitudes of British society.
- Regular visits from authorities and uniformed organisations such as the police and fire service are regular parts of our calendar
We uphold the British value of individual liberty and work to identify and combat discrimination by:
- teaching an understanding of the concept of freedom and choice.
- Educating and providing boundaries for our pupils to make choices safely, through the provision of a safe environment, a planned curriculum and an empowering education.
- teaching our RE curriculum, which inculcates values of understanding, tolerance and respect for others, including those of other faiths.
- teaching children an understanding of human rights, in particular the UNICEF rights of the child, through assemblies and class lessons.
- encouraging children to know, understand and exercise their rights and personal freedoms and advising them on how to exercise these safely, for example through our e-safety teaching and PSHE lessons.
- providing our extra-curricular provision, which offers equal opportunities for all children, boys and girls, and children with Special Educational Needs in sport and other areas.
- holding discussions in RE, English and other subjects, which allow children to develop respect for the opinions, values and beliefs of others.
We uphold the British value of developing personal and social responsibility by:
- expecting children to take responsibility in many ways in school including being Pupil Task Force, Pupil Leadership Team and our Youth Pride Network.
- expecting children to take responsibility in every class for a variety of roles which assist in the running of the classroom.
- encouraging children to have responsibility for their own possessions, behaviour and work, both at school and at home and to always do their personal best in all aspects of school life.
- training staff to deliver information about keeping safe on the internet to all our children and holding information sessions for parents about this.
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. We promote equality and diversity through the teaching of protected characteristics. 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.
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