In 2014, the Department for Education published guidance on promoting British values in schools. All schools have a duty to ‘actively promote’ the fundamental British values that were first set out by the government in the ‘Prevent’ strategy in 2011. At Gordon Primary School, we place the safety and wellbeing of all pupils at the heart of everything we do. We recognise that each individual's spiritual, moral, social and cultural development is essential if each member of the community is to become a valuable and fully rounded member of society, who treats others with respect and tolerance, regardless of background.
We actively seek to promote the basic British values of democracy, the rule of law, individual liberty, and mutual respect and tolerance for those of different faiths and beliefs so that all our young people understand the importance of respect and leave school fully prepared for life in modern Britain. Across the curriculum, pupils are given opportunities to:
understand how citizens can influence decision-making through the democratic process;
understand that the freedom to hold other faiths and beliefs is protected in law
respect that people having different faiths or beliefs to oneself (or having none) should be accepted and tolerated, and should not be the cause of prejudicial or discriminatory behaviour
understand of the importance of identifying and combatting discrimination
We seek to promote British values in different ways by:
including, in suitable parts of the curriculum - as appropriate for the age of pupils - material on the strengths, advantages and disadvantages of democracy, and how democracy and the law works in Britain, in contrast to other forms of government in other countries
ensuring that all pupils within the school have a voice that is listened to, and demonstrate how democracy works by actively promoting democratic processes such as a Pupil Leadership Team whose members are voted for by the pupils;
using opportunities such as general or local elections to hold mock elections in order to promote fundamental British values and provide pupils with the opportunity to learn how to argue and defend points of view;
considering the role of extra-curricular activity, including any run directly by pupils, in promoting fundamental British values.
Democracy is embedded at the school. Pupils are listened to by adults and are taught to listen carefully and with respect, in acknowledgment of the right of every individual to have their opinions and voices heard. Pupils also have the opportunity to air their opinions and ideas through the Pupil Leadership Team and through pupil-led learning opportunities. The election of the PLT members is based solely on pupil votes, reflecting our British electoral system and demonstrating democracy in action. In addition, we organise opportunities to learn about our country's democratic system through engagement with local politicians, visits to relevant political locations such as local council buildings and the Houses of Parliament and by teaching pupils skills required in debates and public speaking, encouraging them to state, defend and challenge points of view.
The Rule of Law
From entry into school, the children develop respect and appreciation for rules - whether they are those that govern the class, the school or the country. Rules and expectations are consistently reinforced throughout our school day, in classes, the playground, the lunch hall and in school assemblies. We encourage our pupils to distinguish right from wrong and help them to understand that living under the rule of law protects all individuals. Our pupils are taught that following laws and rules is the responsibility of every member of the community and that there are consequences when laws are broken. These lessons are reinforced by visits from the Police, the Fire Service and other key workers, in addition to special projects such as Work Week.
Within school, pupils are actively encouraged to make choices, knowing that they are in a safe and supportive environment. We support our pupils to make choices, through the provision of a safe environment and an empowering education. We support pupils to develop their self-knowledge, self-esteem and self-confidence. Our pupils are encouraged to know, understand and exercise their rights and personal freedoms and are advised how to exercise these safely; examples of this can be clearly seen in our e-safety and PSHE lessons. We implement a strong anti-bullying culture and provide pupils with tools to deal with and resolve conflict.
At the heart of our whole school ethos, is a commitment to core values of courtesy, commitment, cooperation, consideration and care – a set of core principles that we believe contribute to all individuals being able to live happy and successful lives within the communities to which they belong. These values underpin our pupil commendations and citizenship awards.
Our Values are taught through assemblies and PSHE sessions and form a key part of our daily dialogue across the school. Respect is promoted across school and it is deeply embedded in all that we do. The pupils know and understand that it is expected and imperative that respect is shown to everything and everyone, big or small and regardless of differences. Participation in the life of the community, for example, through our relationship with a residential care home for the elderly, provide our children with regular opportunities to learn within and beyond the boundaries of the school. The wide range of curricular extra-curricular clubs and activities, for example, in sports and music, provides an opportunity for mutual respect to be secured in the attitudes of our pupils, both amongst those participating from their own setting, and any visiting staff or teams.
Tolerance of Those With Different Faiths And Beliefs
Our core value of Respect ensures tolerance of those who have different faiths and beliefs. Pupils' understanding of different faiths and beliefs is developed through religious education studies, PSHE work, visits to places of worship and visits from members of different faith groups. Across the curriculum, our pupils are inspired to ask and reflect on big questions and challenging moral issues through the carefully chosen, quality texts that are placed at the heart of our curriculum.
Click the link below to see some examples of British Values in action at Gordon Primary School.