Promoting British Values at Wood End Infant School
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.”
The Government set out its definition of British values in the 2011 Prevent Strategy and these values were reiterated last in 2014. At Wood End Infants these values are reinforced regularly and in the following ways:
Democracy is embedded at the school. Children are always listened to by adults and are taught to listen carefully and with concern to each other, respecting the right of every individual to have their opinions and voices heard. Pupils also have the opportunity to air their opinions and ideas through our School Council and Eco Committee. The elections of the School Council members are based on pupil votes, reflecting our British electoral system and demonstrating democracy in action. The School Council work to solve issues that the children raise and also have input into their curriculum and the standards of the school. The Eco Committee work tirelessly to promote green and environmental issues both in the school and in the wider community.
The Rule of Law
The importance of Laws, whether they be those that govern the class, the school, or the country, are consistently reinforced throughout regular school days, as well as when dealing with behaviour and through school assemblies. 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 help reinforce this message. Class and playground charters that have been written by the pupils and supported by staff, clearly state school rules that the whole community adhere to.
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. As a UNICEF Rights Respecting school pupils are encouraged to know, understand and exercise their rights and personal freedoms and advised how to exercise these safely. Whether it be through choice of learning challenge, of how they record, of participation in our many extra-curricular clubs and opportunities, pupils are given the freedom to make choices.
As a UNICEF Rights Respecting school mutual respect is at the heart of our values. Children learn that their behaviours have an effect on their own rights and those of others. All members of the school community treat each other with respect. The children 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.
Tolerance of Different Faiths and Beliefs
Wood End Infants is situated in an area of great cultural diversity; therefore we place a great emphasis on promoting this with the children. Assemblies are regularly planned to address this issue either directly or through the inclusion of stories and celebrations from a variety of faiths and cultures. This is reinforced through our teaching of RE and PSHE. Members of different faiths or religions are encouraged to share their knowledge to enhance learning within classes and the school. Children visit places of worship that are important to different faiths. Through this our children gain an enhanced understanding of their place in a culturally diverse society.