Promotion of British Values
At The Edward Richardson Primary School, we uphold and promote British Values, teaching our children about:
- the rule of law
- individual liberty
- mutual respect and tolerance of those of different faiths and beliefs
Our School Council
Democracy is an important value at our school. Pupils have opportunities to have their voices heard in a variety of ways. we have a very active School Council. In September, every child in Years 2 - 6 has the opportunity to stand for election to be a member of the School council. The children put forward their cases, explaining how, if elected, they would represent their class members, and how they would like to see the school improved. Each class shortlists six children (three boys and three girls) to stand for election. A whole-school voting day is then held, with every child in Classes 2, 3 and 4 voting for their prospective councillors in a secret ballot.
The School Council meets every week, and has a very active role in school; they present assemblies, organise competitions and fundraising activities, and are involved in the interview and selection process for new members of staff.
Our pupils have lots of opportunities to give their opinions on a range of topics. 'Working parties' are sometimes set up to drive specific areas of school improvement; for example, such a group was used to support the planning stages for a new trim trail in school and a recently formed 'Online Safety Committee' will be working hard to further improve understanding and provision in this area.
Questionnaires and Interviews
Children’s views about their learning and school in general are very important to us. Our monitoring activities often involve consultation with our children – their views are sought through questionnaires and interviews, by staff members and sometimes by governors. The children tell us their thoughts about topics such as how teachers’ marking supports their learning, about changes they would like to see in the curriculum and the types of resources they would like in the classroom and on the playground.
All children in the school know the importance of rules; each class has their own set of classroom rules, which are discussed and agreed at the beginning of every new academic year. These are consistently reinforced throughout the regular school day, and used to teach children about the rules of the country, how these govern and protect us, and the consequences when laws are broken. Our behaviour system is based on positive reinforcement and rewards; children earn teampoint tokens, which are totalled at the end of every week and termly, and celebrated in our Friday celebration assemblies. All children in the school are allocated to one of four teampoint teams: Earth, Air, Fire or Water. The winning team each term is offered a reward.
Our 7 Rs
Our behaviour system (and our curriculum) is underpinned by seven values, which we call. 'Our 7 Rs'. These are: Responsibility, Respect, Resilience, Risk-taking, Reflection, Resourcefulness and Reasoning. The children understand how these values fit into their learning and within the other British Values; for example, they understand that it is important to respect other people's opinions, faiths and beliefs.
Assemblies regularly provide opportunities for children to learn about rules and to reinforce those that are important to the school, the country and the world. All assemblies provide opportunities for reflection and some provide practical strategies that the children can apply across the school day. There is a big emphasis on how the children can support each other. Our Celebration Assembly on Friday sees selected children receiving certificates for special achievements that week; certificates are often awarded for exceptional learning attitudes, reinforcing the importance of our school rules and the 7 Rs mentioned above.
The rule of law is also promoted through the curriculum; teachers plan activities for children to learn about current laws in the United Kingdom, but also those that might have applied in the past. The children develop an understanding of how laws have changed and the reasons behind this.
Within school, pupils are actively encouraged to make choices, knowing that they are in a safe and supportive environment. Pupils are encouraged to know, understand and exercise their rights and personal freedoms and are advised on how to exercise these safely, for example through E-Safety sessions, PSHE lessons and assemblies.
Children are given opportunities, when appropriate and with support, to choose the work they complete in class, making their own decisions about the level of challenge. They can also make choices about how to present their work, both at school and when completing their homework, and about which of our extra-curricular clubs and opportunities to participate in. Out-of-school visits offer further opportunities for children to exercise their individual liberty. For example, during our residential trip, children make their own decisions about how far to push themselves in challenging situations.
Showing respect is one of 7 Rs, and forms part of our school ethos. We encourage respect for ourselves, each other, and our belongings and property, through the curriculum, PSHE lessons and assemblies. We have high expectations that the children show respect for people in different countries, people who live their lives in different ways to us, people who have different beliefs or lifestyles and those who are different in other ways. Respect for others is reiterated through our classroom and learning rules, as well as our behaviour policy. Some children choose to talk openly about how they are different and they are encouraged and supported to do so.
Tolerance of other faiths is achieved through enhancing children’s understanding of their place in a culturally diverse society and by providing them with opportunities to learn about and experience diversity in our local community, which is by large White British. Assemblies, visitors to school and trips all aim to develop the children’s understanding and tolerance of differences, their awareness of prejudice and stereotypes and how these can lead to bullying. Our Religious Education and PSHE curricula build on this and we also use other opportunities to promote tolerance, for example through our Anti-Bullying Week and special themed days, such as our Diversity Days. We also have links with a school in Leicester, and the children write to ‘pen-pals’ from other cultural backgrounds.
Why do we teach our children about British Values?
What is the Prevent strategy?
Prevent is a government strategy designed to stop people becoming terrorists or supporting terrorist or extremist causes. The Prevent strategy covers all types of terrorism and extremism, including political and religious extremism.
How does the Prevent strategy apply to schools?
From July 2015 all schools (as well as other organisations) have a duty to safeguard children from radicalisation and extremism. This means schools have a responsibility to protect children from extremist and violent views, in the same way we protect them from drugs or gang violence. Importantly, schools can provide a safe place for pupils to discuss these issues so that they better understand how to protect themselves.
What does this mean in practice?
Many of the things we already do in school to help children become positive, happy members of society also contribute to the Prevent strategy. We use the fundamental British Values to promote tolerance of others’ beliefs, but also to build the children’s resilience to other people’s opinions.