What are British Values?
According to Ofsted, British Values are defined as:
- The Rule of Law;
- Individual Liberty;
- Mutual respect for, and tolerance of, those with different faiths and beliefs and for those without faith.
Although it is a statutory requirement to promote British Values, we feel that they are already fundamental to our ethos.
In November 2014, the Department for Education published guidance on promoting British values in schools to ensure young people leave school prepared for life in modern Britain. This links with the need for a broad and balanced curriculum that supports children’s Spiritual, Moral, Social and Cultural (SMSC) education. We also use Commando Joe's RESPECT framework which develops our character education and is based securely in British Values.
We are hugely committed to educating the whole child so that they can be thoughtful, respectful and yet curious citizens of our country. We understand the vital role that educators play in ensuring that there is an inclusive and accepting ethos so that all children can succeed. It is more than just teaching the subjects in the curriculum though, it is about developing children’s understanding of democracy, tolerance, liberty and the rule of law.
The overarching aims of our provision are to:
- Enable pupils to develop self-knowledge, self-esteem and self-confidence;
- Enable pupils to distinguish right from wrong and to respect the law of England;
- Encourage pupils to accept responsibility for their behaviour, show initiative, and to understand how they can contribute positively to the school community and to society;
- Enable pupils to acquire a broad general knowledge of, and respect for, public institutions and services in England;
- Further tolerance and harmony between different cultures by enabling pupils to appreciate and respect their own and other cultures;
- Encourage respect for other people;
- Encourage respect for democracy, including respect for how laws are made and applied in England.
Democracy – defined literally as ‘people rule’
Democracy is central to how a successful school operates. We ask and reflect on all stakeholders' views and children are taught how to listen and respond appropriately to the opinions of others. Children are taught the definition of democracy and are asked to consider how they fit within the school’s system of democracy. This is evidenced in the use of a school parliament to make key decisions on behalf of the pupil body. The children understand how to pass on their views to councillors and expect responses to be given appropriately within a timescale. We encourage pupils to take ownership of their own learning, the school environment and the local community. This also helps children to develop an understanding of social responsibility and community cohesion.
Children vote for their school council representatives and debate key events regularly. We are currently organising for our local MP to visit our school.
The Rule of Law
The importance of rules and laws, whether they govern our school or our country, are referred to and reinforced so that they are an integral part of the ethos. At the start of the academic year, each class discusses the school rules and considers why they are in place. Not only are children taught that rules help to establish a sense of order but that they ensure the safety of community members and visitors.
During PSHE and RE lessons, children are directly taught about laws that help to govern our country but also the laws within faiths. They are taught about ‘right’ and ‘wrong’ and how everyone living within our country is subject to its laws. In PE lessons, children are encouraged to play competitive sports using the rules of the game.
Freedom of choice and the right to express views are fundamental to our ethos. Through the provision of a safe, supportive environment and education, we provide boundaries for our pupils to make choices safely. In some lessons, children even choose the level of work that they want to undertake. Our pupils are encouraged to know, understand and exercise their rights and personal freedoms and are taught how to exercise these safely, such as in our e-safety and PSHE lessons.
Mutual respect and tolerance of those with different faiths and beliefs
Kingsfield Primary School has growing diversity within its community and we are proud to promote and celebrate our different backgrounds and beliefs. We expect there to be mutual respect between all adults and children within our school.
Lord Nash, in 2014, said:
A key part of our plan for education is to ensure children become valuable and fully rounded members of society who treat others with respect and tolerance, regardless of background. We want every school 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.
This ensures young people understand the importance of respect and leave school fully prepared for life in modern Britain.