The DfE have recently 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 have been reiterated this year (2015). At Ghyllgrove Community School these values are reinforced regularly in the following ways:
Being Part of Britain
As a school, we value and celebrate the diverse heritage of everybody at Ghyllgrove. Alongside this, we value and celebrate being part of Britain. This means that we celebrate traditions and important dates throughout the course of the year; for example, Harvest festival during the Autumn term.
Children also learn about being part of Britain through Geography. Each year children look at where Britain is in relation to other countries in Europe and around the World. The teaching of History, here at Ghyllgrove, has strong links with how events in the past have shaped the Britain we live in today.
Children, parents and staff have many opportunities for their voices to be heard at Ghyllgrove Juniors.
In class, each year starts with children voting for their school council representatives. During a British Values themed Friendship Day, the whole school is taught about the British voting system and takes part in democratic vote for the Chair Person of the school council.
Children complete an annual questionnaire in which they can view their opinions about the school. Alongside this, they speak to school subject leaders and the Head Teacher about their opinions on teaching and learning and their social and emotional provisions.
Children also agree to follow the school rules and as a class agree on class rules they feel are important.
Children have taken an active role in creating the school Learning Powers and designing mascots for the school teams.
Pupils are always listened to by school adults and are taught to listen carefully and with concern for each other, respecting the right of every individual to have their opinions and voices heard. We encourage pupils to take ownership for their own learning and progress. This encourages a sense of both personal and social responsibility.
The Rule Of Law
The importance of Laws and rules that govern the class, school and country are consistently reinforced throughout the school day. They know that laws and rules protect and govern us. Using a consistent behaviour system throughout the school means that children know that their actions have an effect on others around them and are aware of the consequences of breaking rules and laws. Visits from authorities such as the Police and Fire Service help reinforce this message.
In conjunction with rules and laws, we promote freedom of choice and the right to respectfully express views and beliefs. Through the provision of a safe, supportive environment we provide boundaries for our young pupils to make choices safely; for example:
· choices about what learning challenge or activity
· choices about how they record their learning
· choices around the participation in extra-curricular activities
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
An overarching theme to all of our school rules is to respect others; through being kind, respectful and thoughtful to everyone in our school community.
Through PSHE lessons, assemblies and RE teaching children are taught to understand the terms: discrimination, prejudice, bullying and respect. Through these lessons they are able to develop an awareness and appreciation of other cultures. They learn that their behaviour choices have an effect on their own rights and those of others. All members of the school community should treat each other with respect.
Sadly, no school can guarantee that there will never be instances which are contrary to this value. At Ghyllgrove, such instances are rare and are treated seriously.