The Department for Education, in November 2014, published guidance on promoting British values in schools to ensure young people leave school prepared for life in modern Britain.
All schools have a duty to ‘actively 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. These values were first set out by the government in the ‘Prevent’ strategy in 2011.
At High Lane Primary we recognise that we have a duty to prepare our children for life in modern Britain, to help them take their place as active citizens in local and national communities and to keep them safe.
British values are promoted throughout our school ethos including the curriculum, assemblies and through daily social interactions.
At High Lane Primary School there are many opportunities for children, parents and staff to have their ‘voice’ heard. Democracy is central to how we operate.
We have an active School Council. Our School Council helps to teach pupils how they can influence decision-making through the democratic process. Classes vote in two representatives, giving each class a say on the decisions that are made at our school. Candidates make a speech to the class and voting is by secret ballot. Children are encouraged to respect democracy and the democratic process.
The children on the School Council have real decisions to make. These have included deciding which charities to support and how they will be supported, decisions around the school environment and helping to improve the school grounds. They act as ambassadors for the school and often help to show visitors around.
In all classes, debates on a wide range of subjects take place in a democratic way.
Rules and laws
The importance of rules and laws, including those that govern our school or country are referred to and reinforced regularly through assemblies, PSHE lessons and when reflecting on appropriate behaviour choices.
At the start of each school year, each class discuss the school rules and their class rules. It is important for all children to understand the rules to ensure that every class member is able to learn in a safe and ordered environment.
Pupils are taught to respect rules and the law from an early age. These values are reinforced in different ways including visits from the police and fire service, during Religious Education when rules for different faiths are thought about and during other subjects where there is respect and appreciation for different rules. Ground rules for discussions during PSHE/Circle Time lessons are agreed and in Relationships and Sex Education lessons.
Where rules are broken, we manage this using restorative approaches that focus on repairing relationships and reducing negative behaviours through promoting understanding.
Alongside rules and laws, we promote freedom of choice and the right to respectfully express views and beliefs. The children are actively encouraged to make informed choices and to respect the rights of others to do the same. As a school we educate and provide boundaries for children to make choices safely, through provision of a safe environment and empowering education. Children are encouraged to know, understand and exercise their rights and personal freedoms and advised how to exercise these safely, for example through E-Safety, PSHE and RSE lessons.
Mutual respect & tolerance of those with different faiths & beliefs
Mutual respect is at the heart of our aims and values. We place a great deal of emphasis on creating an inclusive school ethos where all the different experiences of children and their families are valued and diversity is celebrated. Children are taught to care for one another, learn well together and respect differences from a very young age. Celebrations across many themes help children gain insights into each other’s backgrounds and to recognise the positive aspects of different cultures. Children are proud of their school and they tell us so. They know that they as individuals are valued and respected.
Our values are also reflected in our many policies which include SMSC, Behaviour and Discipline, RE Policy, PSHE/SRE Policy, School Prospectus, Equality and Diversity Policy.