The Department for Education published updated guidance in November 2014 on promoting British values in schools, in order to ensure that young people leave school prepared for life in modern Britain.
The Department for Education reinforced the need “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.”
Society within which we live is diverse and we aim for our curriculum and life within school to reflect this diversity. The children’s spiritual, moral, social and cultural development underpins everything that we do and it contributes directly to the quality of teaching and learning and the inclusive ethos of the school.
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. The British values are:
- The Rule of Law
- Individual Liberty
- Mutual Respect
- Tolerance of those of different faiths and beliefs
These British values are promoted throughout our school ethos including the curriculum, assemblies and through daily social interactions.
Our ‘vision’ statement, created by staff and governors working together, sets out what we want to achieve for the children as individuals, the school as a whole and the community:
‘We value every child as an individual and believe it is important for all children to reach their full potential in a happy, supportive and exciting environment.
We seek to develop independent learners who are equipped with the necessary skills, knowledge and understanding to enable them to cope with an ever-changing world.
We are committed to working in partnership with parents, teachers and the wider community to achieve the very best for our children. We seek excellence and enjoyment in all we do’.
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. We have had a School Council at High Lane for many years and were one of the first schools in the borough to set one up. Our School Council helps to teach pupils how they can influence decision-making through the democratic process. Classes vote in two school council 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 council meets regularly to discuss any issues raised in class council meetings.
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 Field Project and helping to improve the school grounds. They act as ambassadors for the school and often help to show visitors around.
At the end of Y6 a Citizenship Award is presented to a child who has made a particular contribution to the life of the school.
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 the value and reasons behind laws. We aim to show children their responsibilities and the consequences when laws are broken. Pupils are taught the rules from an early age in the Foundation Stage. 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.
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 choices, knowing that they are in a safe and supportive environment. 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. As part of our PSHE curriculum and daily life we place a huge emphasis on the social and emotional learning of our children and feel we send them off to high school as well rounded individuals. We celebrate achievements in Good Work Assemblies and through certificates, stickers and award systems.
Mutual respect & tolerance of those with different faiths & beliefs
Mutual respect is at the heart of our aims and values, ‘to treat everyone and everything with respect’ and we are proud to promote and celebrate our different backgrounds and beliefs. 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.
We celebrate the role of Britain both historically and in the present. We want pupils to have knowledge of and be proud of their British heritage and the cultural and historical traditions. This involves celebrating Royal events, Remembrance Day, festivals such as Christmas and Easter (alongside those from other cultures such as Eid, Diwali and Chinese New Year, for example) and some Saint days.
We visit and participate with local churches for some celebrations. In addition we have visiting speakers from three local churches that periodically lead assemblies in school.
We follow Stockport’s Scheme of Work for RE and we have a daily act of worship.
High Lane Primary School is a very caring school. 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.
‘There are outstanding relationships between staff and pupils. Staff know pupils very well and value them as individuals’ Ofsted 2014
Children learn that their behaviour choices have an effect on their own rights and those of others. All members of the school community treat each other with respect. Courtesy and good manners are expected and are the norm.
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.