Promoting British Values at Norbury School
The Department for Education state that there is a 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 were reiterated by the Prime Minister in 2014. The Government emphasizes that schools are required to ensure that key ‘British Values’ are taught in all UK schools.
Schools, through their curriculum, are legally bound to actively promote the fundamental British values:
- Democracy – Respect for democracy and support for participation in the democratic process
- The rule of law – respect for the basis on which the law is made and applies in England
- Individual liberty – support and respect for the liberties of all within the law
- Mutual respect – respect for all
- Tolerance of those of different faiths and beliefs – tolerance of different faiths and religious and other beliefs
At Norbury School these values are reinforced regularly and are taught through our broad, balanced and enriched curriculum.
Democracy is embedded at the school. Pupils are always listened to by adults and are taught to listen carefully and with concern to each other, respecting the right of every individual to have their opinions and voices heard. Each year the children decide upon their class rules, the children contribute to the drawing up of these. House Captains are elected through a democratic voting system.
Pupils also have the opportunity to air their opinions and ideas through our School Council and questionnaires. The elections of the School Council members and House/team Captains are based solely on pupil votes, reflecting our British electoral system and demonstrating democracy in action. The school council meets regularly to discuss issues raised in class council meetings.
The Rule of Law
The importance of Laws, whether they be those that govern the class, the school, or the country, are consistently reinforced throughout every school day, as well as when dealing with behaviour and through school assemblies. A consistently applied Behaviour Policy is shared with the children and visible in all areas of the school. Expectations are reinforced regularly and opportunities are sought frequently to praise positive choices. Pupils’ modelling behaviour consistent with the school’s high expectations are recognised and used as role models to others.
Pupils are taught the value and reasons behind laws, that they govern, keep us safe and protect us, the responsibilities that this involves and the consequences when laws are broken. Visits from authorities such as the Police, Fire Service and other ‘people who help us’, help reinforce this message and the children’s understanding of the responsibilities held by various professions.
Within school, pupils 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 our pupils to make choices safely, through provision of a safe environment and empowering education. Pupils are encouraged to know, understand and exercise their rights and personal freedoms and advised how to exercise these safely, for example through our E-Safety and PSHE lessons. Whether it is through choice of learning challenge, of how they record, of participation in our numerous extra-curricular clubs and opportunities, pupils are given the freedom to make choices.
Positive Behaviours are taught across the school and every child is aware that they have the right to feel safe. There is a strong anti-bullying culture where children are valued for their differences and care is taken to provide equal opportunities for all genders such as mixed boys and girls football and netball team. Stereotypes are challenged.
Time and care is taken to know each child as an individual. Pupils are supported to develop their self-knowledge, self-esteem and self-confidence. They are encouraged to take responsibility for their behaviour, as well as knowing their rights.
As a rights respecting school, mutual respect is at the heart of our values. Children learn that their behaviours have an effect on their own rights and those of others. All members of the school community treat each other with respect. The pupils know and understand that it is expected and imperative that respect is shown to everyone, whatever differences we may have and to everything, however big or small.
If pupils show disrespect to one another, this is dealt with immediately through the school’s behaviour policy and Parents/Carers are contacted. A consistent behaviour policy is in place and children take responsibility, with support when needed, to resolve conflict and repair relationships. Time is given for this repair and restoration and to talk about the behaviour which is disrespectful to others.
Tolerance of those of Different Faiths and Beliefs
Our value of respect ensures tolerance of those who have different faiths and beliefs, disability, gender or sexuality and differences of family situations, such as looked-after children or young carers. We promote respect for individual differences and help pupils to acquire an understanding of, and respect for, their own and other cultures and ways of life. Assemblies are regularly planned to address this issue either directly or through the inclusion of stories and celebrations from a variety of faiths and cultures. We enhances pupils understanding of different faiths and beliefs through RE and PSHE work. Beliefs, traditions and customs will be studied, with visitors being invited in to our school to enrich and extend understanding. Members of different faiths or religions are encouraged to share their knowledge to enhance learning within classes and the school. Children visit places of worship that are important to different faiths. Through this our pupils gain an enhanced understanding of their place in a culturally diverse society.
We will actively challenge pupils, staff or parents expressing opinions contrary to fundamental British Values, including ‘extremist’ views.