The Department for Education states 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 Department for Education defines British Values as follows:
- Respect for democracy and support or participation in the democratic process
- Respect for the basis on which the law is made and applies in England
- Support for equality of opportunity for all
- Support and respect for the liberties of all within the law
- Respect for and tolerance of different faiths and religious and other beliefs
How should we help our children prepare for adult life as citizens of Britain?
We ensure that the fundamental British Values are introduced, discussed and lived out through the ethos and work of both our schools. All curriculum areas provide a vehicle for furthering understanding of these concepts and, in particular, Understanding The World/RE, PSED/PSHE Education and assemblies provide opportunities to deepen and develop understanding. Learning about British Values forms a key part of children’s spiritual, moral, cultural and social education.
We encourage our children to be creative, unique, open-minded and independent individuals, respectful of themselves and of others in our school, our local community and the wider world. We aim to nurture our children on their journey through life so they can grow into safe, caring, democratic, responsible and tolerant adults who make a positive difference to British Society and to the world.
We are committed to working with our families and the wider local community to ensure that multi-cultural, multi-faith and the ever-changing nature of the United Kingdom is understood and valued. We will teach all children about ‘fundamental British values’ in an age-appropriate way through a broad and balanced curriculum and also through the examples set by all members of staff.
The teaching of such values will include learning right from wrong, learning to take turns and share, challenging any negative attitudes and stereotypes and about democracy and understanding their own rights as an individual in lessons and wider school life. We promote the importance of identifying and combating discrimination and to understand that we all have the freedom to choose and hold different faiths.
We respect and celebrate different cultures and religions and we welcome all families to share their religious beliefs, festivals and celebrations with us. As part of our admission procedures, we ask parents to tell us about their religion and culture and any requirements they may have so we can be as inclusive and welcoming as possible to all new families.
In line with government guidelines, we believe that ‘One of the most important roles of the education system is that it should prepare young people for life in modern Britain’. We believe that it is never too early to start supporting all children to feel part of the school and wider community, to recognise and embrace differences within society and to challenge extreme views and attitudes that may threaten the stability of modern Britain and are therefore contrary to fundamental British Values.
Democracy is richly embedded within our school. Pupils have the opportunity to have their voices heard, for example through regular pupil voice interviews and surveys at both schools.
At Hackbridge Primary School, School Council representatives are democratically elected each year by their classmates - after candidates put themselves forward to their class, a secret ballot is held and pupils are voted for by their classmates. Members of the Senior Leadership Team regularly meet with the School Council to hear their views.
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. We encourage our pupils to take ownership of their school and their learning progress which gives them a heightened sense of both personal and social responsibility. Our Behaviour and Anti-Bullying policy involves positive reinforcements, rewards and consequences and this is adhered to throughout all aspects of school life and also shared with parents, carers and children throughout the whole school.
The Rule of Law
The importance of laws, whether they be those that govern the class, the school or the country, are consistently reinforced on a regular basis such as in assemblies, PSED/PSHE Education and when reflecting on behaviour choices.
Pupils are given important roles in school, whether this be at classroom level for some of our youngest pupils, and progressing into school wide roles in the primary school such as School Councillors, the Eco Team, Reading Ambassadors, Sports Supremos and Year 6 Prefects. Our children are encouraged to understand responsibility in school in terms of behaviour and attitudes to learning. Pupils are taught the value and reasons behind rules and laws and that they govern and protect us; the responsibilities that this involves and the consequences when they are broken. Visits from authorities such as the Police and the Fire Service are a part of our calendar of events to help reinforce this message. The Behaviour and Anti-Bullying policy encourages restorative practice to resolve conflict and the school has zero-tolerance for any form of aggression and abuse to violence, which extends to pupils, staff and parents/carers.
Our pupils are actively encouraged to make choices, knowing that they are in a safe and supportive environment. We provide boundaries for all pupils to make choices safely. Pupils are encouraged to know, understand and exercise their rights and personal freedoms and are advised how to exercise these safely, for example through our online safety and PSED/PSHE Education lessons. Pupils are also given freedom to make wider choices such as involvement in child-led learning (EYFS), choosing the level of challenge in some lessons (Years 1-6), attending extra-curricular clubs and supporting fundraising events.
We hold respect at the core of our school values and it is taught explicitly within lessons, assemblies and in our day-to-day teaching and interactions with each other. The school strongly promotes respect for individual differences. It is shared with home through newsletters, social media and website information. Adults throughout our school model, demonstrate and promote respect for others. Our older pupils also model this as they undertake suitable, age related tasks and responsibilities. Mutual respect is also reiterated throughout our school rules and values as well as our Behaviour and Anti-Bullying policy.
Tolerance of those with different faiths and beliefs
We are a culturally rich and diverse school where children have unique opportunities to learn from each other by sharing and celebrating their different faiths and cultures. Our pupils know and understand that it is expected that respect is shown to everyone and everything, whatever differences we may have. Children learn that their behaviour choices have an effect on their own rights and those of others. All members of the school community are encouraged to treat each other with respect. Through the PSED/PSHE Education and RE curriculums, pupils are encouraged to discuss and respect differences between people, such as differences of faith, ethnicity, disability, gender or sexuality and differences of family situations, such as looked after children or young carers. We follow the curriculum coverage for RE set out by the Sutton Standing Advisory Council on Religious Education (Sutton SACRE) and offer a culturally rich and diverse curriculum in which all major religions are studied and respected. Links and visits are promoted with local faith communities and places of worship.