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. At Guyhirn Church of England Primary School these values are reinforced regularly and in the following ways.
Democracy is embedded at the school. Pupils are always listened to by adults and are taught to listen carefully, with respect and that individuals have the right to their own opinion and to be heard. Pupils also have the opportunity to air their opinions, thoughts and ideas through our School Council and Eco Committee. The elections of the School Council members and Eco Committee are based solely on pupil votes, reflecting our British electoral system and demonstrating democracy in action.
The Rule of Law
The importance of laws whether they are those that govern the class, the school or the country, are consistently reinforced. Our school has ‘Golden Rules’, which are deeply embedded in our work every day. Each class also has discussions and sets its own rules that are clearly understood by all to ensure that every class member is able to learn in a safe and secure environment. Our pupils are taught the value and reasons behind laws, that they govern and protect us, the responsibilities that this involves and the consequences when laws are broken.
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 the provision of a safe environment, a restorative approach, assertive mentoring and an empowering education. Our pupils are encouraged to know, understand and exercise their rights and personal freedoms and are advised how to exercise these safely; examples of this can be seen in our e-safety, RE and P.S.H.E. lessons. Whether it is through choice of challenge; of participation in our extra- curricular activities; our pupils are given the freedom to make choices.
Respect is one of the core values of our school, our ethos – Agape to live, to learn and to love together and our Christian values. The pupils and staff 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. Our school ethos underpins our work every day both in and out of the classroom. Our SIAMS inspection graded us as good confirming that school life is underpinned by the values and ethos of Agape and the care and respect for each other within our Christian values.
Tolerance of Those With Different Faiths And Beliefs
Our core value of Respect ensures tolerance of those who have different faiths and beliefs. Guyhirn Church of England Primary School enhances pupils understanding of different faiths and beliefs through religious education studies; Daily Collective worship; P.S.H.E. work; visits to other places of worship; welcoming visitors that are not predominately white British. During Multicultural week the whole school will focus on a different faith each day. Beliefs, traditions and customs will be studied in depth, with visitors being invited in to our school to enrich and extend understanding. Through this our pupils gain an enhanced understanding of their place in a culturally diverse society.