Why is British values part of the responsibility for school to teach?
In 2011 the government set out its definition of British Values and in 2014 these values were re-iterated. The DFE state that schools must demonstrate how they are ‘actively promoting’ these values.
This requirement goes hand in hand with the legislation introduced which places additional responsibility on Schools to prevent children from becoming radicalised (the Prevent Duty).
Prevent Duty –What are the aims of this?
Recent trends, hate crime, Self-initiated terrorists (inspiring would be attackers through ideologies and extremist media).
In our recent inspection OFSTED identified one of our “Areas for Improvement” to be British Values. Whilst we are confident that this area is covered we have a renewed focus to ensure this is taught well and understood by all children. We hope that through our work the children will be able to articulate these values and their impact within their own lives.
What are the British values?
These values are complimented by and contributing to our school values of:
“RESPECT, AMBITION, RESILIENCE”
Our school council / parliament is an excellent representation of democracy at a school level. Children are elected to represent the pupil voice and through school and Eco- council. Council leaders meet with members of the SLT to discuss improvements and how staff, students and the community can work together. On occasions other “working parties” perform roles which involve pupil voice and the principles of democracy. They understand the electoral system, voting and the idea of consensus. The school Council have established links to decision making at governor level on certain issues and areas of focus.
The Rule of Law
Everybody is subject to laws and rules. Wren Park is no different. What is essential for children is that they understand why there are laws and rules. Linking with respect and inclusion rules provide the basic expectations everyone should meet. Rules both written and unwritten are understood as being essential for the safety, security, fairness and well-being. Consequences of not following rules are known and understood. Where rules break down or are not followed reflection, consequences and improvements are considered as essential areas for continual improvement. The Behaviour Policy reminds children that breaking rules may have an impact upon others and consequences for themselves.
Within school, 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 young pupils to make choices safely, through the 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, assemblies. Whether it be through choice of challenge within the curriculum, of participation in our numerous extra-curricular clubs and opportunities, pupils are given the freedom to make choices.
Also, through the curriculum students learn to understand the importance of liberty e.g. in History about Civil Rights, Slavery and the Suffragette Movement. Also, in RE students learn about religious freedoms in the UK. In PSHE children learn about their rights and responsibilities under laws such as Health & Safety, Freedom of Information, Copyright and Consumer Protection Act.
Wren Park children are encouraged and expected to respect each others views and the views of others. This is achieved through education. Assemblies, PSHE, special curriculum days, learning through subjects and extracurricular activities and trips all contribute to an understanding and respect of others.
Inclusion of those with different faiths or beliefs
This is achieved through enhancing pupils understanding of their place in a culturally diverse society and by giving them opportunities to experience such diversity. Assemblies, Citizenship Days and our curriculum is designed to develop inclusion and understanding of those with different cultures, beliefs and faiths. During whole school assemblies we will cover Christian values such as respect, hope, forgiveness and we will teach about other faiths throughout the year. We use opportunities to celebrate differences and similarities between faiths and values and use our “pupil body” and community experts to help teach about faith. We follow the Derby City and Derbyshire agreed Religious Education syllabus.
During children’s time at Wren Park there will be opportunities to visit other faith’s places of worship including Church, Mosque, Temple or Open Centre and guest speakers will be invited to talk to the children and discuss what their faith means to them. A number of charities are supported by the school, both locally, nationally and globally, these are chosen regardless of faith or belief. Any incident of prejudice including those which are based on faith or belief are treated seriously and in accordance with school behaviour and Anti-Bullying policy. They will be recorded on school records and individual pupil records. Any trends of concern will be monitored by SLT and school governors. Any community tensions will be shared with relevant services including with the Prevent Officer for East Midlands.
British Values- Practically
What does promoting British values actually involve and how do we meet this requirement? Some examples.
Rule of Law
Mutual respect and tolerance
How do we teach it?
British Values and school values are taught as part of our planned curriculum and incidentally when opportunities arise such as current news stories, calendar events, tensions or events with school or local community. Our curriculum subjects of PSHE, RSE, Science, History, Geography, Art, Computing lend themselves well to the promotion of British values along with our teaching of Protected Characteristics, Equality and Diversity and E: Safety.
Specific Lessons-Scheme of work
We are in the process of enhancing our teaching by implementing a Scheme of work with lessons covering British Values in a systematic manner. This is currently being trialled in a school pilot and will be reviewed within school. The scheme of work will be scaled up to whole school for the academic year 2023-24. We are basing this scheme on the work of “The Linking Network”.
If you require further information please speak to a member of the Senior Leadership Team.