TEACHING BRITISH VALUES
Promoting British Values at Morley Victoria Primary School
The DfE have recently reinforced the 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 in 2014.
At Morley Victoria Primary we understand that the society we live in is diverse and therefore, our curriculum and life within school reflects this. For our pupils, we aim to continually weave the thread of social, cultural, moral and spiritual British values throughout day to day school life. Underpinning this are the values and understanding of democracy, law, liberty, respect, tolerance, tradition and heritage. The ‘Equality Act 2010’ protects all individuals from discrimination and it is the school's duty to ensure that all individuals have equal access and opportunity to all that is on offer. Funding, including that for pupils with special educational needs and disabilities (SEND) and disadvantaged pupils, is used to target inequalities, to ensure equality.
At Morley Victoria these values are reinforced regularly and in the following ways:
Through our Investors in Pupils work each year, the children decide upon their class mission statement and the rights associated with these. Each class vote for two school council representatives which gives every class a say on the decisions that are made at our school. The council meets every week with a Co-Headteacher and Assistant Head teacher to discuss any issues raised in class council meetings. The council is genuinely able to effect change within our school. Our PSHCE curriculum encourages all aspects of respect for democracy and the democratic process. In Key Stage Two, each team or house elect a vice captain and captain after giving a speech to their house. Individual children are also appointed for posts of responsibility in the classroom such as class monitors and attendance officers. All children have an annual questionnaire where they are able to put forward their views about the 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 at Morley Victoria. Pupils are taught the rules from an early age in the Foundation Stage. Each class and Key Stage have an agreed set of rules and a behaviour contract. The children are aware of the consequences of not following the rules in their school community. The children learn to understand the difference between right and wrong in all aspects of school life throughout the day. There is an opportunity for children to put right what has been done wrong, wherever possible. Children are given the opportunity to understand aspects of civil and criminal law and discuss how this might be different from some religious laws. Pupils in our school expect and receive a fair system where actions are always respectfully justified. Pupils are taught the value and reasons behind rules and laws; that they exist to govern and protect us, the responsibilities that this involves and the consequences when laws are broken.
Visits from authorities such as the Police and Fire Service help reinforce this message.
At Morley Victoria our 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 young pupils to make informed choices, through a safe environment and an empowering education. 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 e-Safety and PSHCE lessons. Our children are encouraged to give their opinions and share these ideas with due regard for the feelings of others. As part of our PSHCE curriculum 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 both in and out of school in assemblies, through certificates and on ‘praise pad’ notes home. All of the children have access to the Family Liaison Officer or the Emotional Health and Wellbeing Manager when necessary. This helps the children access support in a confidential and supportive way.
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.
Tolerance of those of different Faiths and Beliefs
We actively promote diversity through our celebrations of different faiths and cultures. Religious Education lessons and PSHCE lessons reinforce messages of tolerance and respect for others. Members of different faiths and religions are encouraged to share their knowledge to enhance learning within classes and the school. The children visit places of worship that are important to different faiths. Throughout school life the children are encouraged to discuss differences between people such as their faith, ethnicity, disability, gender or sexuality. They also discuss differences in family life such as looked after children or young carers.
British Traditions and Heritage
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 that we are renowned for the world over. This involves celebrating Royal events, Remembrance Day, festivals such as Harvest, Christmas, Easter (alongside those from other cultures such as Eid, Diwali and Chinese New Year). We visit the local church three times a year to mark these celebrations. The children visit places of cultural significance such as Leeds Museum (Romans and Egyptians), Jorvik Centre (Vikings), Yorkshire Sculpture Park and Eden Camp (WW2).
We work tirelessly to build a culture that will stand the test of time, where our pupils can become good, effective citizens. We teach our children to respect everyone regardless of any differences. The Investors in Pupils initiative ensures that this is firmly embedded into the ethos of our school.