The DfE have 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 have been reiterated this year (2014). At St Augustine’s CE Primary School, these values are reinforced regularly and in the following ways.
St Augustine’s is a UNICEF Rights Respecting school. Each year the children decide upon their class charter and the rights associated with these. All the children contribute to the drawing up of the charter.
Children have many opportunities for their voices to be heard. We have a school council which meets regularly to discuss issues raised in class council meetings. The council has its own budget and is able to genuinely effect change within the school. The council members for each year group are voted in by their class.
The School Council then also makes up the Rights Respecting Steering Group and the Eco Group; the RRSG are responsible for ensuring the rights of the child are met and the ECO Group ensure we are ‘Reduce, Reuse and Recycle’ school.
We have a yearly Parliament Week and an annual Take Over Day where the children hear manifestos and then vote for their new Headteacher. All children also get the chance to meet with their local MP and Year 5 visit the Town Hall for a guided tour by the local councillor.
The children in Year 6 further enhance their understanding of democracy by visiting the Houses of Parliament and Downing Street on their annual trip to the country’s capital city.
Children have an annual questionnaire with which 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 throughout regular school days, as well as when dealing with behaviour and through school assemblies.
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. Visits from authorities such as the Police and Fire Service and North West Ambulance Service help reinforce this message. The children in Year 5 further develop their understanding of the rule of law by visiting the County Court and taking part in ‘mock-up’ trials.
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 young 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 PSHCE lessons. There is a strong pupil voice present in school with members from all classes. Pupils are given freedom to decide whether or not they want to stand for ‘election’ and choose who they want to vote for.
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.
Tolerance of those of Different Faiths and Beliefs
St Augustine’s is a small, faith school which is proud to be at the heart of the local community. There are 25 different languages spoken within the school. We pride ourselves on the work we do around diversity and equality. Daily Collective Worship is planned to address this issue either directly or through the inclusion of stories and celebrations from a variety of faiths and cultures.
Our RE, PSHCE and RRSA teaching also reinforce this. 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. The children celebrate Chinese New Year, Diwali, Harvest, Christmas, Easter and Eid.