Promoting Fundamental British Values.
In accordance with The Department for Education we aim to actively promote British values in schools to ensure young people leave school prepared for life in modern Britain.
Pupils are encouraged to regard people of all faiths, races and cultures with respect and tolerance and understand that while different people may hold different views about what is ‘right’ and ‘wrong’, all people living in England are subject to its law.
The Key Values are:
• rule of law
• individual liberty
• mutual respect
• tolerance of those of different faiths and beliefs
British values at Southover
How well a school promotes British Values is now an aspect of Ofsted’s inspection process.
Although this is something which is developing in its significance for schools, it is not something new at Southover Primary. British values are promoted in so much of what we do, not least during our school assemblies, Religious Education and Social and Emotional Aspects of Learning (SEAL) sessions. The values are integral to our school values which complement British values.
As well as actively promoting British values, the opposite also applies: we would actively challenge pupils, staff or parents expressing opinions contrary to fundamental British values, including ‘extremist’ views.
The term ‘British values’ might be slightly misleading in that these values are integral to so many countries throughout the world – they differ in no way from the values of most western European countries, for example.
Below are just a few examples of how we promote British values. The first section is a general overview; the others are specific expectations set out by Ofsted.
Schools are subject to a duty (Section 26, Counter-Terrorism and Security Act 2015) to have “due regard to the need to prevent people from being drawn into terrorism”. This duty is known as the Prevent duty. At the foot of this page there is some information to support parents in discussions about extremism and preventing radicalisation.
Being part of Britain
As a school, we value and celebrate the diverse heritages of everybody at Southover. Alongside this, we value and celebrate being part of Britain. In general terms, this means that we celebrate traditions, such as customs in the course of the year; for example, Remembrance during the Autumn term. We also value and celebrate national events – anything from the Diamond Jubilee to the Olympics to national fund-raising events (e.g Children in Need).
Further, children learn about being part of Britain from different specific perspectives. Two specific examples of when we teach about being part of Britain are:
Geographically: We teach children about the British isles, key counties and cities
Historically: The ‘Decades’ topic looks at British History since the 1950s.
Children, parents and staff have many opportunities for their voices to be heard at Southover Primary. Democracy is central to how we operate.
An obvious example is our School Council. The election of the School Council members reflects our British electoral system and demonstrates democracy in action: candidates make speeches, pupils consider characteristics important for an elected representative and pupils all get the chance to vote. Made up of two representatives from each class, the School Council meets regularly to discuss issues raised by the different classes. The council has its own budget and is able to genuinely effect change within the school; in the past, the School Council has planned the new play-trail area and taken part in decisions about the school motto. The Council are actively involved in providing teachers with feedback on all areas of school life.
Other examples of ‘pupil voice’ are:
- children agree their Class Rules and the rights associated with these; all children contribute to the drawing up of the rules
- our regular questionnaires give children the chance to give feedback on many aspects of their school experience
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 pupils to take ownership of not only their school but also of their own learning and progress. This encourages a heightened sense of both personal and social responsibility and is demonstrated on a daily basis by our pupils.
Rules and laws
The importance of rules and laws, whether they be those that govern our school or our country, are referred to and reinforced often, such as in assemblies and when reflecting on behaviour choices. At the start of the school year, each class discusses and sets its own Class Charter, a set of principles that are clearly understood by all and seen to be necessary to ensure that every class member is able to learn in a safe and ordered environment.
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. These values are reinforced in different ways:
- visits from organisations such as the police and fire service
- during Religious Education, when rules for particular faiths are thought about
- during other school subjects, where there is respect and appreciation for different rules – in a sports lesson, for example
Alongside rules and laws, we promote freedom of choice and the right to respectfully express views and beliefs. Through the provision of a safe, supportive environment and empowering education, we provide boundaries for our young pupils to make choices safely; for example:
- choices about what learning challenge or activity
- choices about how they record their learning
- choices around the participation in extra-curricular activities
- a wide ranging choice of extra-curricular activities
Many of our assemblies and the focus of much of our PSHE and Citizenship work covers aspects of individual liberty.
Our pupils are encouraged to know, understand and exercise their rights and personal freedoms and are taught how to exercise these safely, such as in our e-safety and SEAL lessons.
Mutual respect and tolerance of those with different faiths and beliefs
Southover Primary is in an area which is not as culturally diverse as some but we are proud to to promote and celebrate our different backgrounds and beliefs. Mutual respect is at the heart of our values: We
- Value everyone’s contributions and achievements, feelings and needs;
- Develop a passion for justice and fairness for all;
- Care for each other, our community and the world;
Our pupils know and understand that it is expected and imperative that respect is shown to everyone, whatever differences we may have, and to everything, whether it is a school resource, a religious belief or whatever. Children learn that their behaviour choices have an effect on their own rights and those of others. All members of the school community should treat each other with respect.
Specific examples of how we at Southover Primary enhance pupils understanding and respect for different faiths and beliefs are:
- through Religious Education, SEAL, assemblies and other lessons where we might develop awareness and appreciation of other cultures – in English through fiction and in Art by considering culture from other parts of the world, for example
- enjoying finding out about our differences though themed weeks such as ‘Equalities Week’ and ‘Diversity Week’.
Sadly, no school can guarantee that there will never be instances which are contrary to this value. At Southover Primary, such instances are extremely rare. They are treated seriously in line with our Behaviour and Pastoral Policy
Something which is clearly not part of any British or European value is extremism. It is important to remember that whilst the threat from so-called Islamic State has been a focus in the Counter Terrorism and Security Act, the Prevent Duty is clear that extremism of all kinds should be tackled. Extremism is not a new topic in education, but schools have a relatively new statutory duty to pay “due regard to the need to prevent people from being drawn into terrorism”.
Read our guide for parents here