At Firs Primary School we are proud of our diverse community. Together we share and celebrate the values that are fundamental to British society. Through our school values, curriculum and the experiences we give to our children, we ensure that the children understand the importance of mutual respect, democracy, individual liberty and the rule of law and how these are integral to our everyday life.
The Department for Education states 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 defines fundamental British Values as the following:
We aim to embed British Values alongside our school vision and ethos. We have eight school values that we call, ‘The Roots’. Our eight school values are:
We teaching our children about care and consideration towards our wider community and planet. We strongly believe that it is important for them to learn their individual roles and responsibilities within society.
The teaching of British Values at Firs Primary fits into our every day school routine and is seamless throughout the year. The children are regularly exposed to enriched experiences such as special visitors, going to school trips, relating our topics to British Values, involving the pupils to create class rules, voting for school councillor, expressing interests and practicing debating skills. We aim to allow children to understand that it is imperative that every person in our school is unique and we celebrate our differences by showing respect and tolerance towards everyone regardless of faith, background or race.
What are the National Curriculum requirements for this subject?
On the 27th November 2014, the Department of Education published guidance on how schools can promote British Values. They have stated that all independent and state maintained schools have a duty to ‘actively promote’ the fundamental British Values of Democracy, the rule of law, Individual Liberty and mutual respect and tolerance of those with or without different faiths and beliefs.
Democracy: This refers to being in a democratic country, having the freedom to vote and participate in decisions.
The Rule of Law: The understanding of what rules are, how they are enforced and how they can be applied fairly.
Individual Liberty: Giving children the opportunity to make choices and take risks, knowing that they are in a safe environment where their learning is supported and giving them the freedom to exercise their rights.
Mutual Respect for, and tolerance of those with or without faith: Respecting other people’s religions, faiths, beliefs, cultural backgrounds, thoughts and feelings and treating them fairly, regardless of any differences we may have
How do we promote British Values at Firs Primary?
We promote democracy throughout the curriculum and encourage children to have and share their own voices, make meaningful contributions and debate topic of interests. Our school regulation policy is clear that children are expected to contribute and cooperate, taking into account the views of others, following the class contracts they created collectively in September. At the beginning of every topic, children complete a worksheet where they share what they would like to learn within the topic and this is taken into consideration at the planning stage. School Council representatives are elected democratically in each class.
Rule of law
From entry to school pupils are continually taught to recognise the difference between right and wrong and this, alongside their developing maturity, helps them to apply their understanding of these concepts in their daily lives.
We consistently reinforce our high expectations of children in the classroom, on the playground and during assemblies, all of which are promoted within our Friday celebration assemblies. Children are taught the value and reasons behind our ‘Roots’ and that they are there to protect us, that everyone has a responsibility and that there are consequences when rules are broken. Pupils are encouraged to respect the law and enjoy visits from authorities such as the Fire Service.
Within our school children are encouraged to make choices, knowing that they are in a safe and supportive environment to enable them to do this. Pupils are encouraged to take responsibility for their behaviour and our pastoral support reinforces the importance of making the right choices. Through our PSHE sessions, we discuss different choices that the children can make and encourage them to make the right choices. Our regulation policy also gives an excellent forum for staff to discuss the choices that pupils make about their behaviour in school. It is used to encourage pupils to reflect on their choices and the effect that it has on both their peers and adults. They are given opportunities to resolve conflicts effectively and fairly.
Through E-safety we teach the importance of keeping yourself safe by choosing not to share personal information and this is kept current by the use of visitors and performers who address issues as technology continues to develop. We also have E Safety ambassadors that inform pupils of new information/ apps and how to stay safe as well as pupils having other key roles and responsibilities in school e.g. Year 6 lunchtime leaders, eco warriors and school council representatives.
One of our Roots is built around mutual respect and we believe that respect for others is a vital component of moral development. We are an inclusive school where everyone is valued and has a contribution to make to the school. Children learn and appreciate that everyone is different and we celebrate and learn from these differences. Children learn that their behaviour is a choice and has an effect on their own rights and those of others.
We encourage open discussions in all areas but particularly in lessons which promote citizenship such as PSHE and P4C sessions. Staff help children to understand how to respect by talking about how actions/words can affect others. We offer a culturally rich and diverse curriculum in which all major religions are studied and respected and global dimension work embedded in many of our humanities topics and discrete language lessons (Spanish). These curriculum topics offer children the chance to reflect on our core values and British values.
We actively support all children to develop their own reasoned views about moral and ethical issues.