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 were reiterated in 2014. At Willow Tree Primary School these values are supported regularly in the following ways:
Democratic processes are embedded in the way we work at Willow Tree. At Willow Tree Primary School we ensure that pupils are given a ‘voice’ to communicate. Weekly school council meetings are held and councillors ensure there are follow up meetings in class. The school house system allows children to be represented and have their say. At the beginning of their class projects children are consulted on what they want to learn. They are also involved in deciding what their home learning task could be. Children respond daily to their marking and identify what they have learnt and where they may need further support. This is supported by a number of pupil questionnaires, pupil interviews where pupils’ views are sought.
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. Pupils are helped to learn to manage their behaviour and take responsibility for their actions.
Staff are committed to providing a consistent environment within the school and beyond. We can help some pupils to understand the connection between actions and consequences. This type of environment enables pupils to feel safe and secure; this in turn, promotes the optimum conditions for learning to take place.
Visits from authorities such as the Police and Fire Service help reinforce this message.
Within school, pupils are actively encouraged to make choices, knowing that they are in a safe and supportive environment. The many pastoral policies in school including the Behaviour policy, Anti Bullying Policy and Racial Equality Policy support this ethos. 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 PSHE lessons. Whether it be through choice of learning challenge, of how they record, of participation in our numerous extra-curricular clubs and opportunities, pupils are given the freedom to make choices. Learning to do things independently is an important part of learning to understand yourself. At Willow Tree Primary School we believe that by engendering a caring and helpful environment and by teaching pupils to be independent can boost and nurture a healthy self-esteem.
Mutual respect sits at the heart of Willow Tree values. Children learn that their behaviours have an effect on their own rights and those of others. These values are reflected in daily life and underpin everything we do.
Cultural appreciation and development forms part of our curriculum. We place great emphasis on providing encounters and participation in events and celebrations to broaden all pupils’ experiences and awareness of others. Assemblies and topics are regularly planned to address this issue either directly or through the inclusion of stories and celebrations from a variety of faiths and cultures. Our RE and PSHE teaching 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. This enables children to reflect upon the community in which they live and how as good citizens they can contribute to it.