Promoting British Values
Promoting British Values at St John’s
Background and Rationale
Maintained schools under section 78 of the Education Act (2002) requires schools, as part of a broad and balanced curriculum, to promote spiritual, moral, cultural, mental and physical development of pupils at the school and of society.
The National Curriculum includes the following statement:
The school curriculum should contribute to the development of pupils’ sense of identity through knowledge and understanding of the spiritual, moral, social and cultural heritages of Britain’s diverse society and of the local, national, European, Commonwealth and global dimensions of their lives
The 2012 Teachers’ Standards state, as part of teachers’ personal and professional conduct:
‘Teachers uphold public trust in the profession and maintain high standards of ethics and behaviour, within and outside school, by: not undermining fundamental British values, including democracy, the rule of law, individual liberty and mutual respect, and tolerance of those with different faiths and beliefs.’
These values support the national Prevent Strategy, put before Parliament in 2011 by the Home Secretary as a response to radicalisation of British citizens.
British Values are defined by OFSTED as:
‘Acceptance and engagement with the fundamental British values of democracy, the rule of law, individual liberty and mutual respect and tolerance of those with different faiths and beliefs; pupils develop and demonstrate skills and attitudes that will allow them to participate fully in and contribute positively to life in modern Britain.’
At St. John’s, these values are reinforced regularly in the following ways:
Democracy is an important part of life across the school. Each year the children decide upon their class charter and the rights associated with these.Pupils have the opportunity to have their voices heard through our School Council and by choosing starting points for topic based work through discussions on what they know and what they would like to learn. Our Broadening Horizons sessions encourage choice and provide an opening for children to put themselves forward for leadership roles through the running of groups.
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 are regular parts of our calendar and help reinforce this message.
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 PSHE lessons. Whether it be through choice of learning challenge, of participation in extra-curricular clubs and opportunities, pupils are given the freedom to make choices.
Part of our school ethos revolves around Core Values such as Respect, Thankfulness and Forgiveness and pupils have been part of discussions and assemblies related to what this means and how it is shown. Our Multicultural weeks help to promote support for each other and the valuable contributions we all make to our community.
Tolerance of those of Different Faiths and Beliefs
This is achieved through enhancing pupils understanding of their place in a culturally diverse society and by giving them opportunities to experience and celebrate such diversity. Members of different faiths or religions are encouraged to share their knowledge to enhance learning within the school. Children also visit places of worship that are important to different faiths. Assemblies and Circle Time involving prejudices and prejudice-based bullying take place and are reinforced in our RE and PSHE curriculum.
As in all Christian schools, Christian values run alongside these British values and are intertwined within all areas of the curriculum. Due to this cross-over of values, we feel the children at St. Johns grow up with these British values being ever present within our school day.