The Department for Education has introduced a statutory duty for schools to promote British Values more actively from September 2014, and to ensure they are taught in schools.
Burley and Woodhead CE Primary School is committed to serving our community. We recognise the multi-cultural, multi-faith and ever changing nature of the United Kingdom. We also understand the vital role we have in ensuring that groups or individuals within the school are not subjected to intimidation or radicalisation by those wishing to unduly, or illegally, influence them.
We follow equal opportunities guidance which guarantees that there will be no discrimination against any individual or group, regardless of faith, ethnicity, gender, sexuality, political or financial status, or similar. Burley and Woodhead CE Primary School is dedicated to preparing our pupils for their adult life beyond the formal, examined curriculum. We ensure that we promote and reinforce British Values to all our children, staff and the wider community.
The government set out its definition of British Values in the 2011 Prevent Strategy. The five key British Values are:
- The rule of law
- Individual liberty
- Mutual respect
- Tolerance of those of different faiths and beliefs
Burley and Woodhead CE Primary School uses strategies within the national curriculum and beyond to secure such outcomes for our children. The examples that follow show some of the many ways we seek to instil British Values.
At Burley and Woodhead CE Primary School, we teach a values education based on Christian Values, all of which are linked to those listed above. We value the backgrounds of all our pupils and families and we undertake a variety of events and lessons to celebrate these. We have found this approach to be enriching for everyone as it teaches tolerance and respect for the differences in our community and the wider world. Underpinning all this are a range of curriculum topics which have strong links to the British Empire.
In following the new RE curriculum, all pupils will learn in detail about key faiths and through this learning they will be taught to show respect for those faiths. Through History pupils are taught about significant periods in British History.
Democracy plays a key role within day to day life of our school. Pupils have the opportunity to have their voices heard through our proactive school. All class representatives are voted on by their class peers every term to ensure that as many children as possible have the opportunity to represent their class. The election process is explained in detail and the vote day takes the format of an election. Prospective candidates write a manifesto, outlining their views and what they would do if they were elected as a member of the school council. Our pupils also evaluate Collective Worship and have influence on whole school practice. Individual pupils also have the opportunity to put themselves forward for roles and responsibilities such as the Digital leaders, school librarian, P.E. leaders, Science leaders and members of the newsletter team. Our annual Children’s Commissioner takeover day in November, when children apply to take over the jobs of the adults in school for the day, helps them to see the day to day running of the roles and responsibilities that adults undertake in school. Through the Literacy curriculum, children are taught the skill of debating and voting, based on arguments put forward. Last year, years five and six researched and debated the arguments for and against leaving the European Union. Through teaching in PSHCE, children are taught about freedom of speech and the how individual’s voice can make a positive difference to the lives of others. They study key figures that are good examples of this.
The rule of law
The importance of laws, whether they are those that govern the class, the school or the country, are reinforced during the school day, 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. All children in school sign a Pupil e-Safety Acceptable Usage Pledge. Visits from community authority figures such as the Community Warden and PCSO, Fire Service etc. are regular visitors on our yearly calendar and help reinforce this message. We have adopted a restorative approach to pupil behaviour, in which children are taught how to accept responsibility for their actions. Our local MP, Philip Davies, visited school last year and is in regular contact with the children. We also used an education box from the Houses of Parliament which explained the democratic process and enabled children to take part in mock House of Commons debates.
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 the provision of a safe environment and empowering education. Pupils are encouraged to know, understand and exercise their rights and personal freedoms as well teaching them that how they act can impact positively and negatively on others. They are advised how to exercise these freedoms safely, for example through our e-Safety and PSHE lessons. Whether it is through choice of challenge, how they record work or participate in our numerous extra-curricular clubs and opportunities, pupils are given the freedom to make choices.Children are also taught about the past and how World Wars have been fought to ensure our freedom as a nation. Year five study World War II in depth and year five and six attend the annual Remembrance Service at the Cenotaph in Burley in Wharfedale each year alongside members of the community.
Respect for each other, for our school and to others in our community is an integral part of our school ethos and Behaviour Policy. Pupils see staff model this by treating each other with respect and courtesy and we promote this in the way our children interact with each other in their classes and during social times. Photographs and key messages around the school promote respect for others and this is reiterated through our classroom and learning rules, as well as our Behaviour Policy. Mutual respect and fair play is also discussed within sports based activities. We encourage children to celebrate our setting and teach about the unfairness of discrimination based on someone’s faith, culture or beliefs.
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 such diversity. Opportunities to share and discuss this message occur through assemblies and discussions involving prejudices and prejudice-based bullying have been promoted through RE and PSHE, Circle Time, ‘Anti-Bullying’ and other themed weeks, as well as taking opportunities to tackle this during every day school life. Children listen to faith stories from other religions and have opportunities to discuss these. Members of different faiths or religions are encouraged to share their knowledge to enhance learning within classes and the school and our pupils have the opportunity to visit different places of worship. As Burley in Wharfedale is predominantly White British, we have actively sought partnerships with schools locally and globally to ensure that the children are able to work with those with other faiths and beliefs. Our successful partnership with Rainbow Academy in central Bradford, where the majority of children are from a Muslim faith, has helped to develop the children’s understanding of being part of a multi-cultural Britain.