Promoting British Values in our School
The Department for Education has published guidance on promoting British values in schools to ensure that young people leave school prepared for modern life in Britain. We have a responsibility to ensure that we promote pupils’ spiritual, moral and cultural development, and the promotion of British values is a fundamental part of this.
SMSC development can be met by meeting requirements for collective worship, establishing a strong school ethos supported by effective relationships throughout the school, and providing relevant activities beyond the classroom. Pupils must be encouraged to regard people of all faiths, races and cultures with respect and tolerance. At West Rainton Primary School, we are confident that we embrace this thoroughly. The examples below are designed to provide you with more information on how we achieve this.
The Rule of Law
It is expected that pupils should 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. Our school’s ethos and teaching supports the rule of English civil and criminal law, and we ensure what we teach upholds this. Our pupils are taught to distinguish between right and wrong and respect the law. We have excellent relationships with our local Police officers, who often pop into school to support our curriculum, and SMSC education. They also explain to our pupils the importance of upholding the law as they grow up, and they support their developing understanding of consequence.
Our pupils have an appreciation that living under the rule of law protects individual citizens and is essential for their wellbeing and safety.
It is vital for us as educators of young people, that we support the development of their self-knowledge, self-esteem and self-confidence. This underpins everything that we aim to achieve at West Rainton Primary School. We actively encourage our pupils to accept responsibility for their behaviour, show initiative, and to understand how they, as individuals, can contribute positively to the lives of those living and working in the locality of the school and society more widely. It is important to us that our pupils learn to choose their own path in life, and make choices which are right for them as individuals. We actively embrace charity events in school, and are well supported in the community with this. We regularly visit Springfield Lodge; the residents look forward to our visits. They enjoy hearing us sing, but enjoy the chat with pupils afterwards even more. This develops social and emotional literacy skills in our pupils, that will set them up for life. More recently, our pupils have enjoyed showing the residents of Springfield Lodge how to take ‘selfies’ to promote their self-confidence and awareness of the virtual world.
Respect for democracy is encouraged, and support for participation in the democratic processes, including respect for the basis on which the law is made and applied in England. It is key that our pupils grow up understanding that as citizens of Great Britain, they can themselves influence decision making through the democratic process. Each year, we hold elections for the councils in school. This develops our understanding of actively taking part, and how the process works. Often we will refer to news events in the world as examples, such as the September 2014 vote for an independent Scotland. It is a crucial that our pupils grow up to understand the importance of the right to vote, and the choices that they can make now, and in the future.
Mutual Respect and Tolerance
It is important to us that we promote tolerance and harmony between different cultural traditions, by enabling students to acquire an appreciation of and respect for their own and other cultures. Respect for other people is fundamental. We appreciate that people have the freedom to choose and hold other faiths; these should be accepted and tolerated, and should not lead to prejudicial or discriminatory behaviour.
As a school with diverse cultures and traditions, we enjoy finding out about different lifestyles and events. When we celebrated St Andrews Day with a traditional Scottish meal and a bagpiper, this was a wonderful celebration of Mrs Firth’s culture! Every year we celebrate Chinese New Year, and we have also celebrated St Patricks Day, St David’s Day and of course, St Georges Day. Our school is lucky to have lots of children from travelling families, and we share their culture equally.
Many of the high quality texts chosen as part of the English curriculum, are selected because of their links to real life. They often inspire class discussions on equality within many aspects of life. We aim here, at West Rainton Primary School, to ensure that our children are open minded, and tolerant of the diverse world they live in. This also supports the changes that many pupils go through in life.