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 Department for Education defines British Values as follows:
- Respect for democracy and support or participation in the democratic process
- Respect for the basis on which the law is made and applies in England
- Support for equality of opportunity for all
- Support and respect for the liberties of all within the law
- Respect for and tolerance of different faiths and religious and other beliefs
Our school reflects these British values in all that we do. We aim to nurture our children on their journey through life so they can grow into safe, caring, democratic, responsible and tolerant adults who make a positive difference to British society and to the world. We encourage our children to be creative, unique, open-minded and independent individuals, respectful of themselves and of others in our school, our local community and the wider world.
At Plaxtol School, we actively promote British values in the following ways:
- All children are encouraged to debate topics of interest, express their views and make a meaningful contribution to the running of the school on matters that directly involve pupils.
- The principle of democracy is explored in the curriculum as well as during assemblies and special days.
- Our pupils have had active involvement in the selection processes of new staff.
Each class has drawn up its own code of conduct which reflects the ethos of the school. All the children contributed to the drawing up of the code and signed the code with either their names or finger prints.
Children have many opportunities for their voices to be heard. We have a school council which meets regularly to discuss issues raised in class council meetings. Each year group has its own representative on the school council, voted for by every child in their year, in elections. The school council itself adheres to democratic processes.
Rule of Law
- School rules and expectations are clear, fair and regularly promoted.
- Children learn respect and appreciation for different rules – in a sports lesson, for example, or in religious education when rules for particular faiths are thought about.
- Pupils are always helped to distinguish right from wrong, in the classroom, during assemblies and on the playground.
- Pupils are encouraged to respect the law and we enjoy visits from authorities such as the Police and Fire Service to help reinforce this message
- The Behaviour and Anti-Bullying policies set out a zero tolerance baseline for any form of aggression, abuse or violence, which extends to pupils, staff and parents and carers.
- 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.
- Within school, pupils are actively encouraged, and given the freedom to make choices, knowing that they are in a safe and supportive environment, for example, choosing their curriculum enrichment clubs, choices about what learning challenge or activity they undertake. choices about how they record their learning.
- Pupils are supported to develop their self-knowledge, self-esteem and self-confidence.
- Pupils are encouraged to take responsibility for their behaviour and our pastoral support reinforces the importance of making the right choices.
- Pupils are encouraged to know, understand and exercise their rights and personal freedoms and are advised how to exercise these safely, for example through our e-safety teaching and PSHE lessons.
- Vulnerable pupils are protected and stereotypes challenged. A strong anti-bullying culture is embedded in the school and any form of bullying is challenged and addressed.
- Pupils have key roles and responsibilities in school, for example. Year 6 House Captains, taking the registers etc.
Mutual Respect and Tolerance of those with Difference Faiths and Beliefs
- Respect is one of the core values of our school. The pupils know and understand that it is expected that respect is shown to everyone, adults and children, and that their behaviour has an impact on their own rights and those of others. The close friendships across all years at our school is a reflection of this.
- Staff and pupils are encouraged to challenge prejudicial or discriminatory behaviour.
- Through the PSHE and Religious Education curriculum, pupils are encouraged to discuss and respect differences between people, such as differences of faith, ethnicity, disability, gender or sexuality and differences of family situations thereby acquiring an understanding of, and respect for, their own and other cultures and ways of life.
- We offer a diverse curriculum which offers children the chance to reflect on our core values and British values. Children are familiar with and actively use our behaviours for learning; resiliance, challenge, unity and independence.
Schools have a relatively new statutory duty to pay “due regard to the need to prevent people from being drawn into terrorism”. The Prevent duty is clear that extremism of all kinds, whether Islamic extremism or far right groups such as Britain First and the English Defence League, must be tackled.
All of our staff have been trained in the Prevent duty and must have due regard to preventing people being drawn into terrorism. In order to protect children in their care, staff must be alert to any reason for concern in the child’s life at home or elsewhere. This includes awareness of the expression of extremist views. Staff should be able to identify children who may be vulnerable to radicalisation, and know what to do when they are identified.
Read the government’s Prevent Duty guidance and its guidance for schools.
The government has recently launched a new website, called educateagainsthate.com, aimed at supporting parents, teachers and school leaders in implementing the Prevent Duty. There are some useful resources on the website including written advice and signposting to other organisations. Click here to access the site.