British Values at Yardley Gobion CE Primary School
The Department for Education has recently clarified 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.’
This directly links to our Christian ethos within the school and the community. The government set out its definition of British values in the 2011 Prevent Strategy.
At Yardley Gobion CE Primary School these values are reinforced regularly and in the following ways.
- Share and discuss ideas and agree what will happen
- Believe in yourself, make your own decisions but respect others
- Follow the rules – if not you will get in trouble
- Be polite and kind to one another
- Treat everyone the same – no matter what their colour or religion
Democracy is demonstrated through ensuring both the pupil and adult voice are heard and acted upon where viable.
Open-door communication is actively encouraged and feedback from all stakeholders is actively sought – eg, annual parent and pupil survey.
The children’s voice is evident in various areas of school life. Children are asked to share their ideas and opinions in class PSHE lessons and assemblies. Pupils, parents and staff are consulted on key changes as well as the ongoing aspects of school life. The School Council play an active role in decison making, particularly through our house system.
The election of sports leaders, School Council and house names, was through a democratic process.
For God gave us a spirit not of fear but of power and love and self control. (2 Timothy 1:7)
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 nurturing support.
Pupils are encouraged to know, understand and exercise their rights and personal freedoms and advised on how to exercise these safely, for example through our E-Safety and PSHE lessons or through our Behaviour Policy. Whether it be through choice of extra roles in the school (Sports Ambassadors, Y6 Buddies), or participation in our numerous extra-curricular clubs and opportunities, pupils are given the freedom to make choices. The breadth of our unique skills (inside and outside school) are celebrated through assemblies and our displays.
At all times we recognise that with our liberty comes a responsibility to others, whether it be through supporting their rights or by exercising our rights in an appropriate and considerate manner.
Just as each of us has received a gift, use it to serve one another as good stewards of the varied grace of God. (1 Peter 4:10)
The rule of law
At the start of each year children are asked to consider the expectations they have of all members of the school community. These are the backbone of the rules that inform their behaviour and attitude to everyday in class and around the school. The importance of rules based on mutual expectation, whether they be those that govern the class, the school, or the country, are consistently reinforced in class, whole school assembly and on the playground.
Pupils are taught the value and reasons behind laws, that govern and protect us, the responsibilities that this involves and the consequences when laws are broken.
Within the school we reward good behaviour through praise, stamps, team points, certificates and end of term treats. Children are taught that there are consequences to bad behaviour eg missing a playtime or having a ‘Think Sheet’ in line with our Behaviour Policy.
Whatever is true, whatever is honourable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is pleasing, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence and if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things. (Phillippians 4:8)
We respect self, others and our environment. Pupils have been part of discussions and assemblies related to what this means and how it is shown. Displays around the school promote respect for others and this is reiterated through our classroom and learning rules, as well as our behaviour policy.
Respect is articulated through the everyday actions of the children and staff to each other, through our appreciation of ‘outside’ visitors and through learning about the courage of other. These provide a point of reflection, conversation and recognition.
Treat others just as you want to be treated. (Luke 6:31)
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. Assemblies and discussions involving prejudices and prejudice-based bullying have been followed and supported by learning in RE and PSHE. Members of different faiths or religions are encouraged to share their knowledge to enhance learning within classes and the school. As well as the Christian faith, we engage with local faiths in the community and have had both assembly and curriculum time looking at different faiths led by key members within the community. Key cultural events are recognised and celebrated.