Promoting and Teaching British Values at Hartsfield JMI School.
The DfE have made explicit the duty of schools "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 Government set out its definitions of British values in the 2011 Prevent Strategy and these values have again been reiterated by the Prime Minister in 2014. At Hartsfield JMI School these values are reinforced frequently and in the following ways.
Democracy is embedded into the ethos and values of Hartsfield. The school has a long standing and very active School Council which includes:
The annual election through classroom votes of Councillors, to the Council.
Children assume roles of Chair of the School Council, Vice Chair and Secretary to the Council. On behalf of the views of the children across the school, the Council influences e.g. designs and purchases of play equipment, Charity fundraising and maintaining the profile of the school within community events. The Councillors have proved very adept at reporting their annual achievements to the Governing Body of the School.
Children routinely respond to questionnaires about learning and the principles of democracy are also taught through the curriculum including History and PSHCE.
We also have a Sports Council and E-Safety Squad who are elected by their peers and share knowledge and information linked to sport a Hartsfield and keeping safe online respectively.
The Rule of Law:
As a UNICEF Rights Respecting School, the importance of laws as a mechanism for being fair, equitable and keeping everyone safe is consistently reinforced through the annual establishment of Class Charters, daily expectations of appropriate behaviour and conforming to rules, and through school assemblies. Children are taught the value of laws and the personal responsibilities this involves; and the consequences when laws are not adhered to, including through reference to Class Charters rights and responsibilities and to the School Behaviour Policy reference to rights and responsibilities.
Children are also actively taught about the rule of law through working with community members e.g. Magistrates in the Community or through PCSO Anti-Social Behaviour, Anti-Bullying and E Safety sessions.
At our school, children are encouraged to make choices knowing that they are in a safe and supportive environment. We provide boundaries for children to experience making safe choices. Through our PSHCE, link to UNICEF Rights and E-Safety for example, children are encouraged to know, understand and exercise their personal freedoms and choices. Children frequently make learning choices across the curriculum and in the wide range of extra-curricular opportunities the school offers.
Our school ethos and core values are underpinned by our school values, aims and vision statement: the values of caring, mutual respect, consideration of others is taught in assemblies and through the curriculum and is modelled in the relationships within the school. Mutual Respect is also promoted through the role modelling of our lunchtime Play Pals and Buddy systems within the school.
Tolerance of those of Different Faiths and Beliefs:
Our school recognises our diverse society and upholds the right of all community members to hold faiths, beliefs and to practice their religion within a framework of reciprocal tolerance and respect. Our core values promote children acting with social awareness and acknowledges the rights of others to hold views. Our RE curriculum teaches children about the faith and beliefs of others.
At Hartsfield, our PSHCE programme of study provides a strong foundation for children’s spiritual, moral, social and cultural education (SMSC) and development. Linked to British Values, the focus across the three themes of Health and Wellbeing, Relationships and Living in the Wider World foster and develop children’s responsibility for their own actions; respect for the actions and beliefs of others; an understanding of how each individual is protected by the rule of law; and how everyone can make a positive contribution to society through the democratic process.
Other curriculum areas including English text materials, music, history and geography all offer opportunities to promote the beliefs and values of other faiths. We routinely hold Languages Weeks or Arts Weeks where cultural diversity is celebrated and we provide the opportunity for a variety of extra-curricular clubs which promote other languages.
Our weekly 'news' assemblies, ensure our children are kept up to date with what is happening around the World, whether that be politics and politicians, environmental issues, weather events, advances in science and technology or around 'the arts' and popular culture.