Promoting British Values
In November 2014, the Department for Education published guidance on promoting British values in school to ensure young people leave school prepared for life in modern Britain.
All schools have a duty to “actively promote” the fundamental British values:
• the rule of law
• individual liberty
• mutual respect for, and tolerance of, those with different faiths and beliefs
We have an active school council and parliament with elected members and leaders. Our year 5 children take part in hustings each summer. The pupils will then vote for elected members (usually a Prime Minister, Deputy Prime Minister and Speaker). These pupils will then represent the pupils as year 6 and manage whole school debates on issues raised by the school council. The school council is made up of elected pupils from each class and will be involved in consultations and meetings.
All classes use open discussion and fair and democratic processes to make a number of decisions including what will be learnt during whole class projects.
The Rule of Law
The importance of laws, whether they be those that govern the class, the school or the country, are consistently reinforced throughout the school day and through the school’s Behaviour policy. Pupils are taught the value and reasons behind rules (laws), the responsibilities that these involve and the consequences when rules are broken. Visits from authorities such as the Police, the Fire Service or local lifeguards help reinforce these messages.
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. Pupils are encouraged to know, understand and exercise their rights and personal freedoms and are advised how to do this safely, for example through e-safety and Mousehole School Virtues. Our Behaviour management focuses on pupils taking responsibility for their own behaviour; this is linked to our rewards and sanctions. We also actively promote an anti-bullying culture through Mousehole School Virtues and by supporting children in identifying and challenging all bullying behaviours.
Mutual Respect and Tolerance of those with different Faiths and Beliefs
We promote respect and tolerance throughout the school. Leaders at all levels expect all members of the school community to treat each other with respect and children learn that their behaviours have an effect on their own rights and those of others.
In addition to teaching and learning in Religious Education (RE) and Personal, Social and Health Education (PSHE), assemblies are regularly planned to reinforce respect and tolerance either directly or through the inclusion of stories and celebrations from a variety of faiths and cultures including local cultural heritage. Traditional values of empathy, respect and tolerance are reinforced. Members of different faiths or religions are encouraged to share their knowledge to enhance learning within classes and the school. Understanding that people have different faiths or beliefs to themselves or have no specific faith or belief is a key part of the RE and wider curricula as is helping children to reflect on their own developing beliefs and values.
Mousehole is situated in an area with limited cultural diversity, and we therefore place great emphasis on promoting diversity with the children and building links where possible. We have a link with a school in Brittany, France and the Mayflower School in Tower Hamlets, London. Children exchange penpal letters and we visit the school as part of our biannual London residential.
The pupils enjoy a broad and balanced curriculum which celebrates individuality. Wherever possible teaching staff will consider ways to develop children’s understanding of Britain’s cultural diversity and celebrate the achievements of individuals from diverse backgrounds. Topics studied also include learning about other countries and their beliefs, traditions and customs as well as their geography and history.
We will actively challenge pupils, staff or parents expressing opinions contrary to fundamental British Values, including ‘extremist’ views.