Promoting British Values in School
The DfE have recently reinforced 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.'
The Government set out its definition of British Values in the 2011 Prevent Strategy, and those values have been reiterated this year (2014). At St Peter’s these values are reinforced regularly and in the following ways:
The term British Values might be slightly misleading in that these values are integral to so many countries throughout the world – they differ in no way from the values of the majority of cultures.
The school has a very strong motto of ‘We Care” and this underpins everything we do. Ofsted wrote “The school’s motto ‘we care’ is promoted comprehensively and is at the heart of all its work. Consequently, the ethos is extremely strong and the school has a very pronounced sense of togetherness”.
Our Core Values, which are instilled across school are:
We care to:
- Create an inclusive learning environment where everyone feels safe, valued and happy and is able to achieve to the best of their ability
- Develop respect, where everyone is valued as an individual and treated equally
- Encourage high aspirations in order to make a positive contribution with our diverse society
- Promote and celebrate a family ethos where everyone works as a team for the good of everyone else
- Develop all staff to achieve their full potential through positive staff development.
- Aim for the highest standards in all aspects of school life
- Encourage all to embrace challenges as opportunities for growth
- To nurture each individual on their spiritual journey with God
Being Part of Britain
As a school we value and celebrate the diverse heritages of all the cultures within our school and what it means to be part of British Society. With approximately 30 different nationalities represented in St Peter’s, we fully embrace and celebrate diversity and the many qualities this brings to our school. As many of our families join our school as non speakers of English, we offer fully integrated EAL support to the children as well as ESOL lessons for parents, fully supporting the learning of English
Our curriculum reflects, celebrates and teaches children about diversity. Children learn about a wide range of traditions, such as Harvest, Remembrance Sunday, Christmas, Easter, Diwali, Eid and Hanukah. In addition, we have an annual Faith Day, where children learn about each of the six main religions. Also classes visit different places of worship, such as mosques and synagogues.
We have various fundraising activities throughout the year, including Children in Need and Comic Relief, as well Lent, for which we donate the money raised to 2 charities.
We celebrate International Day annually, through learning about the many different cultures, including UK countries. This is chance for children and their families to contrast, compare, share and celebrate different traditions.
As a school, we always learn about/celebrate key British Events, such as the Olympics in 2012, The Diamond Jubilee in 2013, the Royal Wedding in 2011, Centenary of the outbreak of World War 1in 2014 and the Grand Depart in 2014.For such occasions, we hold special events and do additional curriculum class work about how such events relate to being British. Each year, we celebrate Black History Month and learn about the many key Black figures in history.
In History, children learn about key figures such as Guy Fawkes, Grace Darling, Mary Seacole, Kings and Queens, as well as covering many major British historical eras, such as the Victorians, Tudors and World War 2. Added to this our curriculum covers such topics as childhood through history, homes and houses and ways of life in the past and traditional seaside towns.
Our Geography Curriculum makes many references to the United Kingdom, covering countries that make up the UK, as well as major cities, characteristics of seaside towns, UK study of Wales and comparisons between the UK and other countries, plus weather, rivers and mountains.
Children, parents and staff have many opportunities for their voices to be heard at St Peter’s. An obvious example is our school council, where democratically elected children represent their peers in helping to make school decisions. The Council have an annual budget and regular meetings with Governors, which means they have real impact and responsibility for the school and its future.
In this election year, children will learn about the election process and the impact on the country.
Parents have a voice through a Parents Forum, as well as a weekly Parent Group, which actively seeks the opinions and views of our families. Added to this, we have annual questionnaires for both pupils and parents, which provide us with a real insight into their thoughts on the school.
Rules and Laws
Children are taught the importance of rules and laws and how the ones in school reflect those in our country. As a school, we have a set of Golden Rules:
We are gentle, we don’t hurt others.
We are kind and helpful, we don’t hurt anybody’s feelings.
We work hard, we don’t waste time.
We listen, we don’t interrupt.
We look after property, we don’t waste or damage things.
We are honest, we don’t cover up the truth.
Ofsted recognised: “The very high quality of pastoral support is reflected in the pupils’ excellent personal development. They are extremely well behaved, are polite and well-mannered and place high value on achievement.”
Children of all ages understand the rules and the reasons behind them and that they are there to keep us safe and happy. Classes also democratically devise their own behaviour systems, including rewards. Visits from authority figures in society, such as the Fire Brigade, Community Police Officers, Nurses, Governors and Faith Leaders.
Children are rewarded within school for a wide range of reasons, which demonstrate their knowledge and understanding of the rules, i.e. attendance, punctuality, acts of kindness, achievement and good behaviour. These include the ‘We Care’ award, ‘Gold Award’ and the ‘Early Bird’ award.
Alongside rules and laws we promote freedom of choice and the right to respectfully express our views and beliefs as an integral part of what it is to be British. Children may choose to take part in our very wide range of extra-curricular activities. They have a choice of lunchtime play areas and activities. They are involved in their own learning and respond to their learning by feedback systems and self-review of marking.
They are taught how to use their choices and freedoms safely though our curriculum in areas such as e-safety, anti-bullying, sex and relationship education and drugs awareness education.
As a multi-cultural school, we always endeavor to embrace our families’ different cultures and beliefs, in order for them to express their individual liberty within their school life.
Mutual Respect and Tolerance
St Peter’s is the epitome of cultural diversity, which has allowed our children to grow and develop within a safe, secure and happy environment, where mutual respect and tolerance come as second nature. Our children are taught and know how to show respect to everyone no matter what their differences may be. We hold the Inclusion Chartermark and the Stephen Lawrence Educational Standard which we also support the Local Authority with.
We are very proud of some of the comments on our latest Ofsted report, which clearly demonstrate our mutual respect and tolerance for one another:
“Pupils from different backgrounds work and play happily together and show a great deal of respect for adults and each other”
“Pupils value highly the many cultures and faith traditions that are represented in school and acquire a detailed understanding of religions and traditions that are different to their own”.