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 these values have been reiterated by the Prime Minister this year. At The Brent these values are reinforced regularly and in the following ways:
Democracy: At The Brent, we promote many of the principles of UNICEF Rights and responsibilities of a child. Each year the children decide upon their class charter and the rights associated with these. All the children contribute to the drawing up of the charter. 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. The council raises money for the school to fund projects of their choice. Through this they are able to genuinely effect change within the school. Four class council members for each year group are voted in by their class.
The Rule of Law: Visits from authorities such as the Police; Fire Service etc. are regular parts of our calendar and help reinforce this message.
Individual Liberty: 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 safety, through our provision of a safe environment and empowering education. Pupils are encouraged to know, understand and exercise their rights and personal freedoms and advise how to exercise these safely, for example through our E-Safety and PSHE lessons. Whether it is through choice of challenge, of how they record, of participation in our numerous extra-curricular clubs and opportunities, pupils are given the freedom to make choices.
Mutual Respect: As a Rights Respecting School, mutual respect is at the heart of our values. Children learn that their behaviours have an effect on their own rights and those of others. All members of the school community treat each other with respect. An understanding of respect and tolerance is developed through our school ethos. Pupils have been part of discussions and assemblies related to the value ‘Respect’ discussing what this means and how it is shown.
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.