This year the Education Secretary Michael Gove called for British values to be actively promoted in all schools across England. With the full support of David Cameron and a statement by the DfE it was made plain that there would be ‘clear and rigorous expectations on 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’.
In reality it will make no difference to what we are already doing. These values, which we feel are as universal as they are British, underpin our school’s culture. They are the framework from which we operate and the essence of who we are.
Below are some of the ways in which we promote them;
The promotion of democracy is extensive within the school. Students have the opportunity to have their voices heard through our School Council and student questionnaires. Students in each class vote for who they want to represent them on school Council. Suggestions are sought from students on which different charities to support each term.
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 regular school days. Students are taught the value and reasons behind laws, that they govern and protect us, the responsibilities that this involves and the consequences when laws are broken.
As a school we educate and provide boundaries for young students to make choices, through the provision of a safe, stable and nurturing environment. Students 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. Students are given the freedom to make choices, for example signing up for extra-curricular clubs and in planning for their future through our support for transition.
We are explicit and consistent in our drive to ensure that proper regard for the dignity of every individual is respected.
Whilst this is embedded in the culture of the school we are mindful that being liberal and respecting choices does not equate to accepting human rights violations, injustice and inequality.
Tolerance of those of Different Faiths and Beliefs:
This is achieved through enhancing our students understanding of their place in a culturally diverse society and by giving them opportunities to experience such diversity. Our students visit different places of Worship for example a Mosque and Synagogue after which discussions involving prejudices have followed then supported by learning in RE and PSHE. Events such as The World Cup and The Olympics are used as opportunities to study other countries.