Although in 2014-15 this is something which is developing in its significance for schools, it is not something new at East Rainton Primary. British values are promoted in so much of what we do, not least during our school assemblies, Religious Education and Social andEmotional Aspects of Learningsessions.
As well as actively promoting British values, the opposite also applies: we would actively challenge pupils, staff or parents expressing opinions contrary to fundamental British values, including ‘extremist’ views. This is in line with our School Policy.
Being part of Britain
We value and celebrate being part of Britain. In general terms, this means that we celebrate traditions, such as customs in the course of the year; for example, Harvest festival during the Autumn term, and what could be more British than a trip to a pantomime around Christmas time! We also value and celebrate national events.
Further, children learn about being part of Britain from different specific perspectives. Two specific examples of when we teach about being part of Britain are:
Geographically: We explore the children’s understanding of where in the World we are in relation to the rest of the world. This helps children have a better perspective on their life compared to other parts of the world. The curriculum also ensures that children have a better understanding of what Britain is, learning more about:
- its capital cities and counties, its rivers and mountains
- how Great Britain differs from England.
- where Britain is in relation to the rest of Europe and other countries in the world
Historically: The main focus is British history. During the topic, children learn about an aspect life and how this has developed and changed over time. The actual topic depends on the two year rolling programme, but might include inventions and discoveries, or houses, or medicine. This provides a broad range of topics that can be approached in different ways depending upon the interests of the children.
Children, parents and staff have many opportunities for their voices to be heard at East RaintonPrimary. Democracy is central to how we operate.
An obvious example is our School Council. The election of the School Council members reflects our British electoral system and demonstrates democracy in action: candidates make speeches, pupils consider characteristics important for an elected representative, pupils vote in secret using ballot boxes etc. Made up of two representatives from each class, the School Council meets regularly to discuss issues raised by the different classes. The council has made some excellent changes. For example purchasing new outdoor equipment, running fair trade tuck shops, introducing hand cleanser in the dining room, providing an outside dining area and many more.The Council are actively involved in recruitment and in providing teachers with feedback.
Other examples of ‘pupil voice’ are:
- children agree their Class rules
- children nominate various charities for the termly fund raising.
Pupils are always listened to by adults and are taught to listen carefully and with concern to each other, respecting the right of every individual to have their opinions and voices heard. We provide “worry boxes” for every classroom to allow for children to report concerns.
Rules and laws
The importance of rules and laws, whether they be those that govern our school or our country, are referred to and reinforced often, such as in assemblies and when reflecting on behaviour choices. At the start of the school year, each class discusses and sets its own Class rules, that are clearly understood by all and seen to be necessary to ensure that every class member is able to learn in a safe and ordered environment.
Pupils 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. These values are reinforced in different ways:
- visits from authorities such as the police and fire service
- during Religious Education, when rules for particular faiths are thought about
- during other school subjects, where there is respect and appreciation for different rules – in a sports lesson.
Alongside rules and laws, we promote freedom of choice and the right to respectfully express views and beliefs. Through the provision of a safe, supportive environment and empowering education, we provide boundaries for our young pupils to make choices safely. For example choices around the participation in extra-curricular activities especially lunchtime clubs that are run by the young sports leaders from year 6.
Our pupils are encouraged to know, understand and exercise their rights and personal freedoms and are taught how to exercise these safely, such as in our e-safety and PHSE lessons.
Mutual respect and tolerance of those with different faiths and beliefs
Our pupils know and understand that it is expected and imperative that respect is shown to everyone, whatever differences we may have, and to everything, whether it is a school resource, a religious belief or whatever. Children learn that their behaviour choices have an effect on their own rights and those of others. All members of the school community should treat each other with respect.
Specific examples of how we at East Rainton Primary enhance pupils understanding and respect for different faiths and beliefs are:
- through Religious Education, PHSE and other lessons where we might develop awareness and appreciation of other cultures – in English through fiction and in Art by considering culture from other parts of the world.