The Department for Education state that there is a 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 were reiterated by the Prime Minister in 2014. At Garlinge Primary School and Nursery these values are reinforced regularly and in the following ways.
Democracy is embedded at the school. 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 empower our pupils by giving them opportunities to make choices about the things that they believe to be important. By valuing each 'voice' and by listening and responding to that voice we demonstrate that we support democracy and liberty.
Pupils also have the opportunity to air their opinions and ideas through our School Council and regular questionnaires. The elections of the School Council members, Eco reps and House Captains are based solely on pupil votes, reflecting our British electoral system and demonstrating democracy in action. The School Council is able to genuinely effect change within the school. Council members for each year group are 'voted in' by their class.
The children also learn about how voting and the making of new laws happens in the Houses of Parliament and Democracy is modelled by each teacher, ensuring each child has an equal right to be heard and listened to. The school has regularly welcomed the local MP in for visits, and corresponds with them when the opportunity arises.
The importance of laws whether they are those that govern the class, the school or the country, are consistently reinforced. Our school has 'Golden Rules', which are deeply embedded in our work every day. Each class also discusses and sets its own 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.
Our 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 (and rules) are broken. Pupils are helped to learn to manage their behaviour and take responsibility for their actions. Staff are committed to providing a consistent environment within the school and beyond. We help pupils to understand the connection between actions and consequences.
This type of environment enables pupils to feel safe and secure; in turn, this promotes the optimum conditions for learning to take place. Visits from authorities such as the Police and Fire Service help reinforce this message.
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 our pupils to make choices safely, through the provision of a safe environment and an empowering education. Our pupils are encouraged to know, understand and exercise their rights and personal freedoms and are advised how to exercise these safely; examples of this can be clearly seen in our e-safety and PSHE lessons.
Whether it is through choice of challenge; of how they record; of participation in our numerous extra-curricular activities; our pupils are given the freedom to make choices. Learning to do things independently is an important part of learning to understand yourself. At Garlinge Primary School and Nursery we believe that by engendering a caring and helpful environment and by teaching pupils to be independent we can boost and nurture a healthy self-esteem.
Respect is one of our school values. The pupils know and understand that it is expected and imperative that respect is shown to everyone, whatever differences we may have and to everything, however big or small. The core value of Respect at Garlinge Primary School and Nursery underpins our work every day both in and out of the classroom.
Pupils have been part of discussions and assemblies related to what respect means and how it is shown. Posters around the school promote respect for others and this is reiterated through our classroom and learning rules, as well as our behaviour policy.
Our curriculum offers pupils the opportunity to practice listening, learning and thinking about others in a respectful environment.
Our core value of Respect ensures tolerance of those who have different faiths and beliefs. Garlinge Primary School and Nursery serves a multi-faith community where each person is respected and valued equally without regard to ability, gender, faith, disability, heritage or race.
Cultural appreciation and development forms part of our curriculum. We place great emphasis on providing encounters and participation in events and celebrations to broaden all pupils' experiences and awareness of others.
Assemblies and topics are regularly planned to address this issue either directly or through the inclusion of stories and celebrations from a variety of faiths and cultures. Our RE and PSHE curriculum provides a broad and balanced education and experiences on a range of faiths, religions and cultures. Members of different faiths or religions are encouraged to share their knowledge to enhance learning within classes and the school.
Our school PART (Perseverance, Aspiration, Respect and Teamwork) values also underpin British values and we relate this to each other when necessary. More information about our PART value can be found on the school website.