The Department for Education states 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 Thomas Reade Primary School these values are reinforced regularly in the following way:
Democracy is embedded at the school. Children are always listened to by adults and are taught to listen carefully to and with concern for each other, respecting the right of every individual to have their opinions and voices heard. Children also have the opportunity to air their opinions and ideas through our School Council and regular questionnaires. The elections of the School Council members and House Captains are based solely on children’s votes, reflecting our British electoral system and demonstrating democracy in action.
The Rule of Law
The importance of laws whether they are those that govern the class, the school or the country, are consistently reinforced. Our school has a Behaviour and Discipline Policy based on positive reinforcement which is deeply embedded in our work every day. Each class also discusses and sets its own rules, rewards and sanctions 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 are broken.
Within school, children 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 on how to exercise these safely; examples of this can be clearly seen in our e-safety and P.S.H.E. lessons. Children also have a choice to participate in our numerous extra- curricular activities.
Respect is one of the core values of our school’s Vision Aims and Mission Statement. Our children were fully involved in the review of this ‘mission statement’ in June 2015 and it is deeply embedded in all that we do at the school. The children 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 Thomas Reade Primary School underpins our work every day both in and out of the classroom.
Tolerance of Those with Different Faiths and Beliefs
Our core value of respect ensures tolerance of those who have different faiths and beliefs. Thomas Reade Primary School enhances pupils’ understanding of different faiths and beliefs through religious education studies; P.S.H.E. work, visits and participation in celebrations such as Diwali. We also have links and welcome visitors from other schools outside the UK. Different beliefs, traditions and customs are studied in depth, with visitors being invited into our school to enrich and extend understanding. Through this our children gain an enhanced understanding of their place in a culturally diverse society.