The DfE have 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. At St George's these values are reinforced regularly and in the following ways:
Democracy is key within the school. Pupils have the opportunity to have their voices heard through our Pupil Council and Pupil questionnaires. The elections of House Captains, Liturgy Leaders as well as a range of classroom and whole school helpers are based on pupil votes and pupil voice.
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, as well as when dealing with behaviour and through school assemblies. 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. Visits from our Community Support Officer 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 young pupils to make choices safely, through 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 PSHCE (Personal, Social, Health, Citizenship Education) lessons. Whether it be through choice of challenge, of how they record, of participation in our extra-curricular clubs and opportunities, pupils are given the freedom to make choices.
Part of our school behaviour policy has revolved around Core Values such as ‘Respect’, and pupils have been part of discussions and assemblies related to what this means and how it is shown. Respect for others is reiterated through our classroom and learning rules, as well as our behaviour policy.
Tolerance of those with 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 have been followed and supported by learning in RE and PSHCE. In Key Stage 2 children have the opportunity to learn about different faiths as part of our inter-faith week. This teaches tolerance and respect for the differences in our community and the wider world. Visits to different places of worship and talks by parents have taken place to enrich the children's learning.