Promoting British Values at Speedwell School
The Department for Education have recently 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, mutual respect and tolerance of those with different faiths and beliefs.”
At Speedwell these values are reinforced regularly in the following ways:
Democracy is promoted within the school. Pupils have the opportunity to have their voice heard through School Council and Pupil questionnaires. Each class has two elected representatives on the School Council which meets regularly to discuss and vote on school related issues. The representatives will take ideas from the children in their class to School Council meetings. For instance, the School Council decided on the décor for the children’s toilets with input from their classmates. We have had visits from time to time from local councillors and the School Council attended a meeting at the Town Hall and met the Mayor.
Each teacher has different ways in which the pupils make their voices heard in the classroom e.g. through Circle Time, discussions, Talking Partners, decisions over classroom rules etc.
The Rule of Law
The importance of laws, whether they are those that govern the class, the school, or the country are consistently reinforced throughout the regular school day and through school assemblies. The children are taught right from wrong. Pupils are taught the value and the reasons behind the laws; that they govern and protect us, the responsibilities that this involves and the consequences when laws are broken. Visits from authorities such as the Police; Fire Service; Road Safety Officers etc are a regular part of the school calendar and help to reinforce this message. Each child and Parent/Carer signs the Home School Agreement. The significance of our School Golden Rules allow pupils to discuss the importance of the Rule of Law.
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 pupils to make choices safely, through the provision of a safe environment and empowering education. Pupils are encouraged to know, understand and exercise these rights and personal freedoms and advised how to exercise these safely, for example through our E-Safety and PSHE lessons. Pupils are given the freedom to make choices e.g. through Personalised Learning children are encouraged to decide what they would like to learn about in each topic and this is displayed on the Personalised Learning walls in each classroom. One Topic per year is also entirely based on the children’s own interests. All classes work to incentives such as “Star Prizes” where their choices affect outcomes for themselves personally. Our shared values in the school promote both staff and children as good role models e.g through children taking on the role and responsibility of being a Playground Friend, Sports Challenge Leader or Lunchtime Helper. Each class also have weekly monitors to carry out various responsibilities within the class. Gold Award Assembly also promotes children as good role models as does the Reading Challenge Prize given to children who read regularly at home. We take opportunities to challenge stereotypes whenever the opportunity arises. Opportunities are also taken to explore that with individual liberty and freedom come responsibilities to the local community and the wider world.
Part of our school ethos and behaviour 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. This is reiterated through our classroom and learning rules, as well as our Reward and Sanctions system (Star, Sun and Cloud). The children themselves promote respect and friendship through being good role models as Playground Friends and through the Buddy Bus Stop. We have developed a Behaviour Policy which supports teachers and adults in school to treat every child fairly. Our Equality and Inclusion Policy reflects this core value and we support events such as Anti Bullying Week and Get to School on Time Week. We promote respect through circle time. We provide opportunities for children to learn respect from other cultures and traditions e.g. Indian and Chinese Dancers, African drummers and Chinese and African art workshops.
We promote respect and inclusion through visitors with disabilities talking to the children in assemblies and through P.E. activities e.g. Boccia.
We support charities which promote respect and tolerance e.g. Children in Need, Comic Relief etc
Understanding 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 and prejudice-based bullying have been followed up and supported by learning in RE and PSED. Members of different faiths or religions are encouraged to share their knowledge. We celebrate festivals throughout the year from different religions. As part of our RE curriculum we visit places of worship. As a school we have been awarded the International Schools Award by working with other schools in India and Canada and members of staff have visited these schools. Year 2 children have also written to and emailed children in a school in Saudi Arabia and also children in a multi faith school in Nottingham whom the met up with at a joint picnic.