British Values Week
David Cameron Prime Minister writing in the Mail on Sunday
‘The values I’m talking about – a belief in freedom, tolerance of others, accepting personal and social responsibility, respecting and upholding the rule of law – are the things we should try to live by every day. To me they’re as British as the Union Flag, as football, as fish and chips. Of course, people will say that these values are vital to other people in other countries. And, of course, they’re right. But what sets Britain apart are the traditions and history that anchors them and allows them to continue to flourish and develop’.
At Edgware Primary School we believe in celebrating British Values.
The government set out its definition of British values in the 2011 Prevent Strategy.
We have created a spiral curriculum through which children will learn about the five key areas of British values:
- The rule of law
- Individual liberty
- Mutual respect
- Tolerance of other faiths and beliefs
We recognise that our school is a multi-language, multi-cultural and multi-faith community. It is important that the children in our school understand the importance of tolerance, understanding and respect for each and every one within our school and wider community. The curriculum encourages the children to explore and share their values and beliefs as well as learn about others. We do this through regular RE sessions, language of the month assemblies, special projects (Y5/Y6 – Challenging Racism), School Council and speciality weeks.
Edgware Primary is committed to preparing students for their adult life beyond primary school so that our children can fully integrate into the world in which they live.
British Values Week in action!
The children had a lot of fun learning about what it means to be British.
Nursery and Reception learnt about the Queen and used the artist Susan Elliott to help them design and created their own England flags. They also wrote lists of what they would like to bring to our school English tea party which took place at the end of the week.
Year One, learnt about the Royal Family.
Year Two, learnt about famous British authors and famous people in British history for example, Florence Nightingale. They also learnt about the Prime Minister and his role within the government.
Year Three, learnt about the Houses of Parliament and also looked at British charities like the Red Cross. The found out how and when they were set up and what their purpose is. They looked at how to help within their community.
Year Four, learnt how to debate. They learnt about Victorian values, rules within society and within our school. They talked about the general election and debated key issues that matter to them.
Year Five, looked at multicultural Britain. Each child developed a ‘respect’ mascot and had to explain why they had chosen that mascot.
Year Six, also looked at multicultural Britain and started to learn about the general election process.
Year Four and Year Six had a visit from Matthew Offord, a former Conservative MP, who spoke to the children about his role as an MP. The children asked him really good questions about education. Mr Offord stayed to join in with our whole school British tea party outside in our playground. All of the children made very British food: scones, orange juice and triangular sandwiches which we all enjoyed!
Link : Matthew Offord Website
Some quotes from children across the week:
“I’m impressed by the Lib Dem because they want a new Science lab for the school”. Zainab
“I liked the Labour party because they will not charge university fees”. Armir
“I like the election week – we are getting a chance to vote!” Klejda
“ I like Mr Offord MP because he said he would train more doctors”.
“ I like Mr Offord MP because he gave up his time to visit our school and teach us about his experience of being an MP”.
Our school’s key aims are taken from the DFE’s aims for all children nationally.
(SMSC - Promoting fundamental British values as part of SMSC in schools-November 2014)
Our aims are to:
· enable students to develop their self-knowledge, self-esteem and self-confidence;
· enable students to distinguish right from wrong and to respect the civil and criminal law of England;
· encourage students to accept responsibility for their behaviour, show initiative, and to understand
· how they can contribute positively to the lives of those living and working in the locality of the school and to society more
· enable students to acquire a broad general knowledge of and respect for public institutions and services in England;
· further tolerance and harmony between different cultural traditions by enabling students to acquire an appreciation
of and respect for their own and other cultures;
· encourage respect for other people; and
· encourage respect for democracy and support for participation in the democratic processes, including respect for the basis
on which the law is made and applied in England
The curriculum is a tool which enables us to look at natural features of the British landscape, famous British people and aspects of British life both past and present. We make sure that within the curriculum there are opportunities to learn about key historical events or people who changed or influenced laws. Examples of this are the Victorians and Guy Fawkes.
As well as this, we cover the 5 areas of British Values.
Democracy is promoted within the school. Pupils have the opportunity to have their voices heard through our School Council. We also encourage children to share their views during ‘Secret Student’ meetings held with Senior Leaders. At these meetings, children have an opportunity to talk with staff openly and share with them achievements and concerns.
During our Election Week, we held school elections. Children were able to vote for Year 5 pupils who had created their own manifestos and tried to win votes by canvassing pupils across the school. The children came into the hall and put their ballot paper in a box. The papers were counted and verified and the children who won got to spend a day with the Senior Leadership Team. Parents are asked each year to complete a questionnaire to share their views about the school.
The Rule of Law:
Our school behaviour policy helps us to teach the children the behaviour rules of our school. Our School’s golden rules are regularly shared with the children and are part of our behaviour policy. These are:
· Show respect and good manners at all times
· Follow instructions with thought and care
· Care for everything and everyone
Children are encouraged to take part in creating class rules at the beginning of the academic year and we regularly take opportunities in weekly assemblies to share key behaviour rules: the importance of right from wrong; making choices about our behaviour and consequences of poor behaviour. Pupils are also taught the value and reasons behind laws; the responsibilities that this involves and the consequences when laws are broken both in the real world and in the school. Visits from authorities such as the Police and the Fire Service are regular parts of our calendar and help reinforce this message. We also cover different types of rules within the curriculum. Examples of these are: e-safety assemblies and anti-bullying.
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. This is reflected in the decisions they make about their behaviour and their learning.
Part of our school ethos and 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 we can be respectful every day. In Year 5 and Year 6 assemblies, we have dealt with the issues of respecting others, learning about different backgrounds and beliefs. We teach about tolerance and understanding and we learn about other children’s cultures and religions through respectful questions which help us to find out more about individuals and groups of people who belong within our school community. We also hold a language of the month assembly which shares the diverse languages we have within the school and teaches about the countries and traditions that our different children do day to day.
Tolerance of those of Different Faiths and Beliefs:
Being in a school which is culturally diverse, we work closely with pupils to help them understand their place in a culturally diverse society. Assemblies and discussions involving prejudices and racism and have been followed and supported by learning in RE and PSHE. Each year group will cover different religions and will visit places of worship. We also invite in visitors to talk about their religions. We cover British Values, where we look at all the different groups who live in Britain and the United Kingdom and how our school is a reflection of this.