Teaching British Values
In June 2014, the government emphasised the important role that British values can play in education. As a school, we respect and embrace the diverse heritages of everybody at Nine Acres Primary. Alongside this, we value and celebrate being part of Britain. In general terms, this means that we observe traditions, such as customs in the course of the year; for example, Harvest festival during the Autumn term. British values are promoted in so much of what we do, not least during our school assemblies, Religious Education and PSHE lessons and weekly debates on current events.
We agree with the Department for Education’s five-part definition of British values:
• The rule of law
• Tolerance of those of different faiths and beliefs
• Individual liberty
• Mutual respect
At Nine Acres pupils will encounter these principles throughout everyday school life. We discuss them with the children using the visual of our hand representing the five values. Listed below are some examples of how we promote these values in our school community:
Democracy is embedded within the school. Pupils are listened to by adults and are taught to listen carefully with concern to each other, respecting the right of every pupil to have their opinions and voice heard.
We have a Pupil Leadership Team which meets regularly with a member of the Senior Leadership Team to discuss issues raised by the pupils. The Team has access to a small budget if required and is genuinely able to effect change within the school, for example updating the school’s behaviour policy. Every pupil on the Pupil Leadership Team is voted in by their class.
The Rule of Law
Our pupils will encounter rules and laws throughout their entire lives. We want our pupils to understand that whether these laws govern the class, the school, the neighbourhood or the country, they are set for good reasons and must be adhered to.
This understanding of the importance of rules will be consistently reinforced through assemblies and our curriculum. The involvement of our pupils in the creation of the school rules helps them to understand the reasons behind the rules and the consequences if they are broken. Throughout the year we welcome visits from members of the wider community including police, war veterans, the fire brigade and many more. We believe that clear explanations and real life stories emphasise the importance of the rule of law for our pupils.
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 carefully, through provision of a safe environment and empowering education. Pupils are encouraged to know, understand and exercise their rights and personal freedoms and advised how to exercise these safely, for example through our E-Safety and P4C sessions. Whether it be through choice of challenge, of how they record, or choosing to participation in our numerous extra-curricular clubs and opportunities, pupils are given the freedom to make choices.
Mutual respect is at the heart of our values. Pupils learn that their behaviours have an effect on their own rights and those of others. All members of the school community treat each other with respect.
Tolerance of those with other Faiths and Beliefs
We aim to offer a culturally rich and diverse curriculum in which several major religions in addition to Christianity are studied and respected. At Nine Acres we strongly believe that tolerance is gained through knowledge and understanding. Through our curriculum and the routines of our daily school life, we strive to demonstrate tolerance and help children to become knowledgeable and understanding citizens who can build a better Britain for the future.