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British Values

The Government has given clear guidance about the role of British values in education.  The school leadership team has written this document to help parents and carers to learn more about what the Government’s guidance says and how it is reflected in our school.

In sharing its guidance about British values, the Government reminds us that:

  • All people living in England are subject to its law
  • The ethos and teaching in all schools should support the rule of English civil and criminal law
  • Pupils should be made aware of the difference between the law of the land and religious law

As parents/carers and educators we know that from the youngest age children begin to learn about what is ‘right’ and what is ‘wrong’. Sometimes such decisions can be tricky and children learn that there can be different ways to be ‘right’ or ‘wrong’. They learn the increasingly complex subtleties relating to decision-making, determining values and morality.

Over time, through learning at home and school, children become increasingly familiar with the values that underpin our society – most recently referred to in educational documentation as ‘British Values’.

The government’s documentation outlines four key areas which have been identified for focus when children are learning about British Values:

  • Democracy
  • The rule of law
  • Individual liberty
  • Mutual respect and tolerance of those with different faiths and beliefs

In school we take the lead from the Education Act of 2002 (section 78) and address these values by offering a broad and balanced curriculum which:

  • Promotes the spiritual, moral, cultural, mental and physical development of pupils at the school and of society, and beliefs
  • Prepares pupils at the school for the opportunities, responsibilities and experiences of later life.

Additionally, the everyday ethos of the school supports children’s learning in this area.

Promoting British Values

At Oxhey Wood Primary School we believe in celebrating the increasingly diverse cultural backgrounds of our community whilst also promoting and holding true to what we recognise to be British Values.

Much of this takes place through our curriculum teaching while the children are in class. Issues may be raised and covered during a whole range of subject areas including during assembly. Additionally the values are covered during extra-curricular activities and as part of the school’s general ethos.

The values we seek to promote are:

  • Democracy (e.g. School / School Council)
  • Importance of rules (e.g. PSHE lessons / Circle Time sessions, assemblies, PE and extra-curricular sporting activities)
  • Individual liberty (e.g. PSHE lessons / Circle Time sessions / Assembly)
  • Mutual respect (e.g. PSHE lessons / Circle Time sessions / Assembly)
  • Tolerance of those of different faiths and beliefs (e.g. Religious Education lessons / Assemblies / PSHE lessons / Circle Time sessions)

 

Through direct teaching and the promotion of the school ethos the schools aims to promote British values by: What might this learning might look like in our school?
Enabling children to develop their self-knowledge, self-esteem and self-confidence Children are given plenty of opportunities to speak, present and perform in front of others (e.g., in class assemblies).  They are encouraged to reflect on how they are feeling on these occasions and learn skills to help them improve their performance and manage their feelings. They are encouraged to recognise how successful they were when presenting.
Enabling children to distinguish right from wrong and to respect the civil and criminal law of England Children studying R.E. learn and understand why we have rules in school, in the wider community and distinguish these from rules followed by those of different faiths e.g. in keeping religious traditions. In PSHE lessons children learning about drugs education learn about what is legal and illegal.
In applying school rules with children, staff seek to explain the reasoning behind the rules, to develop the children’s sense of how rules can help communities to function well.
Encouraging children 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 widely Children are taught about the impact they have in the school and wider community e.g. by displaying good manners and showing consideration for the people they meet. This is especially highlighted on offsite visits, when children are taught that they are representing the school, their families and themselves. They are taught to play a positive, respectful and considerate role in society, including leading fundraising activities for charities.
Enabling children to acquire a broad general knowledge of and respect for public institutions and services in England Children have visits from representatives from public institutions e.g. fire brigade, librarian. They learn about the roles that these people play and to respect the work of their associated institutions.
Encouraging further tolerance and harmony between different cultural traditions by enabling students to acquire an appreciation of and respect for their own and other cultures Through specific teaching e.g. a study of the book ‘Journey to Jo’Burg’, where children learn about children’s courage in a cultural setting very different to their own.
Encouraging respect for other people In R.E. lessons children learn about the varied beliefs and faiths that are held around the world. They are taught to value and respect the views of others within the school and beyond.  The children are encouraged to share their own beliefs in R.E. lessons in an open manner.
Encouraging 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 children are involved in many decision-making activities that require understanding of the democratic process e.g. voting for the house charities and for pupils to represent them as house captains and vice-captains. They learn to represent the views of others e.g. through participation on the school council and in regular house assemblies.  On occasion they study how democracy works in practice in the wider world (e.g., discussing the Scotland independence vote).

Expected outcomes

Through their learning, across primary and secondary school, children should develop their understanding and knowledge so that they:

  • Have an understanding of how citizens can influence decision-making through the democratic process
  • Have an appreciation that living under the rule of law protects individual citizens and is essential for their wellbeing and safety
  • Have an understanding that there is a separation of power between the executive and the judiciary, and that while some public bodies such as the police and the army can be held to account through Parliament, others such as the courts maintain independence
  • Have an understanding that the freedom to choose and hold other faiths and beliefs is protected in law
  • Have an acceptance that other people having different faiths or beliefs to oneself (or having none) should be accepted and tolerated, and should not be the cause of prejudicial or discriminatory behaviour
  • Have an understanding of the importance of identifying and combatting discrimination