Promoting British Values
What are British Values?
British Values are:
· the rule of law
· individual liberty and mutual respect
· tolerance of those with different faiths and beliefs.
British Values have always played an important part in the work undertaken at Springfield Infant School and Nursery and they are always actively promoted. It is everywhere in our school and in everything we do. We recognise that each child is unique and provide a broad and balanced curriculum to nurture their talents and interests.
There are many opportunities for members of our school community to have their opinions shared. We have a School Council which is made up of an elected group of children from each year group. There are two elected Council members from each class which are chosen by the children in a democratic secret ballot. The School Council meets regularly to discuss issues raised by different classes. They also have their own budget which enables them to put into practice actions which they decide on. The School Council are currently involved in plans to improve our experiences at playtime. They have put forward ideas for improving the playtime provision and the whole school took part in a vote to decide which improvements will be implemented. They have also represented the majority opinion in their class by choosing the equipment for our new Adventure Trail, named our two school guinea pigs and fed back the children’s ideas on areas of the curriculum that they would like to study in our topics.
We also use questionnaires throughout the year to gather feedback on the work we do in school. Subject leaders and governors carry out pupil questionnaires to gather feedback on children’s learning and the curriculum to ensure that their views are heard. We also collect feedback from our parents through our parent questionnaire.
Our year 2 children had the opportunity to experience democracy in action when they learnt about the gunpowder plot. The children carried out a mock trial and were each given different roles to play. The children were asked for their verdicts before the trial had taken place and after the trial once all of the evidence had been considered. They thought about whether their original opinion had changed once everyone had been able to share their evidence.
Later in the year the children were able to meet a real life local figure who had been elected to serve our town. As part of their topic on 'Ipswich - the world through my window', the year 2's invited the mayor of Ipswich to visit school and see what they had been learning. The mayor also talked to the children about his role and explained to them that the council which he was a member of was very similar to our own School Council.
The Rule of Law
When children first come into our school they learn about our ‘School Promises’. Our school promises promote respect, tolerance, good behaviour and an excellent attitude towards our work. These are the first ‘rules’ which our children come into contact with. The School Promises are regularly promoted and reinforced through whole school assemblies and through discussions in the classroom. The children learn that our School Promises enable us all to work in a safe and ordered environment. Once the children are aware of the School Promises they will be taught that there are rules outside of our school. School Promises are our rules for inside school and the rules for when we are outside of school are called ‘the rule of law’. They learn that the ‘rule of law’ applies to everyone living in our country. Class discussions in our topic work, assemblies and visitors into school are an easy way to introduce the children to the ‘rule of law’. During our ‘Superheroes’ topic the children had a visit from the police and during our topic on ‘Wildlife Watch’ the children learnt about some of the laws which protect our environment. The children photographed signs in the local area which instructed people on how to follow the rule of law, for example no parking signs, speed limit signs and signs for dog owners to follow.
Through our broad and balanced curriculum we create opportunities for our children to exercise their freedom of choice within a safe and supporting environment. Children are encouraged to share their views through discussions and are taught to respect that other people may have different views to their own. They are given opportunities to direct their own learning by choosing how to present their work (for example in their homework), discuss what they already know and what they want to find out about when they start a new topic, bringing in items or articles from home relating to the current topic which interest them. Our children are also encouraged to take opportunities to follow their own interests by joining one of our many extra-curricular clubs.
Mutual respect and tolerance of those with different faiths and beliefs.
We actively promote mutual respect through our school’s ethos, values and beliefs. Mutual respect is also promoted through class discussions, RE lessons, displays and assemblies. Children are taught to respect each other, to be co-operative and collaborative and to be respectful and understanding about differences between people.
At lunchtimes we are developing the use of adults on the playground and a group of our teaching assistants support play, sporting activities and reading at lunchtime.
We have high expectations of pupils’ behaviour and this is reflected in our Behaviour Policy. Good behaviour is consistently rewarded through our class reward systems and our house systems.
Key events and festivals from different religions and traditions are built into our curriculum and give our children the opportunity to look at different cultural phenoma as well as helping to teach the British values of tolerance and respect for others. For example, during their work on India, children in Year 2 enjoyed a visit from a parent who was able to share with the children her experiences of living in India. She showed the children her saris and the children had the opportunity to sample traditional Indian food. Also, during our ‘Springfield Day of Dance’ the children were taught different dances from around the world and danced to a range of music from different cultures.
The school also has visits made by local religious leaders such as ‘Open the Book’ assemblies by our local church and there are opportunities for children to visit places of worship.