In November 2014, the Department for Education published guidance on promoting British Values in schools, to ensure young people leave school prepared for life in modern Britain.
The guidance aims to help both independent and state-maintained schools understand their responsibilities in this area. We all have a duty to ‘actively promote’ the fundamental British values of democracy, the rule of law,individual liberty, and mutual respect and tolerance of those with different faiths and beliefs. These values were first set out by the government in the ‘Prevent’ strategy in 2011.
At Auighton Junior Academy these values are taught, promoted and reinforced regularly and in the following ways:
Children have many opportunities for their voices to be heard. We have a school council which meets regularly to discuss issues raised in class council meetings. The council has its own budget and is able to genuinely effect change within the school. The council members for each class and year group are voted in by their class members. Children have an annual questionnaire with which they are able to put forward their views about the school.
We also -
- - Provide pupils with a broad general knowledge of, and promote respect for, public institutions and services
- - Teach pupils how they can influence decision-making through the democratic process
- - Encourage pupils to become involved in decision-making processes and ensure they are listened to in school
- - Organise visits to the Mayor’s Office in Rotherham
- - Use conscious ally, and other drama techniques, so pupils learn how to argue and defend points of view
- - Help pupils to express their views
- - Model how perceived injustice can be peacefully challenged
The Rule of Law
The importance of laws, whether they be those that govern the class, the school, or the country, are consistently reinforced at Aughton Junior Academy. Pupils are taught from an early age the rules of the school. These are our School Rules, Playground Rules and Safety Rules. Pupils are taught the value and reasons behind rules and 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 and Road Safety Officers help reinforce this message.
We also –
- - Ensure school rules and expectations are clear and fair
- - Help pupils to distinguish right from wrong
- - Help pupils to respect the law and the basis on which it is made
- - Help pupils to understand that living under the rule of law protects individuals
- - Teach pupils aspects of both civil and criminal law and discuss how this might differ from some religious laws
- - Develop restorative justice approaches to resolve conflicts
At Aughton Junior Academy, 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 informed choices safely, 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 PSHE lessons. Whether it is through choice of learning challenge, of how they record, of participation in our numerous extra- curricular clubs and opportunities or their choice of lunch time meal, pupils are given the freedom to make choices.
We also -
- - Support pupils to develop their self-knowledge, self-esteem and self-confidence
- - Encourage pupils to take responsibility for their behaviour, as well as knowing their rights
- - Challenge stereotypes
- - Implement a strong anti-bullying culture.
Mutual respect is at the heart of our values. Children 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. Merit points are used to promote children showing high levels of respect to towards other children and property.
Tolerance of those of Different Faiths and Beliefs
Aughton Junior Academy is situated in an area which is not greatly culturally diverse, therefore we place a great emphasis on promoting diversity with the children. Assemblies and worship are regularly planned to address this issue either directly or through the inclusion of stories and celebrations from a variety of faiths and cultures. Our RE and PSHE teaching reinforce this. Topic-based learning incorporates faiths and beliefs of different countries, eg Africa in Y1 and India in Y2. Members of different faiths or religions are encouraged to share their knowledge to enhance learning within classes and the school. Children visit places of worship that are important to different faiths. At Aughton Junior Academy we will actively challenge pupils, staff or parents expressing opinions contrary to fundamental British Values, including ‘extremist’ views.
We also –
- - Promote respect for individual differences
- - Help pupils to acquire an understanding of, and respect for, their own and other cultures and ways of life
- - Challenge prejudicial or discriminatory behaviour
- - Organise visits to places of worship, or visitors in school
- - Develop links with faith communities
- - Develop critical personal thinking skills
- - Discuss differences between people, such as differences of faith, ethnicity, disability, gender or sexuality and differences of family situations, such as looked-after children or young carers