Promoting British Values at Muscliff
The DfE have recently reinforced the need “to create and enforce a
clear and rigorous expectation on all schools to 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.”
The government set out its definition of British values in the 2011 Prevent Strategy, and these values have been reiterated by the Prime Minister this year. At Muscliff these values are reinforced regularly and in the following ways:
Democracy is rife within the school. Children have the opportunity to have their voices heard through our School Council, Rights Leaders, Responsibility/ Monitor roles and Pupil questionnaires. The children have opportunities to vote for the class ‘Values Champion’ each week and to share their ideas through the school council, making decisions such as the school charity and new playground equipment. Our school behaviour policy involves rewards which the children vote on as class groups. Specific topics teach the history and significance of Democracy; in Y3 the children learn about the social hierarchy in Ancient Egypt, in Y4 the Anglo-Saxons deciding whether to fight, or to leave, and in Y6 the children study Hitler’s appointment and WW2. The recent general election was discussed throughout the school.
· The Rule of Law:
As a Rights Respecting school, Class charters are a key part of each classroom. They are the laws or ‘promises/responsibilities’ that the children follow in order to have a successful learning environment. Children are in charge of creating them and will review them each term with their teacher to see if they need adapting. The importance of Laws are consistently reinforced throughout the school day, as well as when dealing with behaviour and through school assemblies. Children are taught the value and reasons behind 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, Lifeguards etc are regular parts of our calendar and help reinforce this message. The school council and Rights Leaders worked together to create Lunchtime charters with the Mid day Supervisors. Throughout the school staff use the ‘language of choice’ with the children promoting morals and responsibility. The school’s behaviour policy clearly lays out expectations and sanctions, focusing on rights, responsibilities, and celebrating positive behaviour. There are examples from across the school to reinforce the ‘rule of law’ through topics; Y5 Mayan Crime and Punishment, Y4 Romans, Y3 the role of Pharoah in Egypt.
Within school, children from Reception to Year Six 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 children to make choices safely, through the provision of a safe environment and empowering education. Children are encouraged to know, understand and exercise their rights and personal freedoms and advise how to exercise these safely, for example through our E-Safety and PSHE lessons. Whether it be through choice of challenge, of how they record, of participation in clubs and opportunities, children are given the freedom to make choices. In Y1 the ‘Our Future’ week promotes using IT to explore their abilities and their individual living memories. The ‘Great Scott’ topic promotes ambition and a sense of present/ future potential ambitions. Throughout the school there are opportunities for the children to test their theories through Science investigations choosing their resources. In Y4 the children study inspiring inventors, and in Y5 through the ‘Journey to Jo’Burg’ project they learn about Apartheid. In Y6 the children have the opportunity to participate in a residential outdoor activities week. Being away from home and the usual routines encourages the children to make positive choices for themselves in a different environment.
· Mutual Respect:
Our Rights Respecting approach, alongside the Living Values programme, underpins the school’s ethos. The behaviour policy has revolved around the core values of respect and responsibility and children have been part of discussions and assemblies related to what this means and how it is shown. Circle times and PSHE lessons focus on the importance of treating people fairly and with respect. In PE skills of fair play are taught. Children work in groups and pairs, and learn to listen, share and take turns, recognising and valuing each other’s contributions. In RE and through PSHE and assemblies the children learn to respect different faiths and beliefs. Through Science and Geography activities the children learn to respect and take care of the world around them and other living creatures. As a Rights Respecting school, we have raised funds and supported events including Day for Change, UNICEF Nepal appeal and Operation Christmas Child. The children recognise their role and responsibility in helping other children around the world.
· Tolerance of those of Different Faiths and Beliefs:
Our values ethos focuses on and promotes tolerance, understanding and unity. This is achieved through enhancing children’s understanding of their place in a culturally diverse society and by giving them opportunities to discuss and celebrate differences between people. Assemblies and discussions involving prejudices and prejudice-based bullying have been followed and supported by learning in RE and PSHE. Members of different faiths or religions are encouraged to share their knowledge to enhance learning within classes and the school.