Promoting British Values
At St Martin’s CofE Primary School, we provide opportunities for pupils to explore their own culture and have a clear understanding and appreciation of a wide range of cultural influences that have shaped modern Britain. We encourage all children to be tolerant and respectful to those of different faiths and beliefs. This is done by providing the children with an understanding of main festivals and key dates of significant to British culture. e.g. Remembrance Day, the Queen’s Birthday and major political events such as elections.
We ‘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’. We also recognise that these values are not solely exclusive to Britain and that these values have developed in Britain through a process over a substantial period of time and can only be maintained and developed by active engagement of citizens in democratic, lawful and respectful institutions and processes, of which our Primary School is one element.
Children, parents and Staff have many opportunities for their voices to be heard at St Martin’s.
An obvious example of democracy in action is our School Council, each year, the election of School Council members takes place. This reflects our British electoral system; the prospective candidates make speeches; all pupils reflect on what personal characteristics are important for their class representatives to have.
Following this they vote and the individuals with the majority are elected. In the past the school Council has decided on playground equipment for both indoor and outdoor, and have given feedback to curriculum leaders on the curriculum.
Other examples of how we promote the values of democracy, including ‘pupil voice’ are:
- Children agree the school values
- Children take part in a questionnaire so that they can put forward their views of the school
- Children are given the opportunity to vote on specific issues e.g. the choice of films to watch, how their class will spend their Golden Time, to choose appropriate rewards for their class.
- Children take part in Enterprise projects which support democracy skills.
- Children’s opinions are sought on the extra areas of study as part of our Creative Curriculum.
Rule of Law
The importance of laws, whether they may be those of each class, the school, or our country are referred to and reinforced, such as through Worship and when reflecting on behaviour choices. Pupils are taught the value and reasons behind decisions, and the consequences if they are broken.
This is reinforced in different ways:
- Each class discusses their class rules, clearly understood by all to ensure that they have a safe environment in which all pupils have a right to learn
- The whole school behaviour policy is clearly structured and publicised and followed by all.
- Pupils have regular opportunities to reflect, for example, on their choices during Collective Worship.
- Collective Worship covers national and International events
- In RE lessons, Pupils have the opportunities to explore the rules of particular faiths
- During other subjects, their s respect and appreciation for different rules e.g. in sports lessons, competitions etc.
- We have links with the local Police and Fire Stations
- Visitors to the school such as the Police and during Careers Day – lawyers, magistrates etc.
Within School, Pupils are actively encouraged to make choices; including the right to respectfully express views and beliefs, knowing they are in a safe and supportive environment.
We promote individual Liberty through:
- Choices about learning activities and challenges
- Building Learning power
- Choices about their participation in extra-curricular clubs and opportunities
- Opportunities to reflect, in their reflection books
- Empowering children to make safe choices through E-Safety, PSHE, Road Safety and Fire Safety lesson
- Vision statement and yearly values for our school spread our vision.
Mutual respect is at the heart of what we believe. Children learn that their actions have an effect on their own rights and those of others. All members of the school community should treat each other with respect.
We promote this through:
- Assemblies on core themes such as respect, patience, tolerance, understanding etc.
- PSHCE and Circle Time sessions
- Anti-bullying activities
- RE curriculum
- Positive relationships are encouraged and modelled by staff
- Buddy System and Sports Leaders allow pupils to care for others
Tolerance of those of Different Faiths and beliefs
St Martin’s has a diverse community and as such we place emphasis on sharing and promoting this diversity
We do this by:
- Through RE, PSHCE and other lessons, pupils have the opportunity to develop their awareness ad appreciation for other cultures
- Members of different faiths or religions are encouraged to share their knowledge to enhance learning within their class
- The school has an annual ‘One World Week’ to enable a detail focus on a particular religion or culture.
As well as promoting British Values, we would actively challenge pupils, staff, or parents expressing opinions contrary to fundamental British values including ‘extremist views’.