In November 2014, the DfE 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.”
Actively promoting these values means challenging pupils, staff or parents/carers who express opinions contrary to fundamental British values, including ‘extremist’ views. Wetheringsett Primary School is committed to promoting these fundamental British values. This is done by instilling a core set of values and positive identity through both planned curriculum opportunities and through our day to day interactions and ethos as part of children’s spiritual, moral, social and cultural development. This is a key part of the way in which we ‘build skills for life'.
We appreciate that British values are very much linked to Christian values, and have adopted the document written by the diocese to explore this. The document can be found below.
Pupil voice, as well as parent/carer voice, plays an active part in developing school improvement priorities. The school is clear in demonstrating how pupils should contribute and co-operate and consider the views and needs of others. The School Council meets regularly and takes part in decision making on a range of topics and democratic decisions are often made and discussed within classes. Our MP has visited the school and met with the School Council and our older children visited the Houses of Parliament as part of a residential visit to London.
The Rule of Law:
Staff consistently reinforce high expectations of pupils through reference to our school rules. Pupils are taught the value and reasons behind these, that they are there to protect us and to promote fairness, and there may be consequences when rules are disregarded. Opportunities for more in-depth consideration of rules and laws arise through discussions within Philosophy for Children sessions.
Within school, everyone is actively encouraged to make choices, knowing that they are in a safe and supportive environment. The school provides pupils with opportunities to learn about what makes a good choice. Pupils are encouraged to express their views and teaching and learning incorporates their preferences and interests. Again, Philosophy for Children sessions play a key part in this, supporting children to form and express their own opinions and challenge those of others.
We help pupils to set high standards for themselves and be positive about others.. By doing so, we aim for children to become comfortable and confident in their own identity but able to understand and respect others people’s views. An ethos of respect and tolerance permeate all areas of school life. This supports a climate within which pupils feel safe, secure and valued. Staff consistently model and promote the behaviours and attitudes that are the foundation of positive relationships. Opportunities within a range curriculum subjects also actively used to promote respect and understanding of others.
Tolerance of those of Different Faiths and Beliefs:
The school’s curriculum aims to develop understanding of the world. The RE and PSHE curricula provide opportunities from the time children start school to be introduced to the idea of difference, to respect differences and value diversity, developing tolerance of and empathy towards those from different faiths, beliefs and cultures.
As a Church of England primary school, our Christian values form the basis of our ethos and relationships with others. However, we do not seek to indoctrinate our children and believe that our Christian values actually serve to promote understanding and tolerance of others.