TEACHING AND PROMOTING ‘BRITISH VALUES’ AT JAMES CAMBELL PRIMARY SCHOOL
The Department for Education reinforced the need ‘to create and enforce a clear and rigorous expectation on all schools to promote the fundamental British values of:
- The rule of law
- Individual liberty
- Mutual respect
- Tolerance of those of different faiths and beliefs’
At James Cambell, these values are carefully promoted through our curriculum and are woven into the ethos of our school.
We have a developmental approach that enables children to develop their understanding of these values throughout their time at our school in order that they become responsible citizens.
Throughout their time at James Cambell, children are given the opportunity to vote via a voting platform called “VotesforSchools’. This platform enables the children’s voices to be heard on the issues that affect them the most, as well as supporting teaches to consistently embed SMSC, British Values and Prevent across the school.
We also understand that the children’s opinions about the school are valid and need to be at the heart of our decision making.
All staff also model this process through asking questions and inviting children’s answers and opinions, whether it be in lessons, during assemblies, at lunchtime or on the playground. For example, in child-initiated learning, all children are developing their decision making skills and learning to make informed choices and take responsibility for them. Older children often take part in debating activities or engage in public speaking on various topics.
Our School Council has members elected from each class and have regular meetings to represent the views of their classmates.
Our school behaviour policy is clear that children are expected to contribute and co-operate, taking into account the views of others. Our Values also promote democracy.
THE RULE OF LAW
We consistently reinforce our high expectations of children. Children are taught the value and reasons behind our expectations (rules) that they are there to protect us, that everyone has a responsibility and that there are consequences when rules are broken. They recognise that whilst we have rules at school, other rules and laws exist in the country for the same reasons.
- At the beginning of each academic year each class agree a set of rules with their peers and the teacher. These are then displayed in the class and referred to as necessary.
- By signing the Home School Agreement all parents/carers, children and teachers show commitment to uphold the school rules.
- Children are helped to learn to manage their behaviour and take responsibility for their actions. We help children to understand the connection between actions and consequences; rights and responsibilities.
Visits from the fire service, road safety experts, the police and visits to the various community buildings help us to reinforce this message.
Within school, children 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 our children to make choices safely, through our provision of a safe environment and engaging teaching. Children are encouraged to know, understand and exercise their rights and personal freedoms, whilst recognising that they have various responsibilities to fulfil.
We support each child to become as independent as possible so that they are encouraged to become good and valued citizens. We endeavour to demonstrate that everyone has rights; this includes the right to say ‘No’ when appropriate.
Some children will be able to take responsibility for particular roles, such as monitors. Learning to do things independently is an important part of learning to understand yourself. We believe that in fostering a careful and helpful environment and encouraging independence we can boost and nurture a healthy self-esteem.
Whether it be through their choice of learning challenge, how to record their work, choosing which of our many extra-curricular activities to participate in or what to eat at lunchtime, our children are given the freedom to make many choices.
Respect is one of our school values. Children learn that their behaviour has an effect on their own rights and those of others. All members of our school community treat each other with respect.
Events and circumstances are planned for pupils to go into the community to meet with a variety of people in different situations which include: sports events, community events and shared participation with other schools.
We support others in our community in a variety of ways for example: singing songs and carols to others; collecting Harvest goods, as well as participating in national charitable events such as Children in Need, Comic Relief.
Part of our school ethos and behaviour policy has revolved around core values such as ‘Respect’, and children model this by caring, sharing and listening to others. Our staff help children to understand how to respect by talking about how actions/words can affect others.
TOLERANCE OF THOSE OF DIFFERENT FAITHS AND BELIEFS
We aim to enhance children’s understanding of different faiths and beliefs by participating in a range of celebrations throughout the year. Through our school values, all children are taught to respect everyone regardless of their faith and beliefs.
In the curriculum through Religious Education, PSHE, English, Art, geography and history, as well as our Assembly themes, children consider cultures from other parts of the world, different faiths and beliefs. We invite visitors from our community to share their knowledge and to enhance learning both within classes and for the whole school.
To celebrate being British we:
- Study key historical figures and events in British history through our topics
- Learn key geographical facts about Britain
- Study our native wildlife both within our grounds and beyond
- Support national events such as the Olympics and the World Cup
- Strive to have a good sense of humour in the face of adversity!