The Department for Education has introduced a statutory duty for schools to promote British Values more actively from September 2014, and to ensure they are taught in schools.
St Barnabas CE First & Middle School is committed to serving its community. It recognises the multicultural, multi-faith and ever-changing nature of the United Kingdom. It also understands the vital role it has in ensuring that groups or individuals within the school are not subjected to intimidation or radicalisation by those wishing to unduly, or illegally, influence them.
It follows equal opportunities guidance which guarantees that there will be no discrimination against any individual or group, regardless of faith, ethnicity, gender, sexuality, political or financial status, or similar. St Barnabas CE First & Middle School is dedicated to preparing students for their adult life beyond the formal, examined curriculum and ensuring that it promotes and reinforces British values to all its students.
The government has identified (Promoting fundamental British values as part of SMSC in schools, Nov 14) that schools should promote the fundamental British values of:
- The rule of law
- Individual liberty
- Mutual respect and tolerance of those of different faiths and beliefs
Actively promoting the values means challenging opinions in school that are contrary to fundamental British values. It is therefore important that as a school through our provision of SMSC that we should:
- enable students to develop their self-knowledge, self-esteem and self-confidence;
- enable students to distinguish right from wrong and to respect the civil and criminal law of England;
- encourage students to accept responsibility for their behaviour, show initiative, and to understand how they can contribute positively to the lives of those living and working in the locality of the school and to society more widely;
- enable students to acquire a broad general knowledge of and respect for public institutions and services in England;
- further tolerance and harmony between different cultural traditions by enabling students to acquire an appreciation of and respect for their own and other cultures;
- encourage respect for other people; and
- encourage respect for democracy and support for participation in the democratic processes, including respect for the basis on which the law is made and applied in England.
As a result of the promotion of fundamental British values at St Barnabas CE First & Middle School we aim for our pupils to gain the following knowledge and understanding:
- an understanding of how citizens can influence decision-making through the democratic process;
- an appreciation that living under the rule of law protects individual citizens and is essential for their wellbeing and safety;
- an understanding that there is a separation of power between the executive and the judiciary, and that while some public bodies such as the police and the army can be held to account through Parliament, others such as the courts maintain independence;
- an understanding that the freedom to choose and hold other faiths and beliefs is protected in law;
- an acceptance that other people having different faiths or beliefs to oneself (or having none) should be accepted and tolerated, and should not be the cause of prejudicial or discriminatory behaviour; and
- an understanding of the importance of identifying and combating discrimination.
At St Barnabas we use strategies within the national curriculum and beyond to secure such outcomes for students. The examples that follow show some of the many ways St Barnabas CE First & Middle School seeks to promote fundamental British values.
We have a school council, team captains and vice captains as well as prefects. These are voted into position and pupil leaders have to convince and provide the reasons and arguments why they should be voted to have the responsibility they desire. We have good evidence that the school council make a difference and have made decisions that have led to improvements in provision.
We provide pupils with a broad general knowledge of, and promote respect for, public institutions and services (police visits etc., local councillors explaining what they do). The police make regular visits into school to talk to the children around a range of aspects of their work and to help children to stay safe. The children in year 7 also have a full unit of work based around democracy and parliament and have the opportunity to visit the Palace of Westminster.
As part of our curriculum we provide regular opportunities for children to persuade each other or others of something and, as a result, are giving children the opportunity to demonstrate they are able to come to a reasoned view.
We provide many opportunities for pupils to express their views about a range of subjects and value pupil voice.
The Rule of Law
We have regular visits from the police.
Our school rules are clear and are understood by the children. They are discussed regularly during assemblies and they are consistently used by all staff.
Our behaviour policy is clear and has been re-visited in autumn/spring. It provides clear guidelines for the children and staff to follow and as a result children have a clear understanding of what is right and wrong and the consequences of breaking the rules. We teach children that rules are important in a variety of ways. E.G. rules for games.
One of our central aims is to ensure pupils develop their self-knowledge, self-esteem and self-confidence. We recognise that this is cornerstone around which everything else can be created. We work hard to build children’s self-knowledge through the feedback children receive using formative assessment techniques including, developmental marking and peer and self-evaluation. Our ethos is one of celebration and we work hard to ensure we provide positive feedback to our pupils on a regular basis. Our behaviour policy is weighted towards celebration of good work and behaviour. Children at St Barnabas are self-confident and they demonstrate this regularly when speaking in front of each other and to adults from both within and outside of school.
We encouraging pupils to take responsibility for their behaviour, as well as knowing their rights. We work hard to ensure pupils know and feel that they are dealt with in a fair and equitable way.
We regularly challenge stereo types and are quick to deal with any form of discriminatory behaviour. This includes anti bullying. Bullying is not tolerated at St Barnabas and is dealt with quickly if it occurs. Children have a good understanding of bullying and its many forms as we discuss this with them regularly.
Mutual respect and tolerance of those of different faiths and beliefs.
We are not a multi-cultural school with many different faiths and cultures and so we work hard to promote the respect for individual differences and to challenge stereotypes. We work in an environment of mutual respect and understanding of each other.
Through collective worship, RE and SMSC we help pupils to acquire an understanding of, and respect for, their own and other cultures and ways of life. Prejudicial or discriminatory behaviour is challenged robustly.
Children make visits to places of worship or have leaders from different religions come to school.
We are working hard to continue to develop links with faith communities and we are aiming to have leaders from many faiths visit schools to demonstrate and discuss the similarities and differences between faiths.
We 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. Children are actively encouraged to share their faith and belief in school.