The DfE have 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 at St Mary’s Infant School these values are reinforced regularly and in the following ways:
Democracy is a strong feature in our school. Pupils have the opportunity to have their voices heard through our Pupil Parliament. Children participate regularly in PSHE & SMSC sessions where they can openly discuss issues that they are concerned about. Children elect who will be their representative for their class.
The Rule of Law
Children are taught the value of laws and rules and that consequences occur when they are broken. The school operates a behaviour system that promotes, recognises and rewards positive behaviour. This is fully embedded across the school.
Each class devises their own class ‘Rights & Responsibilities’ and agree to follow them. Children will leave our school with a strong sense of right and wrong and understand the need for rules and laws in everyday life.
Within school, pupils 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 pupils to make choices safely, through of provision of a safe environment and empowering education. Pupils are encouraged to know, understand and exercise their rights and personal freedoms and advise how to exercise these safely, for example through our PSHE & SMSC lessons. Children are taught Protective Behaviours from Reception to Year 2 and have a ‘Network’ of people that they know will support them.
Pupils are given the freedom to make choices whether it be in Child Initiated Learning in Reception, extra-curricular clubs or which menu choice they would like each day.
Our school ethos ‘Sharing, Caring, Learning and Loving with God’ and our Behaviour Policy actively promote love and respect for all. Our assemblies focus on core values and these are constantly reinforced in all parts of school life.
Tolerance of those of Different Faiths and Beliefs
This is achieved through broadening and educating the children about the culturally diverse world they live in. This is possible through assemblies, learning about the world when raising money for charity and learning from their peers.
The school follows the Herts Agreed Syllabus in RE where six major religions are compared and discussed. These are: Christianity, Buddhism, Judaism, Islam, Sikhism and Hinduism. The school library has a well-stocked ‘World Religions’ section enabling pupils and adults to discover more about faiths from around the world and within their own community. Children of different faiths are encouraged to share events and celebrations with their classmates. Children are also made aware, through class discussions and learning about religions, that some people choose to not follow any particular faith.