British Values Statement
DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION:
Fundamental British Values
In November 2014, the Department for Education published guidance on promoting British values in schools, to ensure young people leave school prepared for life in modern Britain. At St Peter’s Church of England (Aided) Primary School, we promote the fundamental values of democracy, the rule of law, individual liberty, and mutual respect and tolerance of those with different faiths and beliefs, which have been embraced within British society.
All maintained schools must meet the requirements set out in section 78 of the Education Act 2002 and promote the spiritual, moral, social and cultural (SMSC) development of their pupils.
Daily acts of collective worship, supported by effective relationships throughout the school, and the wide range of activities beyond the classroom that we offer are all ways in which we ensure pupils’ social, moral, spiritual and cultural development, as well as fostering a sense of community.
Through our provision of SMSC, we actively seek to:
- enable children to develop their self-knowledge, self-esteem and self-confidence;
- enable our children to distinguish right from wrong and to respect the civil and criminal law of England;
- encourage pupils 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;
- foster tolerance and harmony between different cultural traditions by enabling our pupils to acquire an appreciation of and respect for their own and other cultures;
- encourage respect for other people;
- 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.
The sections below describe the understanding and knowledge expected of our pupils as a result of promoting fundamental British values:
Children, parents and staff have many opportunities for their voices to be heard at St Peter’s school. Democracy is central to how we operate.
An example of this is our School Council. The election of the School Council members reflects our British electoral system and demonstrates democracy in action: candidates put themselves forwards, pupils consider characteristics important for an elected representative, and vote for their class representatives. Made up of two representatives from each class in years 2 to 6, the School Council meets regularly to discuss issues raised by the different classes.
The council is able to genuinely effect change within the school; in the past, the School Council has been involved with decisions on play equipment, fundraising for charities, supporting WASPs (PTA) and promoting anti-bullying.
Pupils are always listened to by adults and are taught to listen carefully with consideration, respecting the right of every individual to have their opinions and voices heard. We encourage pupils to take ownership of not only their school but also of their own learning and progress. This encourages a heightened sense of both personal and social responsibility and is demonstrated on a daily basis by our pupils.
Democracy is also demonstrated when we elect parent and staff governors and through the formation of a Parent Council, which gives the parents a platform to share their views.
Rules and Laws
The importance of rules and laws, whether they be those that govern our school or our country, are referred to and reinforced often, such as in collective worship and when reflecting on behaviour choices. At the start of the school year, each class discusses our school code of conduct – “How we Behave at St Peter’s Primary School”- and its importance. Also the children discuss ‘The Line’, part of the school’s behaviour policy which outlines acceptable and unacceptable behaviour and the sanctions attached to different behaviours.These rules are clearly understood by all and seen to be necessary to ensure that every class member is able to learn in a safe and ordered environment.
Pupils are taught that, while different people may hold different views about what is ‘right’ and ‘wrong’, all people living in England are subject to its law. They are taught the value and reasons behind laws, that they govern and protect us, the responsibilities that this involves, and the consequences when laws are broken, much like ‘The Line’. These values are reinforced in different ways:
- School behaviour policy;
- Visits from authorities such as the police and fire service;
- Religious Education, when rules for particular faiths are thought about and the difference between religious and state law is explained;
- Other school subjects, where there is respect and appreciation for different rules – in a PE or PSHE lesson, for example.
Alongside rules and laws, we promote freedom of choice and the right to respectfully express views and beliefs. Through the provision of a safe, supportive environment and education, we provide boundaries for our pupils to make choices safely. For example:
- Choices about what learning challenge or activity
- Choices about how they record their learning
- Choices around the participation in extra-curricular activities
Our pupils are encouraged to know, understand and exercise their rights and personal freedoms and are taught how to exercise these safely, such as in our e-safety and PSHE lessons.
Mutual respect and tolerance of those with different faiths and beliefs
St Peter’s School is close to the city of Leicester, a city proud of its cultural diversity and harmony of faith and beliefs, and we therefore promote and celebrate our different backgrounds and beliefs. Mutual respect and tolerance is an important part of our Vision, Aims and Values. Different faiths and beliefs are discussed within RE lessons
Our pupils know and understand that it is expected and imperative that respect is shown to everyone, whatever differences we may have, and to everything, whether it is a school resource, a religious belief or anything else. Children learn that their behaviour choices have an effect on their own rights and those of others. All members of the school community should treat each other with tolerance and respect.