In 2011, the government defined British Values as democracy, the rule of law, individual liberty, mutual respect and tolerance of different faiths and beliefs. In November 2014, schools were required to have a strategy for embedding these values and showing how their work with pupils has been effective in doing so.
At Westvale Primary, we promote these values in the following ways:
Democracy is an important value at our school. Pupils have a voice through the School Council. The election of School Council members and helpers with areas of responsibility such as Head Boy/Girl, Deputy Head Boy/Girl, Prefects and Office Monitors are mostly based on pupil votes. Our School Council is able to genuinely effect change within the school and are actively involved in the recruitment of Teachers. Our Curriculum teaches about democracy through Circle Time, PSHE, and assemblies. Children are frequently reminded that their views are important and adults model and teach the importance of respectful listening. We teach the origins of democracy in our History through Ancient Greece.
School council minutes
The Rule of Law:
Through our behaviour Policy, Anti-Bullying Policy and Behaviour Code, we promote high expectations on pupil, parent/carer and staff conduct. The importance of laws and rules, whether they govern the class, school or the country, are consistently reinforced throughout regular school days, as well as when dealing with behaviour and through school assemblies.
Our system for behaviour is aligned to an agreed set of codes. Parents and children sign our Home/School Agreement yearly and Our ‘Good to be Green’ reward system is firmly in place. This system is consistently followed throughout the school. We are committed to praising children’s efforts. We praise children informally, individually, during group work, in front of the whole class and the whole school. Rewards are given in the form of stickers, certificates and prizes both in class and during assemblies.
Pupils 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. Visits from authorities such as the police and fire service are regular parts of our calendar and help reinforce this message.
Class rules displayed
Pupils are actively encouraged to make their own choices and develop as confident, independent thinkers. Children are provided with a safe and supportive environment to right from wrong and choosing the right thing, even when it is difficult. Children are encouraged to know, understand and exercise their rights and personal freedoms and are advised how to exercise these safely. For example, through our e-safety teaching and PSHE lessons. Our extensive offer of before and after school clubs enable the children to exercise their freedom of choice. EYFS children are given the freedom to self select their learning activities. All children are encouraged to make personal choices about the food they eat.
Part of our school ethos and behaviour policy are based around our motto – ‘Caring for All’. Assemblies follow themes such as; helping others, working together, friendship and acts of kindness. Posters around school promote respect for self, others and our world and this is reiterated in classroom activities. Children learn that their behaviours have an effect on their own rights and those of others. In PE, the children take part in training and many compete in tournaments. The value of this is sportsmanship. Children are reminded to show mutual respect towards other players at all times.
Tolerance of different faiths and beliefs:
This is achieved through enhancing pupils’ understanding of their place in a culturally diverse society and by giving them opportunities to experience such diversity in our local community, which is by large white British. RE, PSHE lessons and Assemblies give the children ample opportunity to find out about, and to discuss, different religions and cultures. Assemblies and discussions involving prejudices and prejudice-based bullying have been followed and supported by learning in RE and PSHE. Through our History and Geography curriculum we study and learn about the life and culture in other countries around the world.