The Department for Education states that there is a 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 Department for Education defines British Values as follows:
- Respect for democracy and support or participation in the democratic process
- Respect for the basis on which the law is made and applies in England
- Support for equality of opportunity for all
- Support and respect for the liberties of all within the law
- Respect for and tolerance of different faiths and religious and other beliefs
At Flora Gardens Primary School we reflect British values in all that we do. We aim to nurture our children on their journey through life so they can grow into safe, caring, democratic, responsible and tolerant adults who make a positive difference to British society and to the world. We encourage our children to be creative, unique, open-minded and independent individuals, respectful of themselves and of others in our school, our local community and the wider world.
In June 2014, the Prime Minister emphasised the important role that British values can play in education. Further, how well a school promotes such values is an aspect of Ofsted’s inspection process.
This is something that is developing in its significance for schools, it is not something new at Flora Gardens. British values are promoted in much of what we do, during school assemblies, Religious Education, Philosophy and Personal, Social and Health Economics (PSHE) sessions. The values are also integral to our vision and values.
As well as actively promoting British values, the opposite also applies: we would actively challenge pupils, staff or parents expressing opinions contrary to fundamental British values, including ‘extremist’ views.
The British values we espouse are not unique to Britain. We acknowledge that they differ in no way from the values of the many countries and the cultural backgrounds represented by families at Flora.
Below are just a few examples of how we promote British values. The first section is a general overview; the others are specific expectations set out by Ofsted.
Being part of Britain
As a school, we value and celebrate the diverse heritages of everybody at Flora. Alongside this, we value and celebrate being part of Britain. In general terms, this means that we celebrate traditions and customs in the course of the year; for example, Harvest Festival during the autumn term and trips to the pantomime in at Christmas. We also value and celebrate national events, an example being the 100th anniversary of the start of World War One.
Furthermore, pupils learn about being part of Britain from different perspectives. Two specific examples of when we teach about being part of Britain are:
Geographically: Our rivers, coasts and seaside holiday topics ensure that pupils have a better understanding of what Britain is, learning more about: its coasts, rivers and mountains and where Britain is in relation to the rest of Europe and other countries in the world.
Historically: Key moments in British history are studied in the topics such as ‘London’s Burning’, as well as significant historical figures.
Pupils, parents and staff have many opportunities for their voices to be heard at Flora Gardens Primary School. Democracy is central to how we operate.
An example is our School Council. The election of the School Council members reflects our British electoral system and demonstrates democracy in action: candidates make speeches, pupils consider characteristics important for an elected representative, pupils vote in secret using ballot boxes etc. Made up of two representatives from each class, the School Council meets regularly to discuss issues raised by the different classes. The Council are actively involved in recruitment and in providing teachers with feedback.
Another example of ‘pupil voice’. Pupils are asked to respond and reflect on the teaching and learning they receive as well as make suggestions for the School Council to consider.
Pupils are always listened to by adults and are taught to listen carefully and with concern to each other, 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.
Parents’ opinions are welcomed at Flora Gardens through methods such as questionnaires, surveys at parents evenings and opportunities to comment/feedback on the opportunities we provide.
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 assemblies and when reflecting on behaviour choices. At the start of the school year, each class discusses the school rules and class routines, principles that 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 the value and reasons behind laws, that they govern and protect us, the responsibilities that this involves, and the consequences when laws are broken. These values are reinforced in different ways:
- visits from authorities such as the police and fire service
- during Religious Education, when rules for particular faiths are thought about
- during other school subjects, where there is respect and appreciation for different rules.
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, 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 PSHE lessons.
Mutual respect and tolerance of those with different faiths and beliefs
Flora Gardens serves an area which is culturally diverse and we are proud to promote and celebrate our different backgrounds and beliefs. Tolerance, politeness and mutual respect are at the heart of our aims and ethos.
Our central aim to ‘prepare children for the future’ drives us towards ensuring that our pupils are able to live and work alongside people from all backgrounds and cultures.
Our pupils know and understand that it is expected that respect is shown to everyone and to everything, whatever differences we may have. Pupils learn that their behaviour choices have an effect on their own rights and those of others. All members of the School community are encouraged to treat each other with respect.
Specific examples of how we at Flora Gardens enhance pupils’ understanding and respect for different faiths and beliefs are:
- through Religious Education, PSHE and other lessons where we develop awareness and appreciation of other cultures – in English through fiction and in art and music by considering cultures from other parts of the world.
- celebrating cultural differences through assemblies, themed weeks and displays.
Whilst instances contrary to our values are relatively rare, no school can guarantee that there will never be instances which are contrary to our values. Each is treated seriously in line with our policies and expectations.
OUR CORE SCHOOL VALUES
- Choose Your Attitude - To have a school that is collaborative - links to Democracy.
- Respect - To create a school where we all feel valued and loved - links to Mutual Respect and Tolerance of all faiths and beliefs.
- Trust - To have a school where openness and honesty are at the heart of all we do - The Rule of Law, Mutual Respect
- Fulfillment - To take pride in each other's successes, and with and sense of fun, seek worthwhile and absorbing challenges - links to Mutual Respect
- Personal Well being - To endeavour to be healthy, happy and harmonious - links to Individual Liberty
- Adventure - To choose to be curious, to take risks and to create our own paths - this core value is based on Growth Mindset
Our Core Values have been developed and agreed by staff, pupils, parents and the Governing Body of the school. Our values underpin all that we strive to achieve and enable our children not only to make progress and flourish in the classroom, but also to promote their social and emotional development and well-being.
Our aim is that all members of the Flora community feel safe and confident in supporting one another and are able to contribute positively to a wider society.