The DfE have recently 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 for those with different faiths and beliefs.’
The Government set out its definition of British values in the 2011 Prevent Strategy, and these values have been reiterated in 2014. At Battling Brook these values are reinforced regularly on a daily basis and through our Curriculum.
Each year the children decide upon their class rules and the rights associated with these.
We have a school council which meets regularly to discuss issues raised by pupils in school. The council promotes the collective voice of pupils within school and within the local community through visits to the Hinckley Hub. The council members for each year group are voted in by their class, through democratic election processes. In addition, Eco-Warriors are voted in by their class and in Year 6 the ‘Team Captains’ are democratically elected. The SLT carry out pupil interviews whereby children are able to put forward their views about the school and say what they would like to know or learn about.
The Rule of Law
The importance of Laws, whether they be those that govern the class, the school, or the country, are consistently reinforced throughout regular school days, as well as when dealing with behaviour and through school 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 public figures such as the local PCSO help reinforce this message. During E-safety discussions and assemblies, the notion of how to report those who break the law is also covered.
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 provision of a safe environment and empowering education. Pupils are encouraged to know, understand and exercise their rights and personal freedoms and advised how to exercise these safely, for example through our E-Safety and PSHE lessons. Whether it be through choice of learning challenge, of how they conduct a Science experiment, of participation in our numerous extra-curricular clubs and opportunities, or of what books they choose to read, pupils are given the freedom to make choices. Through the ‘Innovate Week’ in each topic, pupils are able to help to steer their learning in the direction of their choice and make decisions about how they want to approach a topic.
Mutual respect is at the heart of our core and pupil values. Children learn that their behaviours have an effect on their own rights and those of others. All members of the school community treat each other with respect and such behaviour is celebrated on a weekly basis by sharing entries in the ‘Respect File’. Our whole school Friday assembly is an opportunity for pupils to share their extra-curricular achievements as well as to recognise achievements within school. It is a celebration assembly that sees them share certificates or medals and have good work shown on the big screen so that everyone can celebrate the success of others.
Tolerance of those of Different Faiths and Beliefs
At Battling Brook we place a great emphasis on promoting diversity with the children. Assemblies are regularly planned to address this issue either directly or through the inclusion of stories and celebrations from a variety of faiths and cultures. Our RE, PSHE and Citizenship teaching reinforce this. Members of different faiths or religions are encouraged to share their knowledge to enhance learning within classes and the school. This includes visitors from both within and outside of our school community.
At Battling Brook we will actively challenge pupils, staff or parents expressing opinions contrary to fundamental British Values, including ‘extremist’ views. Such extremist views which are manifested into any pupil will be approached as a child protection incident.