As directed by the Department for Education (DfE), schools have a duty to actively promote fundamental British values.
These values were first set out by the government in the ‘Prevent’ Strategy in 2011. 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.
British Values are defined as:
- Rule of law
- Individual liberty
- Mutual respect
- Tolerance of those of different faiths and beliefs
These values are taught explicitly through Personal, Social, Health and Emotional (PSHE), and Religious Education (RE). We also teach British Values through our broad and balanced curriculum, and ensure they are a key driver in the Spiritual, Moral, Social and Cultural aims for our children.
The school takes opportunities to actively promote British Values through whole-school and class-based collective worship, and whole school systems and structures such as electing and running a successful School Council.
We also actively promote British Values through ensuring that our curriculum includes real opportunities for exploring these values.
Each year the children decide upon their class charter and the rights associated with these. All the children contribute to the drawing up of the charter.
Children have many opportunities for their voices to be heard. We have a School Council which meets regularly to discuss issues raised in class council meetings. The Council has its own budget and is able to genuinely effect change within the school. Both of the council members for each year group are voted in by their class.
Children have an annual questionnaire with which they are able to put forward their views about the school.
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 and class 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 help reinforce this message.
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 record, of participation in our numerous extra-curricular clubs and opportunities, pupils are given the freedom to make choices.
Mutual respect is at the heart of our 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 empathy.
Tolerance of those of Different Faiths and Beliefs
Somerby is situated in an area which is not greatly culturally diverse therefore 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 Religious Education and PSHE teaching reinforce this. Members of different faiths or religions are encouraged to share their knowledge to enhance learning within classes and the school. Children visit places of worship that are important to different faiths.
At Somerby we will actively challenge pupils, staff or parents expressing opinions contrary to fundamental British values, including ‘extremist’ views.