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Promoting British Values at Tonwell St Mary’s C of E (VC) Primary School
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 of 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 by the Prime Minister this year. At Tonwell St Mary’s these values are reinforced regularly and in the following ways:
Democracy is throughout the school. Pupils have the opportunity to have their voices heard through our School Council and pupil questionnaires. The elections of school councillors are based solely on pupil votes. Our school behaviour policy involves rewards which the school council discusses and decides on through votes within their classes. Each term, the school council organises a vote for our global, national and local charities.
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 and the class and school rules and behaviour code 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 authorities such as the Police, Fire Service, etc. are regular parts of our planned curriculum events and 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 the provision of a safe environment and empowering education. Pupils are encouraged to know, understand and exercise their rights and personal freedoms and have advice on how to exercise these safely, for example through our online safety and PSHE lessons. We celebrate Safer Internet Day every February. Whether it be through choice of challenge, of how they record, of participation in our numerous extra-curricular clubs and opportunities, pupils are given the freedom to make choices.
Part of our school ethos and behaviour policy has revolved around the core values such as ‘Respect’, and pupils have been part of many discussions and assemblies related to what this means and how it is shown. This is reiterated through our classroom and learning rules, as well as our behaviour policy. Respect is one of the school's core Christian values and children are encouraged to 'live out' this value in day to day life.
Tolerance of those 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. Assemblies and discussions involving prejudices and prejudice-based bullying have been followed and supported by learning in RE and PSHE. Different Faith Leaders are invited to speak in assemblies and pupils of different faiths or religions are encouraged to share their knowledge to enhance learning within classes and the school. The whole school visits a different place of worship on an annual basis, allowing the children direct experience of different faiths and culture.