British Values at Riverside Primary School & Nursery
The Department for Education 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 further guidance on how schools can promote British Values was released by the DfE in 2014.
At Riverside Primary School & Nursery, we believe that our school aims, including our fully inclusive ethos and values of equality and respect, fully support British Values. We continually promote British Values through the rich and varied curriculum offer and equal opportunities policy, which supports the “whole child” and the diverse range of needs, equipping our children with the skills to become successful and fulfilled British citizens in adulthood.
We are committed to embracing the diversity within our local and wider community, whilst recognising the role we play in keeping children safe from radicalisation. We actively challenge any agency, individual or group, who may pose a risk to children’s safety or who wish to intimidate or unduly or illegally influence them.
The five key British Values are:
• The rule of law
• Individual liberty
• Mutual respect
• Tolerance of those of different faiths and beliefs
At Riverside, we promote British Values in a variety of ways including:-
Children at Riverside understand the democratic process through the election of School Council representatives. School Council representatives offer a pupil voice and form part of the decision making process for the school. They play an important role in making choices, influencing certain budget spends, reviewing key policies such as Equal Opportunities and Anti-Bullying and deciding key priorities for the school. Through pupil, parent and staff questionnaires/surveys the community voice is used to influence the School Development Plan and the school vision. Pupils are confident that they will be listened to by adults in the school and that they need to listen to the views of others, with respect and consideration. The curriculum provides pupils with the opportunity to learn how to argue and defend points of view. During the General Election our children took part in mock elections. Working in mixed age groups, children decided on Party names, manifestos and campaigned for votes. All children completed a ballot form and voted for the winning Party. All views were shared, respected and listened to, and given equal standing within the election process.
The rule of law
The importance of laws and rules are constantly reinforced at Riverside, whether they govern the class, school or country. Through lessons and assemblies, children are taught the reasons for following the law or rules and the consequences of breaking them, both in school and in the wider community. Each class discuss and set out their own rules each year, in line with the schools rules. The school rules are reviewed annually and set out clear guidance of the expectations for all parties. This is outlined in the Home/School Agreement which is signed annually by the child, parent and school.
The school Behaviour, Anti-Bullying, Safeguarding and Online Safety Policies all ensure that children at Riverside are kept safe and know what to do in order to keep themselves safe. They know they are protected by the school rules and British law, and that there are consequences for those who may break the rules or law in respect to these policies. We practice restorative justice in school so that children can express how they feel and know that consequences are actioned and appropriate. Children are taught about the laws of the land and how these are enforced. PCSOs visit the school regularly and talk to the children about their role in ensuring the public follow rules and the support for those who may find this difficult orare at risk of breaking rules. Local Magistrates give talks to the older children and help them to understand the judicial process and how the law is applied in England.
At Riverside, we pride ourselves on how we enable all pupils to develop their self-knowledge, self-esteem and self-confidence. As a fully inclusive school, with two special provisions, we use a range of strategies to develop independence and support individual aspirations. All pupils are free to express their views in a safe and appropriate manner. There are ample opportunities throughout the curriculum to take part in discussions and debates and all views are given full regard. Pupils know they are listened to and treated with respect. If a child has concerns they can talk to our “Listening Ear”, a qualified practitioner in Emotional First Aid, or use the class worry box.
At Riverside, there are equal opportunities of access to the curriculum and extra-curricular activities, regardless of ability, gender, ethnicity or sexual orientation. Pupils know that they are free from discrimination and there are very few incidents of bullying or racial abuse. The inclusion of our special provisions within the mainstream classes ensures that all children have a good understanding of disability and are caring and supportive of each other. School Council regularly review the school’s Anti-bullying policy, ensuring pupils views are taken into account and review the ways in which we can tackle bullying as a school should it occur.
Through our curriculum and our historical timeline mural, children learn about times in the past and in the current news, when individual liberty has been challenged. We remember those who have given their lives to preserve our individual liberty in this country and we have a permanent Remembrance Day display. In order to encourage future aspirations, we hold a Jobs Fair for our upper Key Stage 2 children. Pupils have the opportunity to talk to employees from different trades and professions, asking questions and trying out the tools of the trades. This has inspired many pupils to think of future careers and learning journeys, and the positive contribution they can make to our society.
Respect is a fundamental part of our school vision and values. These values are shared with the pupils regularly through assemblies, PSHCE, class and school rules and school policies. There is a shared vocabulary used by all adults to promote respect and children understand and use this shared language. All adults lead by example and have high expectations of themselves and others. The good relations between parents/carers and the school, help to promote and demonstrate mutual respect.
Our “Riverside Attitude” poems created by the pupils, remind them of the behaviours expected in order for all pupils to succeed in a safe environment. The poems are displayed in the school and are regularly referred to. They are reviewed annually to ensure they are relevant and that the values are part of the common language used by pupils.
We have a termly Inclusion newsletter which celebrates differences and supports those living with an additional need. Our Inclusion policy and inclusive ethos, ensures that mutual respect and understanding of individual needs are encouraged and supported, and are an integral part of the Riverside community.
Tolerance of those of different faiths and beliefs
At Riverside, we look at the main world faiths and beliefs as part of the Religious Education curriculum and through assemblies. Children’s understanding and respect for different faiths and beliefs are enhanced through the wider curriculum and visits and visitors, such as to the local Synagogue and Gurdwara. We recognise and celebrate different religious festivals such as Diwali and teach children about the similarities and differences of different faiths. Our displays throughout the school celebrate different religions and cultures, and children accept that other people may have different faiths and beliefs to themselves, or may have none. We hold special events or weeks, in order to teach children about their place in our culturally diverse society, such as Chinese New Year dancing and Multi-Cultural week.
Family Trust deliver termly assemblies, with a Christian theme, promoting values of respect, tolerance and individuality. We hold regular charity events and pride ourselves on the work we do to help others who are sick or less fortunate.
In our school corridors we also have posters related to British Values and teachers refer to these and their meaning in lessons and through assemblies. Our Equal Opportunities policy ensures that there is no discrimination of access due to holding faiths and beliefs. Any prejudicial or discriminatory behaviour is not tolerated and we actively challenge any pupil, staff or parent/carer demonstrating discrimination or extremist views.
Reviewed February 2019