Promoting Fundamental British Values
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.”
In June 2014, the then secretary of state for education, Michael Gove, announced that schools would be required to promote British values from September 2014.Within the Galaxy Trust these values are reinforced regularly through a broad and balanced curriculum, including PSHE, in the following ways:
Democracy is prevalent within our Trust. Pupils have the opportunity to have their voices heard through regular School Council Meetings and Pupil questionnaires. The elections of School Council Representatives and Eco-Warriors are based solely on pupil votes. During Pupil Voice, pupils are given the opportunity to give their opinions on how they feel their learning is going and what the school can do to help them improve further. Their opinions are taken into consideration and acted upon if necessary. Assemblies also reinforce democracy within our school and society.
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 involved in following laws; and the consequences when laws are broken. The Galaxy Trust’s Behaviour Policy clearly highlights the rules we must follow as schools and the consequences when they are broken. Visits from authorities such as the Police; Fire Service; Lifeguards etc. are regular parts of our calendar and help reinforce this message. Rules are visible throughout the Trust and at the beginning of the year parents and children are asked to sign a home-school agreement whereby they agree to follow these very rules.
Within the Trust, pupils are actively encouraged to make informed choices, knowing that they are in a safe and supportive environment. As a Trust we educate and provide boundaries for young pupils to make these choices safely. Pupils are encouraged to know, understand and exercise their rights and personal freedoms and are advised how to exercise these. For example, through E-Safety and Resilient Classroom lessons. Whether it be through choice of challenge, or how they record their work, or 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 highlights our core values such as ‘Respect’, and pupils have been part of discussions and assemblies related to what this means and how it is shown. They understand the importance of respect towards one another as well as towards all adults in the school. This is further reiterated within lessons and through SMSC when children are working together within the classroom. An expectation within the Trust is that all teachers model these values.
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, PSHE and SMSC. Members of different faiths or religions are encouraged to share their knowledge to enhance learning within classes and the school, highlighting how lucky we are as a community to have individuals/families from such diverse backgrounds.
Within the Galaxy Trust a broad Curriculum is covered. We follow the International Primary Curriculum and within there are ample opportunities where British Values are taught and addressed.