The DfE have 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.’
At Olton Primary these values are interwoven through our whole curriculum and ethos. The values are reinforced regularly and below are just some of the ways that this happens:
Democracy plays a prominent part within our school. Pupils have the opportunity to have their voices heard through our School Council and pupil questionnaires. The elections of House Captains, as well as Head Boy and Head Girl are based on the votes of pupils after a short speech from each pupil explaining why they should be elected into the role. Any changes to procedures and systems in school which affect the pupils are discussed and passed through School Council. We empower our pupils by giving them opportunities to make choices about things they believe to be important.
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 addressing behaviour and through school assemblies. We involve pupils in setting codes of behaviour; helping pupils to make decisions and choices that are acceptable to the school community and society at large through our School Rules. 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. Pupils are helped to learn to manage their behaviour and take responsibility for their actions through the School Behaviour policy. Visits from or to authorities such as the Police through the Community Police Officer; Fire Service – Year 5 visit to Safeside; Lifeguards etc. are regular parts of our calendar and help reinforce such messages about the importance of living by society’s rules and laws.
- Individual Liberty:
Within school, pupils are actively encouraged to make choices, knowing that they are in a safe and supportive environment. As a school, we provide boundaries for young pupils to make choices safely, through of provision of a safe environment and empowering education. Pupils are encouraged to know, understand and exercise their rights and personal freedoms and advise how to exercise these safely, for example through our E-Safety and PSHE, RE lessons delivered through our Jigsaw scheme. Whether it is through choice of the level of challenge in their work, of how they record, of participation in our numerous extra-curricular clubs and opportunities, pupils are given the freedom to make choices.
- Mutual Respect:
Part of our school ethos and behaviour policy revolves around core values such as ‘Respect’, and pupils have been part of discussions and assemblies related to what this means and how it is shown. Posters around the school promote respect for others and this is reiterated through our classroom and learning rules, as well as our behaviour policy. Events are planned for pupils to go into the community to meet with a range of people in a variety of situations which include: sports events, community events such as the forthcoming Harvest Festivals and School fayres where children run the stalls and have shared participation with other schools/colleges. The highly positive relationships between staff and pupils are also excellent examples of mutual respect.
- 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. We strongly believe that tolerance is gained through knowledge and understanding as this empowers the children. The school provides support for the different languages spoken by our EAL pupils. Members of different faiths or religions are encouraged to share their knowledge to enhance learning within classes and the school and religious festivals for the main world religions are also discussed in assemblies. Our assemblies help all pupils to find out about themselves and others linking their lives to the communities in which they belong. The themes cover areas such as: friendships, helping others and celebrations from a range of faiths and world events are shared as they occur in the calendar. Signs around school demonstrate our commitment to ensuring that all individuals are valued and treated equally within our school.