Promoting British Values at Offley 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 this year (2014). At Offley Primary School these values are reinforced regularly and in the following ways:
The school council meets to discuss ideas and issues on a given agenda. These discussions are usually forwarded to the Deputy Head or the Head teacher. Children are involved in interview processes of senior members of staff. The Head Boy and Head Girl leadership team are given additional responsibilities to lead by example when visitors are in school and throughout events within the community.
The Rule of Law
The importance of laws, whether they are those that govern the class, the school, or the country, is consistently reinforced at Offley Primary School. Pupils are taught from an early age the rules of the school through class charters. Pupils are taught the value and reasons behind rules and 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. ‘Rules’, ‘Right are Wrong’ and ‘Laws’ are taught and embedded as part of the school’s PSHCE scheme of work which is delivered throughout the whole school.
At Offley Primary School, pupils are actively encouraged to make choices, knowing that they are in a safe and supportive environment. As an school we educate and provide boundaries for young pupils to make informed choices, through a safe environment and an empowering education. Pupils are given the freedom to make choices, for example, whether it is through choice of how to present their work, or simply by choosing to participate in our numerous extra-curricular clubs and opportunities. Our homework projects allow children to partake in activities that interest them and present them in interesting ways at a time that suits them.
Part of our school ethos and behaviour policy has revolved 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. The school ethos and aims promote respect for others and this is reiterated through our classroom charters and rules, as well as our behaviour policy. Bullying has been an area whereby the school has placed a strong focus and provided children with a variety of assemblies and workshops to help them to reflect upon and understand the impact of bullying others.
Tolerance of those of Different Faiths and Beliefs
At Offley we actively promote diversity through our celebrations of different faiths and cultures in assemblies. Religious Education lessons and PSHE lessons reinforce messages of tolerance and respect for others. Members of different faiths and religions are encouraged to share their knowledge to enhance learning within classes and the school. The children visit places of worship that are important to different faiths. International days have been planned with activities planned by the children, visitors from ‘Free the Children’ have presented workshops in school and the children have led assemblies around the link school in the Gambia. Each class has a weekly timetabled opportunity to discuss all aspects of SMSC and to explore areas of interest and current affairs.