British Values Statement
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."
Downsell Primary School is committed to serving its community and surrounding areas. We recognise the multi-cultural, multi-faith and ever-changing nature of the United Kingdom, and therefore those we serve. We also understand the vital role we have in ensuring that groups or individuals within the school are not subjected to intimidation or radicalisation by those wishing to unduly, or illegally, influence them.
The school, as a ‘Community School’, accepts admissions from all those entitled to an education under British law, including pupils of all faiths or none. We follow the policies outlined by our governing body regarding equal opportunities, which guarantee that there will be no discrimination against any individual or group, regardless of faith, ethnicity, gender, sexuality, political or financial status, or similar. We seek to serve all.
The Government emphasises that schools are required to ensure that key ‘British Values’ are taught in all UK schools. The government set out its definition of British values in the ‘Prevent Strategy’ - values of:
• The rule of law
• Individual liberty
• Mutual respect
• Tolerance of those of different faiths and beliefs
Democracy is common within Downsell where the promotion of democratic processes, fostering the concept and application of freedom of speech and group action to address needs and concerns, are heard through our School Council, supportive pupil of the day, pupil voice interviews and pupil questionnaires. Also key to this is the concept of holding others to account, including those in positions of authority and influence.
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 procedures, 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 calendar 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 provision of a safe environment and empowering education. Pupils are encouraged to know, understand and exercise their rights and personal freedoms (we are a Level 1 Rights Respecting School) and are advised how to exercise these safely; for example through E-Safety and PSHE lessons. Whether it is through choice of challenge, or participation in our numerous extra-curricular clubs and opportunities, all pupils are given the freedom to make choices.
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. These ideas are reiterated through the school and classroom rules, as well as our behaviour policy. Additional support is provided for individual pupils, through our Learning Mentors as well as our School Counsellor. This support helps to develop self-esteem and to practise strategies pupils can employ to help improve their respect of others.
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 providing opportunities to experience such diversity. Assemblies and discussions involving prejudices and prejudice-based bullying have been followed up and supported by learning in RE and PSHE. Members of different faiths or religions are encouraged to share their knowledge to enhance learning within classes and the school.
The school does, through a wide range of activities, secure such standards and uses strategies within the National Curriculum and beyond to secure such outcomes for children. The list below outlines some samples of when and where such British Values are shared. The list is not exhaustive, and represents only some of what we do.
Developing the skill base required to access/share information, make/express decisions and apply themselves to society and the world. These include the understanding and use of money, effective writing and reading skills, collaborative work, to discuss and research ideas and concepts, and gain a broad and balanced understanding of the society in which they live. Aspects of study beyond core skills include historical and geographical context of the United Kingdom, incorporating local and national evolution, as well as international comparisons.
The school makes the best use of opportunities as they arise, for pupils to learn about events in the past which have shaped the future. During the autumn term of 2014 pupils participated in learning about World War One Hundred Years Anniversary and why we celebrate Remembrance Day. This was linked with the Centenary of the Remembrance Day memorial, which was marked with a special assembly and a two minute reflective silence by all staff and pupils.
In KS2, pupils undertake a range of history topics about the development of Britain through different periods. These include understanding how Britain changed throughout periods such as the Stone Age and Iron Age, the effect of the Romans in Britain and how the Anglo-Saxon period affected change within the country. These topics are alongside opportunities to study aspects throughout British history which extend pupils’ knowledge of themes, such as the how do we use Ancient Greek ideas today.
As a whole school, we have celebrated both the Olympics and Paralympics, with themed sports days, competitions between pupils within school as well as with other schools in the region. We have met British Olympians and Paralympians and tracked and celebrated their success through both local and world-wide competitions. Through the development of our PE curriculum, pupils have opportunities to participate in Olympic and Paralympic sports such as Basketball and Swimming. Themed displays promote the aspects of respect and resilience throughout the school.
Whole school daily acts of collective worship/assembly:
The sharing of stories, images, music and expectations, with clarity and precision, promote the values expressed. Such proceedings vary in the methodology of delivery in order to secure interest and understanding and are designed to impact on children regardless of knowledge, experience or cognitive maturity. As a community school, collective worship is non-denominational and recognizes that those attending may have a wide range of faiths, or none. It is however, in line with regulation and is “wholly or mainly of a broadly Christian character”.
Gaining a greater understanding of religious diversity and practices, which cover key religions represented in the UK. We follow the Waltham Forest Agreed SACRE syllabus for RE and use the SEAL materials to enhance PSHE teaching.
Promotion of the concept of ‘fair play’, following and developing rules, inclusion, celebrating and rewarding success, being magnanimous in defeat and participation in activities that promote kinship and affiliation with others. There are many opportunities for all pupils throughout their time in Downsell, to participate in competitions and events which promote these values. For example, tri-golf tournaments, basketball, football, rugby, netball and cricket tournaments. All pupils participate in a range of physical and athletic activities within sports days, as well as local athletic meets. These take place on the school grounds, at other school facilities, as well as at sports centres around the borough.
Should you feel that the school is not meeting this requirement, you should contact the school office and request to express your concerns with the Headteacher. Likewise, if you feel that anyone working at the school is, intentionally or otherwise undermining these values, you should report this to the Headteacher.
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