The Department for Education 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.”
As Ex-Prime Minster David Cameron stated in his speech in June 2014, ‘Britain has a lot to be proud of, and our values and institutions are right at the top of that list. It’s not just important to promote, understand and celebrate these things for their own sake; it is absolutely vital to our future.’
The Ofsted inspection process now takes into account how schools actively promote British Values.
British Values at Sylvan Infant School
At Sylvan Infants we value, celebrate and respect all our families from all the different countries they originate from. We believe we are an inclusive school. We are working towards gaining our level 1 Rights Respecting award and have been focusing on what our rights and our responsibilities are.
We have five Golden Rights which the whole school community adhere too.
- We have the right to come to school to learn
We have the responsibility to work hard and try our best
- We have the right to say our ideas
We have the responsibility to listen carefully and try not to interrupt
- We have the right to be safe
We have the responsibility to act safely and sensibly
- We have the right to relax and play
We have the responsibility to be kind to our friends and treat play equipment with respect
- We have the right to drink water and eat healthy food
We have the responsibility to not waste water or food
We also hold central to our school ethos our 5 learning behaviours; reciprocal, reflective, resourceful, responsible and resilient. We believe these learning behaviours will equip our children with a strong foundation to be active British citizens as they grow older.
An understanding of democracy is mostly developed through our active school parliament. We have children from every class represented across our school. The children are encouraged to ask their peers about new ideas that they have. These ideas are discussed and then voted on and taken to the governors. We believe that every child should have a voice and we respect that voice. This is reflected in our Golden Right number 2 ‘We have the right to say our ideas’. We also give children a democratic voice via our rewards systems and pupil questionnaires.
An understanding of the rule of law is developed through many different ways. We have visits from local police officers and fire fighters to carry our assemblies for all our children. Our Early Years children have a specific topic based around people who help us within our neighbouring community. Our Golden Right number 3, ‘We have the right to be safe' also draws upon how we all need to be and feel safe within our school community. Assemblies are held to discuss this right every half term. Our behaviour systems within our school are very important and are reflected in our Golden Rights Charter.
An understanding of civil liberty and personal responsibility is developed everywhere within our school. We activity encourage all our children to be resilient, reciprocal, responsible, reflective and resourceful all under the banner of being respectful. Every week the children have two assemblies based around our learning behaviours and an assembly on our Golden Rights. Every stakeholder within our school community understands and upholds these key drivers within our school.
An understanding of respect and tolerance is developed through many areas of our school curriculum and again through our learning behaviours. We learn about different faiths and festivals through our RE curriculum namely Christianity, Judaism and Islam. During the year our Early Years children learn about China and what it is like to be a child growing up in China. Year 1 focus on Africa and the different countries and cultures represented and year 2 focus on life in Antarctica. We also have a very active school choir who regularly visit local homes for elderly people to entertain them with their angelic voices. We are particularly proud of our inclusion link we have with Montacute School.