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Promoting British Values at
Sauncey Wood Primary School
At Sauncey Wood Primary School, we recognise not only the importance of allowing students to flourish academically, but we also embrace our wider role in preparing them for their adult life beyond the formal examined curriculum. Part of our role in that preparation, is ensuring that we promote and reinforce British values to our students.
The Government set out its definition of British Values in the 2011 Prevent Strategy. 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.”
At Sauncey Wood, these values are reinforced in a pervasive manner and permeate the school community.
British values are promoted in so much of what we do, not least during our school assemblies, Religious Education, Personal Development and Social and Emotional Aspects of Learning (SEAL) sessions. The values are integral to our long-standing visual ethos statement which complements British values and always has done.
As well as actively promoting British Values, the opposite also applies: we will actively challenge pupils, staff or parents expressing opinions contrary to fundamental British Values, including ‘extremist’ views.
The British values we promote are not unique to Britain. We acknowledge that they differ in no way from the values of the many countries and the cultural backgrounds represented by families at Sauncey Wood.
Being Part of Britain
As a school, we value and celebrate the diverse heritages of everybody at Sauncey Wood. Alongside this, we value and celebrate living in and being part of Britain. In general terms, this means that we celebrate traditions and customs in the course of the year; for example, Harvest Festival during the autumn term; Remembrance Day; our annual carol service and infant nativity at Christmas; Easter, etc. We also value and celebrate national events such as royal celebrations and a general election.
The examples that follow are an indication of some of the many ways we seek to embed British values at Sauncey Wood Primary School and should be seen as an indication of our approach rather than an exhaustive list.
At Sauncey Wood, the principle of democracy is consistently reinforced, with the democratic process being employed for important decisions within the school community. The principle of democracy is explored in history and religious education, personal, social and health education, as well as in assemblies.
Each year the children decide upon their class rules and the rights associated with these. All the children contribute to the drawing up of the rules.
Each year, Year 6 children apply to be part of the Pupil Leadership Team (PLT). They are interviewed by a panel including a member of the SLT, a class teacher and a governor. The four selected children run events in school. They meet with the lead class teacher weekly. The PLT have a notice board which includes a box that school pupils can place questions and ideas in. The PLT collect this information and feedback to the School Council.
Once a term, two of the children attend the Harpenden Consortium Pupil Forum. All the primary schools in Harpenden, send two children to represent their schools at the Forum. The Forum pupils vote on events that all schools will be involved with. For the Autumn Term of 2016, all schools will present art work in an exhibition in Harpenden.
Year 6 children also apply to be charity representatives. They apply in the same way as the PLT. Four children are selected. Each September, the school vote on two charities to support, one local and one international. The representatives present ideas for charities to the school in an assembly and then collect the votes from classes. The representatives prepare for charity events, including making posters, introducing guest speakers from the charities in assemblies and collecting money. They meet regularly with the lead teacher.
Year 6 children are also elected as House Captains. Two children from each house are elected. These children collect house points from classes and present the information to the Head Teacher.
Each term, one child is selected from each class by teachers and is put forward for the Governors’ Award.
The PLT lead the School Council. The four children are the chair, vice chair, secretary and vice secretary. School Council members are elected in classes. Children who would like to be on the Council share ideas with their classes. Children are elected fairly and pupils are able to consider characteristics important for an elected representative; pupils vote in secret using ballot boxes. The children with most votes are elected onto the council. Two children from each class represent their year group. The School Council meet fortnightly. Two teachers oversee the meetings. The PLT meet with the Head Teacher and discuss ideas and suggestions that have been brought forward.
Other examples of ‘pupil voice’ are:
Enhanced Healthy Schools Working Party
We encourage pupils to take ownership of not only their school, but also of their own learning and progress. This encourages a heightened sense of both personal and social responsibility and is demonstrated on a daily basis by our pupils.
Parents’ opinions are welcomed at Sauncey Wood through methods such as questionnaires and surveys and working groups for areas such as anti-bullying and food education. There are also opportunities to comment on our school website and Facebook page.
Through our curriculum, the children are taught how public services operate and the advantages and disadvantages of democracy. We teach pupils how they can influence decision making and we give them opportunities to do so.
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.
Each class also discusses and sets its own rules that are clearly understood by all and seen to be necessary to ensure that every class member is able to learn in a safe and ordered environment.
From an early age, pupils are taught the rules of the school including conduct and behaviour, playground rules and safety rules. 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.
These values are reinforced in different ways:
visits from authorities such as the police and fire service
during Religious Education, when rules for particular faiths are thought about
during other school subjects, where there is respect and appreciation for different rules
System for sanction and rewards e.g. use of a behaviour book, class star of the week
A Home School Agreement
Year 6 - Legal Eagles with local magistrates
Year5/6 - road safety awareness- Cycling Proficiency Training
To encourage and promote good behaviour, attitude and work, we have devised a reward system which is consistently followed throughout the school. We are committed to praising children’s efforts. We endeavour to praise the children informally, individually, during group work, in front of the whole class and the whole school.
Within school, pupils are actively encouraged to make independent choices, knowing that they are in a safe, secure and supportive environment. As a school, we educate and provide boundaries for young pupils to make informed choices, through the provision of a safe environment and an empowering education. Pupils are encouraged to know, understand and exercise their rights and personal freedoms and receive advice about how to exercise these safely, for example, through our exploration of E-Safety in computing and Personal Development lessons. Whether it is through choice of challenge, of how they record their learning, or participation in our numerous extra-curricular clubs and opportunities, pupils are given the freedom to make choices.
We aim to develop self-esteem, self-confidence and self-knowledge. Pupils understand they have a responsibility for their behaviour and that they model freedom of speech through participation. Our curriculum challenges stereotypes and we are a school that respects rights of individuals.
We celebrate achievement e.g, attendance awards and use of positive praise. Pupil Voice is represented in a number of different ways, such as School Council.
Mutual respect is at the core of our school ethos, values and policies and is modelled by pupils and staff alike. The school promotes respect for others and this is reiterated through our classroom and learning environments.
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. Children learn that their behaviours have an effect on their own rights and those of others. All members of the school community treat each other with respect. We encourage respect for differences and have links with faith communities. For example, the children have opportunities to visit places of significant cultural interest and places of worship and we actively encourage visitors from a range of communities and organisations in school. We encourage personal thinking skills and discuss the differences between people, faith, ethnicity, disability and gender.
Examples in our school:
RE syllabus-includes learning about multi-faiths in all year groups
Celebration days and events e.g, Diwali, Eid days, Christans and Easter events
Trips to Buddhist and Sikh Temples, local churches and mosque
Learning about different cultures- eg French and Italian culture ( as part of the MFL curriculum)
Competitive sport activities in and out of school e.g, football and netball matches
In line with our commitment to democracy, pupils at Sauncey Wood are always able to voice their opinions and we foster an environment where pupils are safe to disagree with each other. Mutual respect is embraced throughout the curriculum from the concept of ‘fair play’ in PE to promote mutual respect and support between pupils within the school.
The pupils know and understand that it is expected and imperative that respect is shown to everyone, whatever differences we may have and to everything, however big or small.
TOLERANCE OF OTHERS
Sauncey Wood is a diverse school. We actively promote diversity through our celebrations of different faiths and cultures. Religious Education lessons and PD lessons reinforce messages of tolerance and respect for others, including those of different faiths and beliefs.
This is achieved through equipping pupils with the ability to understand their place in a culturally diverse society and by giving them opportunities to experience such diversity within the school community. Assemblies and discussions involving prejudices and prejudice-based bullying have been followed and supported by learning in RE and PSHE. Additionally, pupils are actively encouraged to share their faith, beliefs and knowledge to enhance learning within classes and within the school. Our religious education curriculum provides a broad and balanced education on a range of faiths, religions and cultures.
Specific examples of how we at Sauncey Wood Primary School enhance pupils’ understanding and respect for different faiths and beliefs are:
through Religious Education, Personal Developement and other lessons where we develop awareness and appreciation of other cultures including visiting places of worship that are important to different faiths
in English through fiction
in art and music by considering cultures from other parts of the world
across the curriculum, providing pupils with the opportunity to learn how to argue and defend points of view in English, history, geography, Personal Development, digital literacy, etc
celebrating cultural differences through assemblies, themed weeks, noticeboards and displays.
Whilst instances contrary to our values are relatively rare, no school can guarantee that there will never be instances which are contrary to our values. Each is treated seriously in line with our policies and expectations.
PREVENT DUTY GUIDANCE
Read our guide for parents here – it could be a good way to prepare yourself when supporting your child in any difficult discussions.
Read the government’s Prevent duty guidance and its guidance for schools.
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