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 by the Prime Minister this year. At Curzon these values are reinforced regularly and in the following ways:
Democracy: Democracy is encouraged within the school. Pupils have the opportunity to have their voices heard through our School Council. The elections of School Councillors are based solely on pupil votes. School council children help choose the charities which we support during the year.
The Rule of Law: The importance of Laws and rules, 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. 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.
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 educate and provide boundaries for young pupils to make choices safely, through the 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 lessons. Whether it be through choice of challenge, of how they record, of participation in our numerous extra-curricular clubs and opportunities, pupils are often given the freedom to make choices.
Mutual Respect: Much of our work 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. This is reiterated through our classroom and learning rules, as well as our behaviour policy.
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 Religious Education and Personal, Social and Health Education. Members of different faiths or religions are encouraged to share their knowledge to enhance learning within classes and the school.
The curriculum is delivered through topics, with newsletters sent home to parent with more details, including ideas on how learning can be supported at home.