In November 2014, the Department for Education published guidance on promoting British values in schools, to ensure young people leave school prepared for life in modern Britain. Further, how well schools, as part of a broad and balanced curriculum, promote the spiritual, moral, cultural, mental and physical development of pupils at the school and of society is an increasingly important aspect of Ofsted’s inspection process.
Daily acts of collective worship in class and school assemblies, supported by effective relationships throughout the school, and the wide range of activities beyond the classroom that we offer are all ways in which we ensure pupils’ social, moral, spiritual and cultural development. The overarching aims of this provision are to:
- Enable pupils to develop self-knowledge, self-esteem and self-confidence;
- Enable pupils to distinguish right from wrong and to respect the law of England;
- Encourage pupils to accept responsibility for their behaviour, show initiative, and to understand how they can contribute positively to the school community and to society;
- Enable pupils to acquire a broad general knowledge of, and respect for, public institutions and services in England;
- Further tolerance and harmony between different cultures by enabling pupils to appreciate and respect their own and other cultures;
- Encourage respect for other people;
- Encourage respect for democracy, including respect for how laws are made and applied in England.
Children, parents and staff have many opportunities for their voices to be heard at Paddocks. Democracy is central to how we operate.
An example of this is our School Council. The election of the School Council members reflects our British electoral system and demonstrates democracy in action: candidates put themselves forwards, pupils consider characteristics important for an elected representative, and vote for their class representatives etc. Made up of two representatives from each class, the School Council meets regularly to discuss issues raised by the different classes.
The council is able to genuinely effect change within the school; in the past, the School Council has been involved with decisions on play equipment and choosing names of new classes.
Pupils are always listened to by adults and are taught to listen carefully and with concern to each other, respecting the right of every individual to have their opinions and voices heard. 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.
Rules and Laws
The importance of rules and laws, whether they be those that govern our school or our country, are referred to and reinforced often, such as in assemblies and when reflecting on behaviour choices. At the start of the school year, each class discusses our school rules – At Paddocks we….. and the importance of them. These rules 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.
Pupils are taught that, while different people may hold different views about what is ‘right’ and ‘wrong’, all people living in England are subject to its law. They 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. These values are reinforced in different ways:
- During Religious Education, when rules for particular faiths are thought about and the difference between religious and state law is explained;
- During other school subjects, where there is respect and appreciation for different rules – in a PE lesson, for example.
Alongside rules and laws, we promote freedom of choice and the right to respectfully express views and beliefs. Through the provision of a safe, supportive environment and education, we provide boundaries for our pupils to make choices safely.
Our pupils are encouraged to know, understand and exercise their rights and personal freedoms and are taught how to exercise these safely, such as in our e-safety and PSHE lessons.
Mutual respect and tolerance of those with different faiths and beliefs
Paddocks has a culturally diverse intake of pupils and their families, and we are proud to promote and celebrate our different backgrounds and beliefs. Mutual respect is a big part of our Aims and Values.
Our pupils know and understand that it is expected and imperative that respect is shown to everyone, whatever differences we may have, and to everything, whether it is a school resource, a religious belief or anything else. Children learn that their behaviour choices have an effect on their own rights and those of others. All members of the school community should treat each other with tolerance and respect.
for further guidance on Brtish Values click on Department for Education