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.
At Juniper Hill these values are reinforced regularly and in the following ways:
Pupils have the opportunity to have their voices heard through our school council and pupil questionnaires. Children are elected onto our school council by their peers. Our school behaviour policy involves rewards which the school council have voted on and agreed after consulting children in their class.
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. Pupils are encouraged to come up with their own classroom codes of conduct which allow discussion of right and wrong each year. Pupils will also be involved in the revision of the school behaviour policy.
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 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 a provision of a safe environment and empowering education.
Pupils are encouraged to know, understand and exercise their rights and personal freedoms and we 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 extra-curricular clubs and opportunities, pupils are given the freedom to make choices. Wherever possible we give pupils choices when their behaviour is challenging, explaining the consequences of their choices and encouraging them to take the better option.
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. In a school with a higher than usual number of children with physical difficulties, all pupils become aware early on in their school careers that although we are all different, we are all equally valued. Posters around the school promote respect for others and this is reiterated through our school rules, class rules and expectations 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 RE and PSHE. Pupils also participate in cultural themed days e.g. Diwali and Chinese New Year.