The Department For Education (DFE) have 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, 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 have been reiterated by the Prime Minister. At Stirchley these values are reinforced regularly and in the following ways:
Democracy is widespread within the school. Pupils have the opportunity to have their voices heard through our School Council and Pupil questionnaires. The elections of House Captains take place on an annual basis and involve the whole school taking part in the process – campaigning and voting. Our school behaviour policy involves rewards which result in a pupil vote via the school council, on which charitable organisation they would like to support for the term. Also we hold an annual Values Week.
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 the school day and through school assemblies , and encourage good behaviour. Pupils are taught our school values through the Stirchley Values Tree, which promotes the Rule of Law as one of our values. Pupils understand why we have laws and the consequences when laws are broken.
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 in a safe manner, for example through our E-Safety and PHSE lessons , through friendship decisions and through extra-curricular preferences.
Part of our ethos and behaviour policy has revolved around Core Values such as ‘Respect’, and pupils take part in discussions in assemblies related to what this means and how it is shown. All members of the school community are encouraged to show each other respect. Posters around the school promote respect for others and 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 examine prejudice-based bullying and are supported by learning in RE and PHSE. Members of different faiths or religions and those of none, are encouraged to share their knowledge to enhance learning within classes and the school. Our class assembly planner ensures that a wide range of faiths and traditions are celebrated.