Promoting British Values at Orrets Meadow
At Orrets Meadow, we 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. We do this through our relationships with the children, our relationships with each other, our RE curriculum, our Dimensions curriculum and assemblies. The exploration of the values may also come through our SMSC weekly sessions where we discuss current affairs.
RE and Dimension lessons aim to help the children understand the way different people or groups of people can see the world differently and give them the opportunity to develop their own views, whilst still maintaining respect for the views of others. This enables our children to develop their self-knowledge, self-esteem and self-confidence.
Our children, in house teams, fundraise for external charities as well as for the school. We ask them which charities they would like to raise money for and this highlights to them that they can contribute positively to the lives of those living and working in the locality of the school and to society more widely.
We have a school council and house leaders who are elected democratically and we encourage all of the children to play a role in the everyday running of the school. Each half term we choose a different Year 6 Head boy and Head girl who we feel are excellent role models and who show our character values, ‘Be Nice, Work Hard and Never Give Up!’ Where possible, we give our children the opportunity to take on responsibility and have a say through 'pupil voice'.
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 this year (2014). At Orrets Meadow these values are reinforced regularly and in the following ways:
Children at Orrets Meadow have many opportunities for their voices to be heard. We have a school council which meets regularly to discuss issues raised in class council meetings. The council has its own budget and is able to genuinely effect change within the school. School Councillors for each class are voted in by their class.
Each term the children are able to vote for their team captains and for what rewards they will receive if their team earns the most teampoints.
Children have an annual questionnaire with which they are able to put forward their views about the school.
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 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 and Fire Service 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 provision of a safe environment and empowering education. Pupils are encouraged to know, understand and exercise their rights and personal freedoms and advised how to exercise these safely, for example through our E-Safety and PSHE lessons. Whether it be through choice of learning challenge, of how they record, of participation in our numerous lunchtime clubs and opportunities, pupils are given the freedom to make choices.
Mutual respect is at the heart of our values. 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.
Tolerance of those of Different Faiths and Beliefs
Orrets Meadow is situated in an area which is not greatly culturally diverse, therefore we place a great emphasis on promoting diversity with the children. Assemblies are regularly planned to address this issue either directly or through the inclusion of stories and celebrations from a variety of faiths and cultures. Our RE, PSHE and Multi-Cultural themed weeks reinforce this. Members of different faiths or religions are encouraged to share their knowledge to enhance learning within classes and the school. Children visit places of worship that are important to different faiths. Themed days, such as African Art an Music and Steelband Day, enrich the curriculum and broaden our children's cultural awareness.
At Orrets Meadow we will actively challenge pupils, staff or parents expressing opinions contrary to fundamental British Values, including ‘extremist’ views.