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.”
At Great Waldingfield we promote ‘British Values’ through our spiritual, moral, social and cultural education which permeates through the school’s curriculum. We acknowledge that these values are not dissimilar to the values held by other countries throughout the world.
We reinforce these values regularly and in the following ways.
Each class vote in two school council representatives which give every class a say on the decisions that are made at our school. The School Council meets every month with the Headteacher to discuss any issues brought to the attention of the School Council members. The School Council is genuinely able to effect change on matters that directly involve the children. E.g. Our recent Policy on Behaviour for Learning.The School Council is actively involved with the appointment of new staff.
All children are encouraged to debate issues of interest, express their views but to also listen with respect to the opinions of others . Children also have the opportunity to have their voices heard through pupil surveys.
Our PSHE curriculum encourages all aspects of respect for democracy and the democratic process. Individual children in Y6 are appointed for posts of responsibility within the school such as Head Boy and Head Girl and Monitors.
The Rule of Law
The importance of laws is consistently reinforced at Great Waldingfield. The children are taught our three rules (Respect Yourself, Respect Each Other, Respect Our School) as soon as they join the school and each class have an agreed set of rules for behaviour and conduct. The children are aware of the consequences of not following the rules in the school community and learn to understand the difference between right and wrong in all aspects of school life throughout the day.
Children are given opportunity to understand aspects of civil and criminal law and discuss how this might be different from some religious laws. Children in our school can expect and receive a fair and consistent system of rewards and sanctions. They are taught the reasons behind rules and laws; that they exist to govern and keep us safe, the responsibilities that this involves and the consequences when laws are broken.
Children at Great Waldingfield are actively encouraged in making the right choices, knowing that they are in a safe and supportive environment. All children receive equal opportunities and are encouraged to be independent in making the choice that is right for them and has due regard for the feelings of others.
Our children are encouraged to understand and employ their personal rights and through PSHCE and e-safety lessons how this can be done safely. They understand it is OK to say ‘no’ and are supported in recognising their own personal boundaries.
Mutual respect is at the core of our values and this is reflected in our school rules. Each week we celebrate the ‘politest child’. Mutual respect is embedded in all that we do at Great Waldingfield. Children learn that it is vital that everyone is treated with respect whatever their differences.
Tolerance of those of different Faiths and Beliefs
We actively promote diversity through our celebrations of different faiths and cultures. Religious Education lessons and PSHE lessons reinforce messages of tolerance and respect for others. Members of different faiths and religions are encouraged to share their knowledge to enhance learning within classes and the school. The children visit places of worship that are important to different faiths.