The 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 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 Holly Lodge these values are reinforced in the following ways:
Pupils have the opportunity to have their voices heard through our School Council. Children are elected onto our school council by their peers. They meet with a teacher at least once a month and have discussed issues such as school lunches, behaviour, ideas for fundraising events and how the school environment can be improved. The School Council has been involved in the interview process for senior members of staff. When drawing up an application pack for a headteacher vacancy, all children were asked for their opinion of what qualities this senior member of staff needs to possess.
We use pupil voice to help inform our teaching. Children are interviewed by senior members of staff and asked what helps them to learn. Each class has a Parent Representative who meets as a group with the headteacher to give feedback, make suggestions and air any concerns.
Our class circle time and philosophy lessons help the children to think critically and weigh the views and perspectives of others.
The Rule of Law
Our pupils are taught the value and reasons behind laws, that they govern and protect us. The importance of laws whether they are those that govern the class, the school or the country, are consistently reinforced. Each class discusses and sets its own rules that 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. The children have discussed and established playground rules and understand that their purpose is to help ensure the well being of all members of our community.
Pupils are taught about making good and bad choices, that there are positive and negative consequences to their actions and that breaking school rules has clear and predictable outcomes, as with British law. If pupils break rules, we encourage them to reflect on the consequences of their actions and what they can do to help repair the situation.
Starting in the Reception classes, we have visits from authorities such as the police who emphasize that their role is to help us and to keep us safe by enforcing these laws.
Pupils are actively encouraged to make choices at our school, knowing that they are in a safe and supportive environment. As a school we provide boundaries for our children to make choices safely, through the provision of a safe environment and planned curriculum. Pupils are encouraged to know, understand and exercise their rights and personal freedoms and are advised how to exercise these safely, for example through our e-Safety teaching. Pupils are given the freedom to make choices, e.g. learning challenges, methods of recording their work and signing up for extra-curricular clubs.
Respect is a core value at Holly Lodge. We insist that all pupils, teachers, non-teaching staff and visitors to our school are treated with dignity and respect. This is expressed by all demonstrating good manners and fostering positive and professional relationships. Students learn that their behaviours have an effect on their own rights and those of others. We expect all members of the school community treat each other with courtesy and respect and these values underpin all teaching and learning and all relationships in our school. Respect is one of the values which are celebrated in the Governors’ award which is presented termly to the child in each class that has demonstrated this quality.
Mutual respect is explicitly taught through behaviours for learning, such as active listening. Pupils are actively encouraged to express their views in a safe environment and through the school council, where decisions are discussed openly and with respect.
Tolerance of Those of Different Faiths and Beliefs:
We aim to enhance pupils’ understanding of their place in a culturally diverse society and by giving them opportunities to experience such diversity in our local community which is by large white British. Members of different faiths or religions and those who speak languages other than English are encouraged to share their knowledge to enhance learning within classes and the school. Children learn about and from other religions and cultures though RE lessons and assemblies.