The DfE has 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 Boxted St Peter’s Church of England School, we believe these British Values are not just taught in discrete lessons, but rather, are demonstrated in how we speak to the children, what we offer them, the relationships we have with them, and how our curriculum is designed, in short – our tolerant, respectful, child-centred environment seeks to model the very values described in the previous paragraph.
We think education is about helping people to understand how things work and how to challenge and change them for the better. Values won’t be assumed because schools demand them, particularly if they are very different from those at home. They have to be arrived at through mutual exploration and understanding.
Our children will demonstrate:
- an understanding of how citizens can influence decision-making through the democratic process;
- an appreciation that living under the rule of law protects individual citizens and is essential for their wellbeing and safety;
- an understanding that there is a separation of power between the executive and the judiciary, and that while some public bodies such as the police and the army can be held to account through Parliament, others such as the courts maintain independence;
- an understanding that the freedom to choose and hold other faiths and beliefs is protected in law;
- an acceptance that other people having different faiths or beliefs to oneself (or having none) should be accepted and tolerated, and should not be the cause of prejudicial or discriminatory behaviour;
- an understanding of the importance of identifying and combatting discrimination.
How we ‘live’ the British Values at Boxted
Democracy (linked to church value, Hope):
Democracy is endemic within the school. Pupils have the opportunity to have their voices heard through our School Council and Pupil Perception Questionnaires. The elections of School Councillors allow children to democratically elect their representatives. School Council work to improve the school. They also raise money for charities. Furthermore, we hold Head Boy and Girl elections at the beginning of a new academic year. Year six children run campaigns and vote on their preferred candidate. Following speeches and campaigns, the whole school vote in a real election with ballot boxes and papers. Sports Council and Faith Group are also voted for; these ‘committees’ work together to improve sports and collective worship, respectively. We encourage volunteerism. This includes roles such as librarians, buddies (for new entrants) and ‘Play Leaders’.
The Rule of Law (linked to church values Forgiveness, Compassion):
The importance of laws, whether they be those that govern the class, the school, or the country, are consistently reinforced throughout regular school days and through school collective worship. Our children recently helped us to write our new Behaviour Policy; they developed a Code of Conduct and were instrumental in deciding how the Code should be reinforced. Pupils are taught the value and reasons behind laws, (e.g. 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; Fire Service; Lifeguards etc. are regular parts of our curriculum and help reinforce this message. Our Christian Values encourage children to know God’s law and to reflect upon how this relates to British law. Children are taught regularly about e-safety and are required to abide by a set of rules when using the internet.
Individual Liberty (linked to church values, Compassion and Perseverance):
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 of provision of a safe environment and an empowering education. Pupils are encouraged to know, understand and exercise their rights and personal freedoms and they are advised how to exercise these safely, for example through our E-Safety and PSHE lessons. Whether it be through choice of challenge, ways in which work may be recorded, or participation in our numerous extracurricular clubs and opportunities, pupils are given the freedom to make choices. One example of this is in our homework system – children get to choose what they learn from a grid of over 30 activities. Children are free to develop their learning at home in a style that suits them. Our school provides pastoral support and guidance through: play therapy, a family support worker, undertaking the ‘Summit’ programme, which includes access to therapists through Colchester mind. Growth Mindset is an important part of our school ethos, encouraging all children to become life-long learners, regardless of backgrounds and encouraging them to aspire and achieve.
Mutual Respect (linked to church values, Compassion and Respect):
An important part of our school ethos and Behaviour Policy revolves around Church Values: Respect, Perseverance, Compassion, Hope, Peace and Forgiveness. We believe that positive, respectful relationships are at the heart of school life. Respect is modelled in the behaviour and attitudes of all adults in school, and is evident in the relationships that they have with each other, as well as with our children. We have high expectations of pupil conduct and this is reflected in our Behaviour Policy. Children are taught to respect each other, to work cooperatively and collaboratively. Mutual respect is also promoted through the teachings of Jesus in the RE curriculum, PSHE lessons and collective worship.
Tolerance of those of Different Faiths and Beliefs (linked to church value, Peace):
We teach children that the freedom to choose and hold other faiths and beliefs is protected by law. Tolerance of different faiths and beliefs is promoted through the Diocese of Chelmsford Religious Education Syllabus, supported by the Essex Scheme of Work. Children learn about different religions; their beliefs, places of worship and festivals. Collective worship and discussions involving prejudices and prejudicebased bullying have been followed and supported by learning in RE and PSHE. Our topic based curriculum offers opportunity for children to study diverse cultures and faiths.
Something which is clearly not part of any British or European value is extremism. It is important to remember that whilst the threat from so-called Islamic State has been a focus in the Counter Terrorism and Security Act, the Prevent Duty is clear that extremism of all kinds should be tackled too. In England, far right groups such as Britain First and the English Defence League need to be tackled, too. Extremism is not a new topic in education, but schools have a relatively new statutory duty to pay “due regard to the need to prevent people from being drawn into terrorism”.
Literally means ‘The voice/rule of the people’ – in a democratic society ‘the people’ vote to elect who governs them
|The Rule of Law
Rules and laws are everywhere - at home, in school, even when you play a game. Rules & laws are used to govern & protect us
Everyone should have the opportunity to exercise their rights and have personal freedom and choices
In essence, mutual respect is when two people, groups or communities accept each other for who they are, regardless of their differences
|Tolerance of those with different faiths and beliefs
We should have an appreciation and respect for our own and other cultures
I enjoy reading, writing & speaking
|Plan and write a campaign about a subject you care about. Practice your public speaking - you could record/video yourself.
|Write a story about a lawless land
|Research the Magna Carta and/or write your own modern day version stating human rights for freedom and fairness
|Write a short story with a moral message about respect
|Write a non-chronological report on the six main religions (Christianity, Judaism, Islam, Sikhism, Buddhism, Hinduism)
|I enjoy thinking logically- working with numbers & being Scientific
|Ask friends and classmates to vote on something you would like to change in school. Present your data in a graph, pie chart or table.
|Make up a list of 5 laws that you would like to introduce to our country. Ask your friends & family to vote on which law they think would be best. Present the results.
|Create a timeline of choices you make as you go through your life e.g. age 2 - I chose to play with my toy, age 5 – I chose my own reading book, age 10 – I chose my secondary school, age 14 – I will choose… age 16–I will choose
|Research how many places of worship there are in our country for the six main religions (churches, mosques, gurdwaras, synagogues, temples). Present data as a bar graph.
|I enjoy painting drawing & visualising
|Create a collage or a poster of your beliefs
|Create a 3D map that includes the following things which help to keep our country safe: A prison, a police station, speed restrictions, traffic lights & zebra crossings etc
|Design a logo or symbol that represents freedom
|Draw and colour your own cartoon strip about how people from different backgrounds could show each other respect
|Research and evaluate art linked to religion, e.g. icons and triptychs. Create your own in a similar style
|I enjoy being active & doing hands-on activities
|Interview a member of your school council. Find out about individual roles; how they make decisions; what happens if they disagree etc
|Research what happens in the Houses of Parliament. Create a model of either the inside or the building itself.
|Make a board game entitled ‘Freedom to Choose’
|With a friend role play a scenario where two people show each other a lack of respect. Video it or act out to your class. Write a letter to one of the characters advising them how to be more respectful.
|Visit a place of worship in our town. Research another place of worship (from another religion). Compare the two
|I enjoy making & listening to music
|Write your own song lyrics about something you believe in or feel strongly about
|Write a rap about school rules. You could record it or even perform to your class!
|Write a freedom chant. You could include a ‘round’ where it is sung in two parts at the same time.
|Create a list of songs that have the theme of ‘respect’
|Find out about music in religion. How is it used? (in places of worship/at festivals)
|I enjoy working by myself
|Present both sides of an argument by creating a poster or photo montage. Make sure you show a fair balance of both sides.
|Research and present how British laws have changed since Victorian times (Horrible Histories will help you)
|Freedom of choice - Write and carry out your own idea for a home learning task (linked to the 5 British values)!
|Write an acrostic poem about ‘respect’ – try to express who you respect and why
|Create a quiz, wordsearch or crossword about a faith you have researched