TEACHING BRITISH VALUES
At Woodford Valley Primary Academy we promote British Values through our spiritual, moral, social and cultural education which permeates through the school’s curriculum and supports the development of the ‘whole child’.
We recognise that such development is most successful when those values and attitudes are promoted by all the staff and provide a model of behaviour for our pupils.
The DfE have recently underlined 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 (2015). At Woodford Valley Primary Academy these values are reinforced regularly and in the following ways:
Democracy is embedded within the school. Pupils are listened to by adults and are taught to listen carefully with concern to each other, respecting the right of every pupil to have their opinions and voice heard. We empower our pupils by giving them opportunities to make choices about the things that they believe to be important. By valuing each ‘voice’ and by listening and responding to that voice we demonstrate that we support democracy and liberty.
Each year the pupils decide upon their class behaviour rules and the rights associated with these. All the pupils contribute to the drawing up of the rules along with the staff.
We have a school council which meets regularly with a member of staff to discuss issues raised in class council meetings. The council has access to a small budget if required and is genuinely able to effect change within the school, for example requesting new playground equipment and markings. Every pupil on the school council is voted in by their class. The Chair, Vice Chair and Secretary are voted for by every pupil. They run a campaign and the school holds a ballot.
The Rule of Law
The importance of laws, whether they be those that govern the class, the school or the country, are consistently reinforced at Woodford Valley Primary Academy.
Pupils are taught the rules of the school from their induction visits in Reception. These are the school and class rules. Pupils are taught the value and the reasons behind class, school and national rules and laws: that they govern and protect us, that they involve responsibilities, and that there are consequences when laws are broken. This type of environment enables pupils to feel safe and secure; this in turn, promotes the optimum conditions for learning to take place.
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 pupils to make informed choices, through a safe environment and an 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.
Mutual respect is at the heart of our values. Pupils learn that their behaviours have an effect on their own rights and those of others. All members of the school community, including, staff, pupils and parents, treat each other with respect.
Tolerance of those with other Faiths and Beliefs
Children can be from different faiths and cultures. We promote diversity through our celebrations of different faiths and cultures. Each person at Woodford Valley Primary Academy is respected and valued equally without regard to ability, gender, faith, heritage or race. RE and PSHE lessons reinforce messages of tolerance and respect for others. Members of different faiths are encouraged to share their knowledge to enhance learning within classes and the school i.e. Diwali in school assembly.
Pupils are encouraged to experience British Culture through our curriculum themes. For example, pupils have visited: Salisbury Cathedral, theatre groups have performed plays and as a school, we take part in local sporting activities which helps to instil ‘fair play’ and engender a ’team spirit’.