The Department for Education states that there is a 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 Department for Education defines British Values as follows:
- Respect for democracy and support or participation in the democratic process
- Respect for the basis on which the law is made and applies in England
- Support for equality of opportunity for all
- Support and respect for the liberties of all within the law
- Respect for and tolerance of different faiths and religious and other beliefs
We ensure that the fundamental British Values are introduced, discussed and lived out through the ethos and work of the school. All curriculum areas provide a vehicle for furthering understanding of these concepts and, in particular, RE, PSHE and Assemblies provide opportunities to deepen and develop understanding. We encourage our children to be creative, unique, open-minded and independent individuals, respectful of themselves and of others in our school, our local community and the wider world. We aim to nurture our children on their journey through life so they can grow into safe, caring, democratic, responsible and tolerant adults who make a positive difference to British Society and to the world.
At Western Primary School we recognise that a child’s personal development plays an
important role in their ability to learn and achieve. As such, we aim to provide opportunities that enable
children to explore and develop spiritually, morally, socially and culturally (SMSC). We consciously facilitate
opportunities in these four areas in the following ways:
We have our own school council with elected representatives from each class. All children are able to put themselves forward to their classmates. A ballot is held and pupils are voted for. All children are encouraged to debate topics of interest, express their views and make a meaningful contribution to the running of the school on matters that directly involve pupils. The Headteacher reports to Governors about the activities of the School Council. Pupils also have the opportunity to have their voices heard through pupil questionnaires and pupil conferences. The principle of democracy is explored in the History and RE curriculum as well as in assemblies. Pupils are actively involved in the selection processes of new staff.
Rule of Law
The importance of laws and rules, whether they are those that govern the class, the school or the country, are consistently reinforced throughout regular school days. Our system for behaviour is aligned to an agreed code. Rules and expectations are clear, fair and regularly promoted. Each class also 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. Pupils are helped to distinguish right from wrong. Pupils are helped to respect the law. They 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. Pupils are helped to understand that living under the rule of law protects individuals. Visits from authorities such as the Police are regular parts of our calendar and help reinforce this message. The school has zero-tolerance for any form of aggression, abuse or violence, which extends to pupils, staff and parents/carers.We are committed to praising children’s efforts. Children are rewarded not only for achievement in curriculum areas, but also for behaviour. Rewards are given in the form of stickers, house points and certificates. Children’s achievements are also recognized during Celebration Assemblies.
Within school, pupils are actively encouraged, and given the freedom to make choices, knowing that they are in a safe and supportive environment. For example, by signing up for extra-curricular clubs, choosing the level of challenge in some lessons and becoming increasingly more involved in child-led learning. A further example is where foundation stage children have the opportunity to choose their extended learning through adult guided child initiated play. As a school we educate and provide boundaries for our pupils to make choices safely, through the provision of a safe environment, a planned curriculum and an empowering education. Pupils are supported to develop their self-knowledge, self-esteem and self-confidence. Pupils are encouraged to take responsibility for their behavior. Pupils are encouraged to know, understand and exercise their rights and personal freedoms and are advised how to exercise these safely, e.g. through e-safety teaching and PSHE lessons. Freedom of speech is modeled through encouraging pupil participation. Vulnerable pupils are protected and stereotypes challenged. A strong anti-bullying culture is embedded in the school. Pupils have key roles and responsibilities in school e.g. school ambassadors, dinner time helpers.
Mutual Respect and Tolerance of Those with Different Faiths and Beliefs
Respect is one of the core values of our school. This can be seen and felt in our pervading ethos in school. The pupils know and understand that it is expected and imperative that respect is shown to everyone, whatever differences we may have and to everything, however big or small. The school strongly promotes respect for individual differences. Pupils are helped to acquire an understanding of, and respect for, their own and other cultures and ways of life. Staff and pupils are encouraged to challenge prejudicial or discriminatory behavior. Actively promoting our values also means challenging pupils, staff or parents expressing opinions contrary to fundamental values, including ‘extremist’ views. Through the PSHE and RE curriculums pupils are encouraged to discuss and respect differences between people, such as differences of faith, ethnicity, disability, gender or sexuality and differences of family situations, such as looked after children or young carers. Assemblies and discussions involving prejudices and prejudiced-based bullying have been followed and supported by learning in RE and PSHE.
What is SMSC?
Pupils’ spiritual development is shown by their:
- ability to be reflective about their own beliefs, religious or otherwise, that inform their perspective on life and their interest in and respect for different people’s faiths, feelings and values
- sense of enjoyment and fascination in learning about themselves, others and the world around them
- use of imagination and creativity in their learning willingness to reflect on their experiences.
Pupils’ moral development is shown by their:
- ability to recognise the difference between right and wrong and to readily apply this understanding in their own lives, recognise legal boundaries and, in so doing, respect the civil and criminal law of England
- understanding of the consequences of their behaviour and actions
- interest in investigating and offering reasoned views about moral and ethical issues and ability to understand and appreciate the viewpoints of others on these issues.
Pupils’ social development is shown by their:
- use of a range of social skills in different contexts, for example working and socialising with other pupils, including those from different religious, ethnic and socio-economic backgrounds
- willingness to participate in a variety of communities and social settings, including by volunteering, cooperating well with others and being able to resolve conflicts effectively
- acceptance and engagement with the fundamental British Values of democracy, the rule of law, individual liberty and mutual respect and tolerance of those with different faiths and beliefs; they develop and demonstrate skills and attitudes that will allow them to participate fully in and contribute positively to life in modern Britain.
Pupils’ cultural development is shown by their:
- understanding and appreciation of the wide range of cultural influences that have shaped their own heritage and those of others
- understanding and appreciation of the range of different cultures within school and further afield as an essential element of their preparation for life in modern Britain
- knowledge of Britain’s democratic parliamentary system and its central role in shaping our history and values, and in continuing to develop Britain
- willingness to participate in and respond positively to artistic, musical, sporting and cultural opportunities
- interest in exploring, improving understanding of and showing respect for different faiths and cultural diversity and the extent to which they understand, accept, respect and celebrate diversity, as shown by their tolerance and attitudes towards different religious, ethnic and socio-economic groups in the local, national and global communities.