Promoting Fundamental British Values
The Department for Education published strengthened guidance on improving the spiritual, moral, social and cultural (SMSC) development of young children and adolescents, including the requirement for schools to promote a set of fundamental British values with the aim of ensuring learners leave school prepared for life in modern Britain.
They 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, and these values have been reiterated this year (2014). Schools have a duty to ‘actively promote’ the fundamental British values of:
- The rule of law
- Individual liberty
- Mutual respect and tolerance of those with different faiths and beliefs.
Why is developing fundamental British values literacy so important?
When we understand our own values, other people’s values, the values influencing society and the values affecting our environment, we are better able to choose and skillfully and consistently apply appropriate values within different contexts, thereby positively impacting real-life situations.
- things that we ‘value’ i.e. which are important to us and central to our lives both as individuals and collectively
- deeply held principles that guide our thinking, choices and behaviours and influence how we manage our emotions.
In accordance with The Department for Education, at West Kirby we aim to actively promote British values in schools to ensure young people leave school prepared for life in modern Britain.
Pupils are encouraged to regard people of all faiths, races and cultures with respect and tolerance and understand that while different people may hold different views about what is ‘right’ and ‘wrong’, all people living in England are subject to its law. British Values is taught through assemblies and the PSHE curriculum.
At West Kirby School these values are reinforced regularly and in the following ways:
- We have Pupil Voice which meets regularly to discuss issues raised in class and Senior Leadership meetings. The Pupil Voice is able to effect change within the school. Pupils are democratically elected to the Pupil Voice by their peers.
- Through our curriculum children are taught about, and encouraged to respect, public institutions and services.
- Children have an annual questionnaire where they are able to put forward their views about the school.
- Pupils are selected at random for pupil conversations with members of the senior staff to seek their views and opinions on a range of school and community issues.
- All parents and carers are encouraged to make comments on learning at West Kirby through our open door policy and questionnaires.
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 West Kirby
- Pupils are taught from an early age the rules of the school. Pupils are taught the value and reasons behind rules and laws, that they govern and protect us, the responsibilities that this involves and the consequences when laws are broken.
- At West Kirby, 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 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 eSafety and PSHE work.
- West Kirby has a robust anti bullying culture and behaviour and safety policies in place.
Mutual Respect and Tolerance of those of Different Faiths and Beliefs
- Mutual respect is at the heart of our values.
- Children learn that their behaviours have an effect on their own rights and those of others. All members of the school community treat each other with respect.
- Differences between people such as differences of faith, ethnicity, disability, gender or sexuality and differences of family situations are discussed through the PSHE curriculum.
- West Kirby School provide opportunities for the children to visit places of significant cultural interest, places of worship and we actively encourage visitors from a range of communities and organisations into school.
At West Kirby School British Values are actively promoted by:
- WKS’s ethos statements /SDP / SEF
- WKS’s core values
- WKS’s Behaviour policy
- Conscious role modelling by all adults in the school community
- Active engagement and communication with parents and carers
- British Values themes for a day / week / term
- Discussion within curriculum subjects / cross-curricular approach
- Promoting articulation by building appropriate language and a coherent vocabulary
- Personal, Social, Health and Economic education (PSHE) sessions
- Religious Education (RE) lessons / RSE lessons / LGBT / Protected Characteristics
- Sporting / art / cultural events
- Pupil Voice / debating club
- Educational visits
- Real-life learning outside the classroom
- Guest speakers
- Developing links with local / national / international communities
- Extra-curricular activities / after-school clubs / charity work / local community
Embedding British Values into the whole ethos of WKS promotes:
- self-esteem, self-knowledge and self-confidence
- respect for democracy and support for participation in the democratic process
- acceptance of responsibility for own behaviour
- respect for their own and other cultures
- understanding of how they can contribute positively to school and home life and to the lives of those living and working in the locality and further afield
- an understanding of equality, human rights and protected characteristics
- 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 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 combating discrimination