It is important for children to develop a deep understanding of the fundamental British values of democracy, the rule of law, individual liberty, mutual respect and tolerance of those with different faiths and beliefs. The DFE provide guidance on how schools should ensure that these values are integrated into the life of the school. This guidance can be read in full here.
At Weston, our motto: 'Be the best you can be' relates to every endeavour, not least those which lead to children embracing these values and striving to be the very best British citizens that they can be.
We explicitly teach about British Values in our Citizenship Curriculum:
Years 1 & 2 - The children are taught to identify that they belong to various groups and communities and ways in which they contribute positively to these. They learn about community, being good neighbours and looking after the environment. They also learn about Britain, what it means to be British, about diversity and the importance of celebrating and being respectful of our differences.
Years 3 & 4 - The children are taught about British people, rules, the law, liberty and what living in a democracy means. They also further develop their understanding of the importance of being tolerant of differences within their society.
Years 5 & 6 - The children are taught to identify how they can make a positive contribution to the community. They develop their understanding of the law and the consequences of not respecting it. They also learn about the workings of local and national government and the role of charities and voluntary groups in British society.
Beyond the taught curriculum, our approach at Weston ensures that these values are reinforced regularly and in the following ways:
Children have many opportunities for their voices to be heard. We have a school council which meets to discuss issues raised by the children themselves. Two council members for each year group are voted in by their class.
Children regularly take part in pupil voice surveys where they are able to put forward their views about the school.
Pupils are always listened to by adults and are taught to listen carefully and with concern to each other, respecting the right of every individual to have their opinions and voices heard. We encourage pupils to take ownership of not only their school but also of their own learning and progress. This encourages a heightened sense of both personal and social responsibility and is demonstrated on a daily basis by our pupils.
The Rule of Law
The importance of rules and laws, whether they be those that govern our school or our country, are referred to and reinforced often, such as in assemblies and when reflecting on behaviour choices. Throughout the year, the school rules are referred to and exemplified so that they 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 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. These values are reinforced in different ways:
• visits from authorities such as the police and fire service
• during Religious Education, when rules for particular faiths are thought about
• during other school subjects, where there is respect and appreciation for different rules, such as in sports
Alongside rules and laws, we promote freedom of choice and the right to respectfully express views and beliefs. Through the provision of a safe, supportive environment and empowering education, we provide boundaries for our young pupils to make choices safely; for example:
• choices about their learning challenge or activity
• choices about how they record their learning
• choices around the participation in extra-curricular activities
Our pupils are encouraged to know, understand and exercise their rights and personal freedoms and are taught how to exercise these safely, such as in our e-safety and PSHE lessons.
As a school, 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 and this approach is made explicit in our Home School Agreement.
Tolerance of those of different faiths and beliefs
Weston is not notably diverse in erms of culture and faith. Because of this we consciously and overtly place a great emphasis on promoting diversity with the children. Assemblies are regularly planned to raise awareness of different cultures and beliefs in a way that fosters both tolerance and respect. Our RE and explicit PSHCE teaching, reinforces this. Children of different faiths or religions are encouraged to share their knowledge to enhance learning within classes and the school and their parents are invited in to do the same.
At Weston, we will actively challenge pupils, staff, governors or parents expressing opinions contrary to fundamental British Values, including ‘extremist’ views.
Should you feel that the school is not meeting this requirement, you should contact the school office and request to express your concerns with the Headteacher. Likewise, if you feel that anyone working at the school is, intentionally or otherwise undermining these values, you should report this to the Headteacher.