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The DfE have recently 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 by the Prime Minister this year. At Langley Mill Academy these values are reinforced regularly and in the following ways:
Democracy is rife within the school. Pupils have the opportunity to have their voices heard through our School Council and Pupil questionnaires. All Y5 pupil have the opportunity to apply to be a Senior Pupil to take on roles to help and support the school. Our school behaviour policy involves rewards which the pupils vote on as a class group at times, and all children have had a voice in creating out new Code of Conduct. An item for discussion in Autumn 2015 is the reintroduction of the ‘House’ system. Watch this space!
- The Rule of Law:
The importance of Laws, whether they be those that govern the class, the school, or the country, are consistently reinforced throughout regular school days, as well as when dealing with behaviour and through school assemblies. 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. Visits from authorities such as the Police; Fire Service; Politicians and Clergy are regular parts of our calendar and help reinforce this message.
- Individual Liberty:
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 safety, through of provision of a safe environment and empowering education. Pupils are encouraged to know, understand and exercise their rights and personal freedoms and advise how to exercise these safely, for example through our E-Safety and PSHE lessons. Whether it be through choice of challenge, of how they record, of participation in our numerous extra-curricular clubs and opportunities, pupils are given the freedom to make choices.
- Mutual Respect:
Part of our school ethos and behaviour policy has revolved around Core Values such as ‘Respect’, and pupils have been part of discussions and assemblies related to what this means and how it is shown. Displays around the school promote respect for others and this is reiterated through our classroom and learning rules, as well as our behaviour policy.
- Tolerance of those of Different Faiths and Beliefs:
This is achieved through enhancing pupils understanding of their place in a culturally diverse society and by giving them opportunities to experience such diversity. Assemblies and discussions involving prejudices and prejudice-based bullying have been followed and supported by learning in RE and PSHE. The school is developing its links with different communities in the UK to enrich the children’s understanding and in the Autumn Term we look at our diverse communities through our Communities Day.
Each class learnt about why we observe Remembrance Day and created art work. The art work is on display in the office area of school. On Remembrance Day we observed the two minutes silence. Many classes did this outside.