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 this year (2014). At Whitefield these values are reinforced regularly and in the following ways:
Democracy is an important value at our school. We have a student council which meets every other week with the Deputy Head teacher to discuss issues raised in class council meetings. The council has its own budget and is genuinely able to effect change within the school. Every child on the student council is voted in by their class. Additionally, we take part in School Parliament which is run by the local council, as well as having an active relationship with many local councillors who regularly visit school. We actively encourage pupils to become involved in decision-making processes and ensure they are listened to in school. Children have an annual questionnaire where they are able to put forward their views about the school.
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 Whitefield. We have clear and defined school values. These are our School Values: Courtesy. Care. Confidence. Pupils are taught the value and reasons behind rules, values and 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 and Fire Service help reinforce this message.
At Whitefield, 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 lessons.
Mutual respect is at the heart of all we do. 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. Incidents where children are not being respectful are dealt with in line with our Behaviour Policy.
Tolerance of those of Different Faiths and Beliefs
Whitefield is a diverse school. We actively promote diversity through our celebrations of different faiths and cultures. Religious Education lessons and PSHE lessons reinforce messages of tolerance and respect for others. We have a commitment to exploring our diverse school community. For example: by providing language and learning support to groups of children from different cultural backgrounds and actively celebrating various cultural festivals and celebrations.. Members of different faiths and religions are encouraged to share their knowledge to enhance learning within classes and the school. In addition, the children visit places of worship that are important to different faiths.
Prevent And Extremism
The NSPCC have excellent advice on spotting signs that a child may be being radicalised