In June 2014 the DfE 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.”
What do ‘British Values’ mean at Brunton First School?
The values of democracy, the rule of law, individual liberty, mutual respect and acceptance and respect of those with different faiths and beliefs are the foundations of any functioning community and society. These values are universal and held by all who successfully participate in positive and inclusive communities. We want all of our children to grow up with the values which will help them to contribute effectively to the wider community during and following their school years. Some of the ways in which we teach, reinforce and follow the above values are described below:
We believe that democracy can only exist alongside equality and we value and teach both through the following:
- Children in each class decide upon our classroom promises
- Children in each class vote for their school council and Eco warriors representatives.
- Brunton Voice members are the pupil voice and regularly meet to devise pupil policies and make whole school decisions
- Pupils take part in an annual questionnaire so that their views can be taken into account when staff plan provision for the following year.
- Children’s views are taken into account when staff plan the curriculum by the children leading their own learning (wonder walls)
- All skills, differences and voices are respected and rewarded.
- Our whole school system of leadership and governance is democratic and children understand how and why.
The Rule of Law
- We have whole school and classroom promises which relate to behaviour when playing and learning.
- In assemblies and through the curriculum we reinforce the rules which we follow in school and we ensure that children understand why we need to have rules.
- As part of the school curriculum we have many visitors to school such as the Fire and Rescue Service, road safety, Police etc who reinforce the need to follow rules in order to stay safe.
- Children fully understand the importance of rules relating to their own safety in and out of school.
- We encourage children to take responsibility for their own behaviour in school and outside of school.
- We teach children how to assess risk and make choices which are measured and safe for themselves and others.
- We teach children how to make choices which will lead to positive outcomes for themselves and each other.
- We actively encourage children to express their views and opinions and we teach them the value of individuality as well as belonging to a community.
- We provide a rich and varied range of extra curricular activities for children and encourage them to express preferences, make individual choices and participate as fully as possible.
Mutual respect is at the heart of our values, our PSHE curriculum and every relationship in school.
- Every member of staff treats every child and every adult in school with respect.
- Children are expected to treat every member of staff and fellow pupils with respect.
- We actively teach children what respect ‘looks like’ e.g. listening, giving good eye contact, having good manners, helping others, considering the feelings of others, trying to understand others, protecting others etc.
- Our whole school and classroom promises are based around mutual respect (SLL)
- Our Successful Lifelong Learning, SLL, support positive learning attitudes and skills and include cooperating and working with others
- Our curriculum includes activities to actively promote respect eg. Intergenerational work, learning about cultures and religions different to children’s own, circle time, etc.
‘Tolerance’ of those of Different Faiths and Beliefs
At Brunton First we go far beyond teaching children to ‘tolerate’ those of different faiths and beliefs. We ensure that children are informed about, understand, relate to and respect all members of the school family and beyond. This is part of our teaching around our core value of mutual respect. Our RE curriculum is designed to reflect all faiths and religions represented in our school community, while complying with the agreed syllabus for Newcastle schools. We work with families of all faiths and religious backgrounds to ensure that all have a voice and are portrayed in a positive and accurate way. We challenge all incidences of disrespect towards others regardless of faith, gender, race and ability.