British Values at Downfield Primary School.
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.”
The Government set out its definition of British values in the 2011 Prevent Strategy, and these values have been reiterated this year (2014). At Downfield Primary School these values are taught through our broad, balanced and enriched curriculum in addition to being a fundamental part of our school ethos.
At Downfield Primary School we will actively challenge pupils, staff or parents expressing opinions contrary to fundamental British Values, including ‘extremist’ views.
Pupil voice is used as a tool for school improvement. The School Council, who were democratically elected, regularly meet to share concerns and discuss ideas around school improvement. Pupil questionnaires have been used by subject leaders to priorities actions and to evaluate the success/impact of change.
Our school Behaviour Policy strategies to promote positive behaviours and is shared through all aspects of school life and also shared with parents, carers and children from Reception to Year 6.
The Rule of Law
Consistently applied overarching rules run through the school: Ready! Respect! Safe! These rules filter through all aspects of school life and encompass all expected behaviour.
The Behaviour Policy is shared with the children and discussed in classrooms and assemblies. Expectations are reinforced regularly and opportunities are sought frequently to praise positive choices. Pupils’ modelling behaviour consistent with the school’s high expectations are recognised and used as role models to others. Trained Playground Buddies and Wellbeing ambassadors operate on the playground to support children and help them to talk through poor behaviour choices and discuss strategies they may use to resolve conflict.
Through assemblies and the school’s PSHE/Citizenship curriculum, children develop an understanding of law appropriate to their age. Access to high quality text gives pupils a safe way of exploring the ‘breaking’ of laws and an opportunity to discuss consequences when this occurs.
Pupils are taught explicitly that laws keep us safe and our access to Protective Behaviours enables pupils the opportunity to recognise when they do and do not feel safe.
Visits from other external agencies such as the Police, Fire service, Health professionals and ‘People who help us’ reinforces their understanding of the responsibilities held by various professions.
Protective Behaviours are accessed across the school when necessary and every child is aware that they have the right to feel safe. They are also taught that there is nothing too awful that they cannot talk to an adult about it. Children have access to a nurture groups which allow them to confidently and safely talk to a familiar adult.
Children are valued for their differences and there is a wide variety of extra-curricular clubs to enable children to try new things, develop new skills and practice existing ones. Care is taken to provide equal opportunities for all genders such as a boys and girls football team.
Time and care is taken to know each child as an individual and class assembly sessions give children a chance to share their feelings and options in a safe way.
Opportunities for children to take on more responsibility within school are encouraged. Older children support during the lunchtimes on the playground and in the dinner hall. Year 6 children are buddied up as learning mentors for a number of children across the school.
All children are encouraged to respect and support each other.
Anti-Bullying week and E-Safety days are held termly and various well-being events are held across the year. During these sessions, children are taught to value differences in others and themselves and to respect others.
A consistent behaviour policy is in place and children take responsibility, with support when needed, to resolve conflict and repair relationships. A celebration assembly each week is used to enable children to feel valued and their strengths, recognised by others are shared publically.
Within the partnership of the A10, WDPSSA, Premier Sports and East Herts Sport, all children at Downfield have the opportunity to participate in County, local sports and school events. These ensure children experience competitive events and have an opportunity to apply their sportsmanship skills with other schools.
Tolerance of those of Different Faiths and Beliefs
The school follows the Hertfordshire RE syllabus which ensures that the children learn about all the religions of the world. Assemblies contribute to the knowledge of special occasions. The school has a link to the local church and visit for special occasions. The local Reverend visits the school and talks to the children in assemblies; these talks coincide with main events occurring in the Christian calendar such as advent.
Resources in classrooms are regularly audited to ensure that they reflect our multi-cultural society and stereotypes are challenged.
Part of our vision at Downfield is to prepare the children of the future to become valued members of society. Promoting British Values enables children to develop a sense of community and begin to understand their responsibilities and role within it.