All Maintained schools have obligations under section 78 of the Education Act (2002) which requires schools, as part of a broad and balanced curriculum, to promote the spiritual, moral, cultural, mental and physical development of pupils at the school and of society. Through ensuring pupils’ Spiritual, Moral, Social and Cultural (SMSC) development, schools must also demonstrate they are actively promoting fundamental British values.
The Government set out its definition of British values in the 2011 Prevent Strategy and these values have been recently reinforced by the Department of Education in 2014, stating 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, mutual respect and tolerance of those with different faiths and beliefs.’
At Farsley Springbank, British values are promoted in so much of what we do, not least during our school assemblies, Religious Education and Personal, Social and Health Education sessions. The values are an integral part of our school vision and values and always have been.
As well as actively promoting British values, at Farsley Springbank we would actively challenge pupils, staff or parents expressing opinions contrary to fundamental British values, including ‘extremist’ views.
Below are just a few examples of how we, at Farsley Springbank, promote and reinforce British values.
Children, parents and staff have many opportunities for their voices to be heard at Farsley Springbank. Democracy is central to how we operate.
An obvious example of democracy in action is our School Council. Each year the election of School Council members takes place. The process of election reflects our British electoral system; the prospective candidates make speeches; all pupils reflect on what personal characteristics are important for their class representatives to have. Following this, all pupils vote in secret and the individuals with the majority vote are elected. School Council is made up of 2 representatives from each class; they meet regularly to discuss issues raised in class council meetings. The School Council has its own budget and is genuinely able to effect change within the school. In the past, School Council has decided on playground markings and play equipment for both indoor and outdoor playtimes.
Other examples of how we promote the values of democracy, including ‘pupil voice’ are:
Children agree their Class Promise; all children contribute to producing their class promise.
Children are asked to respond to and reflect on the teaching and learning on a regular basis.
Children take part in a questionnaire so they can put forward their views about the school.
Children are given opportunities to vote on specific issues e.g. whether we change our school uniform and school logo when we become a primary school; the children vote to choose rewards, incentives etc.
Each class decides on how they want to spend their ‘Enterprise’ profit using a democratic process.
Our curriculum topics about Ancient Greece and the Romans look at democracy.
The importance of Laws, whether they may be those that govern each class, our school or our country are referred to and consistently reinforced often, such as in assemblies and when reflecting on behaviour choices. 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.
The message of Rule of Law is reinforced in different ways:
Each class discusses and sets its own Class Promise, a set of principles that are clearly understood by all and seen to be necessary to ensure that every class member can learn in a safe and ordered environment.
Through our whole school behaviour policy; all stakeholders are aware of the policy and it is understood and followed; this includes an understanding of consequences when rules are broken.
Pupils have regular opportunities to reflect e.g. on their behaviour and choices made, during collective worship.
During Religious Education, when the rules for particular faiths are thought about.
During other school subjects, where there is respect and appreciation for different rules e.g. in a sports lesson, sporting competitions etc.
Visits from authorities such as the police and fire service.
Within school, pupils are actively encouraged to make choices; including the right to respectfully express views and beliefs, knowing they are in a safe and supportive environment. As a school we educate and provide boundaries for our young pupils to make choices safely, through the provision of a safe, supportive environment and empowering education. Pupils are encouraged to know, understand and exercise their rights and personal freedoms and advised how to exercise these safely.
Examples of how we promote individual liberty:
Choices about learning challenges or activity
Encouraging the values of a Growth Mindset to empower their learning.
Choices about how they record their learning both in and out of school e.g. learning logs
Choices around participation in extra-curricular clubs and opportunities.
Individual reflections on ‘Building Better Behaviour’ following behaviour incidents.
Empowering pupils to make safe choices through E-Safety, PSHE, Road safety and Fire safety lessons .
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 should treat each other with respect.
Some examples of how we enhance pupils understanding and promote mutual respect:
Collective worship themes on core values such as respect, patience, understanding etc.
PSHE and Circle Time sessions
Philosophy for Children sessions
Religious Education curriculum
Positive relationships are encouraged and modelled by staff.
Buddy system where older children take responsibility for supporting younger children
Farsley is situated in an area which is not greatly culturally diverse; therefore we place a great emphasis on promoting diversity with the children.
Specific examples of how we, at Farsley Springbank, enhance pupils understanding, tolerance and respect for different faiths and beliefs are:
Through Religious Education, PSHE and other lessons where we might develop awareness and appreciation for other cultures e.g. in literacy through fiction, in depth study of another world faith.
Assemblies are regularly planned to address this issue either directly or through stories and celebrations from a variety of faiths and cultures.
Members of different faiths or religions are encouraged to share their knowledge to enhance learning within the classes and the school.