In November 2014 the DfE produced guidance for schools on actively promoting British values as part of the requirement to provide for the spiritual, moral, social and cultural (SMSC) development of their pupils.
The guidance says:
Schools should 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.
It says that, through their provision of SMSC, schools should:
- Enable students to develop their self-knowledge, self-esteem and self-confidence
- Enable students to distinguish right from wrong and to respect the civil and criminal law of England
- Encourage students to accept responsibility for their behaviour, show initiative, and to understand how they can contribute positively to the lives of those living and working in the locality of the school and to society more widely
- Enable students to acquire a broad general knowledge of and respect for public institutions and services in England
- Further tolerance and harmony between different cultural traditions by enabling students to acquire an appreciation of and respect for their own and other cultures
- Encourage respect for other people
- Encourage respect for democracy and support for participation in the democratic processes, including respect for the basis on which the law is made and applied in England.
At our schools these values are reinforced regularly and in the following ways:
Learning through fun, friendship, faith and respect
Democracy is extensive within our schools. Pupils have the opportunity to have their voices heard through our pupil voice work. There are elections held for School Council and team captains, they are based solely on pupil votes which mimic the democratic process involving polling cards and ballot boxes. During a recent ‘British Values’ project with three other schools we were tasked with making a movie about democracy.
The Rule of Law:
Our school rules were created with the children and parents and encourage them to be safe, responsible and respectful. Children are taught about making right and wrong choices and the consequences of making the wrong decision. The importance of Laws, whether they be those that affect the class, school, or our country, are reinforced regularly in school assemblies, collective worship, PSHE, RE and other aspects of the curriculum. 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 to and visitors from authorities such as the Police; Fire Service; paramedics etc. are regular parts of our school calendar and help reinforce this message.
As a Federation we educate and provide boundaries for our pupils to make choices through the provision of a safe environment. In the 2015 parent view questionnaires, 100% of the parents who completed the questionnaire feel that their child feels safe within School. Pupils are encouraged to know, understand and exercise their rights and personal freedoms and advised how to exercise these safely, through our cross curricular teaching of E-Safety, Computing and PSHE. We include the Archbishop of York’s Young Leaders Award as part of our curriculum. Children learn about inspirational leaders and social reformers and the importance of freedom and human rights, they also then develop projects which support and enhance their own community, to ‘be the change they want to see’ in the world.
We define ourselves as Christian schools and as such are there for everyone.
Christian values of Thankfulness, Love, Peace, Courage, Hope, Friendship, Forgiveness, Truth, Kindness, Compassion, Creativity Self-discipline are covered through collective worship.
Respect for Different Faiths and Beliefs:
This is promoted through enhancing pupils’ understanding of their place in a multi-cultural society and by providing opportunities to experience and celebrate diversity. We have links with city schools in Darlington and London.
We work closely with parents and the community to ensure inclusivity. World faiths are celebrated in collective worship and RE and members of different faiths are encouraged to share their beliefs and practices to enhance pupils’ understanding. Pupils visit a range of ‘places of worship’ as part of RE lessons throughout their time within School.