Promoting British Values

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 in 2014.

The five British Values are:

• Democracy
• The Rule of Law
• Individual Liberty
• Mutual Respect
• Tolerance of those of different faiths and beliefs

As a Community Primary school that explicitly teaches a values–led curriculum, these values are both integral and reinforced regularly in the following ways:

Democracy

At The Oaks CP School children, parents and staff have many opportunities for their voices to be heard. Children are always listened to by adults and are taught to listen carefully to each other, respecting the right of every individual to have their opinions heard. It is a feature of our school that all staff make time to listen, so that children’s concerns are heard and acted upon. Within classrooms this ethos is supported by “Worry Boxes”, “What Went Well” and “Even Better If” books, “Buckets of Praise” and the specific teaching of Philosophy lessons where children are taught how to listen to others’ views and opinions.

We have a School Council, elected by the children, which meets regularly to discuss issues raised by the children and by staff and there is also an elected Eco-Council which enables the children to implement the teachings of the “Green” agenda in school.

Children are often involved in the appointment process when new staff are taken on. They prepare their own questions and feedback to the Senior Leadership Team, often proving to be the single most valuable piece of the jig saw when assessing a candidates suitability to get along in our 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 The Oaks.
Our school is underpinned by our “Golden Rules” and the children are taught to live by these rules from when they start in Reception Class. Other rules that feature throughout our “hidden” curriculum include E-Safety rules, health and safety rules, playground rules etc.  Children are taught the value and reasons behind rules and laws, that they govern and protect us, the responsibility that this involves and the consequences when rules are broken. Regular visits from the authorities such as the Police and Fire Service reinforce this message.
Pupils are encouraged to know, understand and exercise their rights and personal freedoms. Pupils in Year 6 are described as our “Beacons of Light” – setting a good example to others through their actions and behaviours within and beyond school. Children who can prove their trustworthiness wear a “Golden Acorn” as a sign to others in school that they are proud to be members of our school community and lead by example.

Individual Liberty

All children at The Oaks are encouraged to be independent learners and are actively encouraged to make choices, knowing that they are in a safe and supportive environment. They are advised how to exercise these safely, for example through various aspects of our curriculum but particularly through Philosophy lessons and E-Safety lessons and through all aspects of PSHEE, RE and Collective Worship. All children are keen to support local, national and global charities, and are taught consideration for others.

Mutual Respect and Tolerance of those of Different Faiths and Beliefs

The Oaks CP School is a multicultural school which embraces and celebrates different faiths and beliefs through religious education studies, assemblies and PSHEE lessons. The pupils are treated with respect and are expected to behave with appropriate respect in return. The pupils clearly understand that discriminatory language is not acceptable and will be challenged. This approach is supported by our school behaviour policy, our school rules and our home school agreement. Adults in school are positive role-models and demonstrate the core values of our school community at all times.