Teaching British Values
Promoting British Values at Swingate Primary School
The DfE 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).
The shared vision of the Bluebell federation and our Horsted Values demonstrate how the British Values underpin the life of the school:
“We all flourish from a wealth of learning experiences that positively impact on our educational, physical and emotional success.”
Empathy– Bravery– Resilience– Responsibility-
At Swingate, our caring ethos is evident in our sense of community and concern for each child’s academic, spiritual and moral growth: British Values are promoted in much of what we do and are embedded throughout our school vision.
The values are promoted through numerous avenues such as school assemblies, Religious Education and Relationships and Health Education sessions, engagement within the local and global community and through setting clear expectations through our behaviour as role models for our young children. Not only do we actively promote British Values, the opposite applies: we would actively challenge pupils, staff or parents who expressed opinions contrary to these fundamental British Values with the help of fully adopting the 9 Protected Characteristics. This would include ‘extremist’ views in which all staff have been trained to identify, using Prevent Training.
At Swingate, we acknowledge that British Values are not necessarily unique to Britain and that they differ in no way from the values of many groups of people from many different countries and cultural backgrounds who may be represented in our school’s intake.
Being a part of Britain
As a school, we value and celebrate the diverse heritages of everybody at Horsted School. Alongside this, we value and celebrate being part of Britain. In general terms, this means that we celebrate traditions and customs throughout the course of the year; for example, Harvest Festival during the autumn term, the Christingle and Nativity productions at Christmas and Easter celebrations in March/April. We raise money and awareness for British charities and organisations like Anti-Bullying week, Children’s Mental Health week, Red Nose Day etc.
Furthermore, children learn about being part of Britain from different perspectives. Across our curriculum, children learn about Britain through many avenues, including:
British geographical units and areas of focus that the children cover are:
- What is it like to live here?
- What is the weather like in the UK?
- What is amazing about our local area and in the UK?
- Where Britain is in relation to the rest of Europe and other countries in the world.
- Do we live in a hot or cold country?
- Local woodland and how is it used?
- Rivers, UK rivers and local rivers.
- Where does our food come from?
- Where does our energy come from?
- How could we make our local area more environmentally friendly?
In KS1, children compare British life from today to the past, including British schools.
Across KS2, Britain’s historical timeline is mapped, from:
- Would you prefer to live in the stone age, iron age or the bronze age?
- Why did the Romans settle in Britain?
- How hard was it to invade and settle in Britain?
- Were the Vikings raiders or peace-loving settlers?
- What was life like in Tudor England?
- Anglo-Saxons and their impact on Britain.
- Migration, including British migration.
- WW2 and the impact of the war on British people and the local area.
British values are intertwined throughout our curriculum, with Personal development, SMSC and British values mapping available for each subject taught.
Culturally: Children explore the range of cultures and faiths in Britain with our trips to various places of worship and compare the culture of the UK to that of other areas within the world.
At Swingate Primary these values are also reinforced regularly and in the following ways:
Each year the children decide upon their class charter and the rights associated with these. All the children contribute to the drawing up of the charter. We have a school council which meets regularly to discuss issues raised in class council meetings. The council has its own budget and is genuinely able to effect change within the school. Every child on the school council is voted in by their class. Children have an annual questionnaire where they are able to put forward their views about the school.
The Rule of Law
The importance of law, whether they are those that govern the class, the school, or the country, are consistently reinforced at Swingate Primary School. Pupils are taught from an early age the rules of the school. Pupils are taught the value and reasons behind rules and laws, that they govern and protect us, the responsibilities that this involves and the consequences when laws are broken. Visits from authorities such as the Police and Fire Service help reinforce this message.
At Swingate Primary School, pupils are actively encouraged to make choices, knowing that they are in a safe and supportive environment. As a school we educate and provide boundaries for young pupils to make informed choices, through a safe environment and an empowering education. Pupils are encouraged to know, understand and exercise their rights and personal freedoms and advised how to exercise these safely, for example, through our Online Safety and PSHE 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 treat each other with respect.
Tolerance of those of Different Faiths and Beliefs
At Swingate Primary we actively promote diversity through our celebrations of different faiths and cultures. Religious Education lessons and PSHCE lessons reinforce messages of tolerance and respect for others. Members of different faiths and religions are encouraged to share their knowledge to enhance learning within classes and the school. The children visit places of worship that are important to different faiths.