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 this year (2014). At St Francis Xavier Catholic Primary School, these values are reinforced regularly and in the following ways:
Picture News provides schools with resources to create engaging and exciting lessons, allowing opportunities for children to learn about our world, develop independence, resilience, respect and unlock their own drive and passion for learning. Picture News exposes children to a range of current issues including political, religious, cultural, environmental, social, moral, spiritual as well as makes British Values relevant and meaningful and develop links between personal, school and community values. We believe Picture News gives children a voice and encourages them to use it to impact things they are inspired by or feel passionately about.
Picture News provide a weekly primary pack which is created for children of all ages. The resources are designed to expose children to current affairs, discover their interests and bring the world closer to their everyday lives.
The pack provides:
Here are a few examples of how we implement Picture News within our school.
Each year the children are taught school rules and how these contribute to a fair school for everyone. The children have many opportunities for their voices to be heard. We have three pupil bodies, the school council, eco-warriors and chaplaincy team in order to ensure pupils views are always well represented in our school.
The school council has its own budget and is able to genuinely effect change within the school. Council members for each year group are voted in by their class. Children's views are collected regularly by leaders across the school in order to evaluate the impact of the provision the school offers and to plan for school development.
The children learn about democracy as part of the taught of the curriculum.
The Rule of Law
The importance of Laws, whether they be those that govern the class, the school, or the country, are consistently reinforced throughout regular school days, as well as when dealing with behaviour and through school assemblies. 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 from authorities such as the Police and Fire Service help reinforce this message.
Within 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 choices safely, through provision of a safe environment and 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 E-Safety and PSHE lessons. Whether it be through choice of learning challenge, of how they record, of participation in our numerous extra-curricular clubs and opportunities, pupils are given the freedom to make choices.
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
Our Catholic ethos is not about tolerance but about engagement with all. We believe tolerance is too low a threshold for our children. Our school community is quite diverse but does not mirror the range of cultural diversity found in our local community. This means we have to place a greater emphasis on promoting engagement with others, enhancing the children’s understanding of their place in a culturally diverse society by giving them opportunities to experience such diversity so that the children’s learning is taken out into the local community after school.
Assemblies, PSHE and RE lessons are regularly planned to include and celebrate different beliefs and cultures, particularly Judaism, the root of our own Faith, and those seen within our community. These topics address key similarities and differences as well as discussions around any types of prejudice. Children visit places of worship that are important to different faiths in our multi-cultural community. Members of different faith communities are also encouraged to share their knowledge to enhance learning within school and our weekly ethos statements regularly reinforce this value.
We welcome children and families from all cultures and beliefs and actively promote inclusion. Our governing body and staffing make-up reflect this. We celebrate diversity and see it as a strength, as many of our children speak English as an additional language. Our human resources are used to support the integration of children and families into our school society.
At St Francis Xavier Catholic Primary School, we will actively challenge
children, staff, governors or parents expressing opinions contrary
to fundamental British Values, including ‘extremist’ views.
To celebrate the Coronation of the King, Year 4 looked at what happens during a Coronation and the symbols featured before designing invitations for the event.
Year 3 wrote Coronation speeches imagining they were the King speaking to the nation, before performing these in front of the class.