Promoting British Values at Penkridge Middle School
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 by the Prime Minister.
These British values underpin our culture and the ethos of Penkridge Middle School and are incorporated into our school aims. We work hard to foster in our young people a strong awareness of British values, including the positive values of tolerance and respect for people of all faiths, races and cultures.
We want all our children to know what is right and wrong. We encourage our young people to make good choices, respecting the civil and criminal law of the country, and appreciating that, with democracy and freedom comes a clear moral duty to act responsibly towards those with whom we share our world. We seek to encourage in pupils the acceptance of responsibility for their behaviour, to show initiative and innovative thinking, and to understand how they can contribute positively to the local community and to society as a whole.
Our aim is that this approach will contribute towards helping our young people to make positive and balanced choices as members of our local, national and global communities as they grow into adulthood.
The British values appear across our school curriculum in many areas. This link gives examples of how different values are taught in specific schemes of learning for a variety of subjects.
British Values in the Curriculum at Penkridge Middle School
Spiritual, Moral, Social and Cultural aspects of learning also feature in most lessons. Specific values are taught within Citizenship and Personal, Social and Health Education and R.E. lessons. On other occasions, ‘Class Time’ sessions are often devoted to Social and Emotional Aspects of Learning to address particular values.
In addition, these British values permeate throughout our everyday experiences in school, and influence how we deal with matters, as we strive to create a positive culture and a successful, supportive community.
Assemblies and Collective Worship opportunities play a very important part in this, in Whole School Assemblies and Year or Key Stage Assemblies too, where the main theme is often a British value or similar moral theme or issue. The major Festival Assemblies, to which families are invited (e.g. Harvest and Christmas) are additional events where positive values are reinforced.
Examples of how the British values are evident in non-classroom situations include:
- Elections for School Council representatives, inviting relevant staff members to School Council meetings and voting and making decisions.
- Empowerment of ‘Pupil Voice’ through the School Council and Class Time discussions when feeding back following meetings or setting an agenda for forthcoming meetings.
- Elections for House Captains, open to all.
- Pupil involvement in the creation of school policies such as Anti-Bullying, Behaviour for Learning and the home/school agreement.
- Pupils able to choose posts of responsibility such as Play-It Shed or D&T pupil technicians.
- Y7 vote for Charity selections to raise money for as part of Citizenship unit of study.
- Voting in UK Youth Parliament scheme.
- Pupil questionnaires which help to shape school policy and provide data for County or National surveys in e.g. PSHE
- Pupils vote each week for KS2 Class Team Player award.
- Pupil contribution in staff selection and recruitment processes.
- Parent Forum meetings and contributions.
- The Advent Fair is run by our children, with the support of their Class Teacher and other staff, promoting shared responsibility towards a common goal of raising funds in a democratic and respectful way.
The Rule of Law:
- Class rules established at the start of each year.
- Reasoning for school rules explained and consistently reinforced throughout regular school days and in Assemblies.
- Range of consequences and sanctions applied befitting the issue but over-arched by a Solution-Focussed approach.
- Behaviour for Learning Policy emphasises positive aspects and relationships to maximise learning.
- Regular visits by local PCSO to address the pupils regarding issues such as E-safety, Firework / bonfire safety, getting to and from school safely, as well as occasional issues that require police intervention / support.
- Robust Anti-Bullying Policy underpins how we expect people to treat others in school and in society.
- Full participation in annual Anti-Bullying Week activities.
- Pupils free to exercise their rights and safely make their own choices in an un-pressured environment.
- Pupils respond to and act within boundaries to make choices safely.
- Extra-curricular activities open to all.
- Focus on handling peer-pressure to equip pupils with the skills to make the right choices.
- Outside agencies e.g. Women’s Aid and Ethnic Minority Unit work with specific pupils and on a wider scale with year groups or whole school.
- A clear emphasis on the fact that any person’s behaviour has an effect on their own rights and the rights of others.
- A culture of listening to each other’s views and giving due consideration.
- To treat others how you yourself would like to be treated.
- To look after each other, our belongings and the building and environment.
- Role models of staff, House Captains and Prefects promote positive attitudes and good behaviour, developing knowledge of social conventions and the ability to make decisions about right and wrong.
Tolerance of those of Different Faiths and Beliefs
- School provides opportunities to visit places of worship of different faiths.
- Visitors from a variety of faiths and cultures are encouraged, welcomed and shown respect. E.g. African artist.
- Ethnic Minority Unit work with pupils.
- All Educational Study Visits develop, support and promote knowledge of different societies with respect for and sensitivity towards the beliefs and life choices of others.