Promoting British Values at Vine Tree Primary School
The DfE have recently 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 Vine Tree Primary School these values are reinforced regularly and in the following ways:
The class council meets regularly to discuss ideas and issues on a given agenda. As a result of school council meetings, equipment has been purchased; e.g. playground equipment. Children have also had a say in colour paint schemes across the school and more recently helped to influence the decision about the new school Talent contest. The children have been involved in giving their thoughts to the learning environment via the school council, and Recycling Officers and how it could be improved upon. This is recorded and fed back to the Senior Leadership Team. In previous years the council is invited to take part in The Local Democracy (Mandate for change) at the local town Hall, where they discuss with other local schools, what works for young people in the local area and what could be improved. In addition to this, children complete an annual questionnaire where they are able to put forward their views about the school.
The Rule of Law
The importance of laws, whether they are those that govern the class, the school, or the country, is consistently reinforced at Vine Tree Primary. Pupils are taught from an early age the rules of the academy. These are our Good to be Green rules and Safety Rules. 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. ‘Rules’, ‘Right are Wrong’ and ‘Laws’ are taught and embedded as part of the academy’s PSHCE scheme of work which is delivered throughout the whole school.
At Vine Tree, 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 given the freedom to make choices, for example, whether it is through choice of challenge, or simply by choosing to participate in our numerous extra-curricular clubs and opportunities. Our challenge homework projects allow children to partake in activities that interest them and present them in interesting ways.
Part of our school ethos and behaviour policy has revolved around Core Values such as 'Respect', and pupils have been part of discussions and assemblies related to what this means and how it is shown. The school ethos and aims promote respect for others and this is reiterated through our classroom and school rules, as well as our behaviour policy. Bullying and E-Safety have been areas whereby we have placed a strong focus and provided children with a variety of assemblies and workshops to help them to reflect upon and understand the impact of bullying others.
Tolerance of those of Different Faiths and Beliefs
Vine Tree recognises the diverse needs of our community. We actively promote diversity through our celebrations of different faiths and cultures each term. Religious Education lessons and PSHE 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. Each class has a weekly timetabled opportunity to discuss all aspects of SMSC and to explore areas of interest and current affairs. Key stage 2 children have the opportunity to complete a weekly interactive quiz relating to ‘this week’s news’ which promotes key discussions about present day issues.