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.”
At Cirencester Primary School British values are reinforced regularly in the following ways:
Democracy is actively taught and promoted in the school through the planned curriculum. Pupils pose questions at the beginning of each IPC topic that they study ensuring that they are fully involved in shaping the direction of their learning.
Our school council is democratically elected and regularly seeks the views of pupils on issues such as the curriculum and extra-curricular activities, which they then feedback to senior staff. We have also introduced ‘Class Learning Forums’ which are carried out regularly in every classroom. These are designed to give pupils regular opportunities to give their views on school improvement priorities such as the learning environment, the implementation of Talk for Writing and the national curriculum changes. Pupils have enjoyed seeing the results of these discussions when suggested changes to their learning environments have been made.
Pupil voice exercises form an integral part of our self-evaluation schedule. Class teachers, subject leaders and the Senior Leadership team ask pupils about their learning and about their concerns and ideas about how we can make things even better for them. We also have Bright Ideas boxes around the school where pupils can give ideas for School Council to consider. Previous ideas which have been actioned include Buddy bus stops for the playgrounds and monitors for different jobs around the 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 throughout the school every day. We also teach the children about rules and the importance of them through assemblies and through the active promotion of our behaviour policy. 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 feature in our curriculum and in assemblies.
Within school, pupils are actively encouraged to make choices, knowing that they are in a safe and supportive environment. Our behaviour policy is built upon the principle that children are responsible for their own actions; that behaviour is a choice and that actions have consequences. Safeguarding is embedded in every aspect of life at school. Children learn how to keep themselves safe through PSHE, e-safety lessons and other curriculum areas.
We encourage children to make choices in terms of their learning-choosing their level of challenge, choosing how to present their work and choosing whether to work alone or with others. We always make sure though that children understand the impact of their choices upon others and the consequences of their actions.
Our ethos at Cirencester Primary School is one of mutual respect and adults actively model respect with one another and with children. We teach children the meaning of respect and what this looks like in practice. We teach children to show respect for one another as well as themselves and what this means in terms of how we speak and act towards one another. We teach children to take a pride in their work and their school. We have 6 core values at Cirencester Primary School named SMART – Sensitivity, Motivation, Attentiveness, Responsibility, Respect, Truthfulness; each one in turn the focus of assemblies and rewards during a half-term.
Tolerance of those of Different Faiths and Beliefs
We are very proud of the international dimension of our school and how this teaches pupils about different cultures and ways of life. Through the International Primary Curriculum, pupils learn about many different countries and the faiths, cultures and beliefs of the people who live there. Through British Council projects, we have formed partnerships with schools in France, Italy, The Netherlands, Norway, Poland and Ghana and the pupils have been involved in joint projects with these schools as well as visits to and from them.
We teach children to be tolerant of different faiths and beliefs through the active promotion of them through the curriculum and particularly our teaching of Religious Education. In Key Stage 1 pupils focus on the beliefs and teachings of the religions of Christianity and Judaism while in Key Stage 2 they also learn about Hinduism, Islam and other faiths.