The Department of Education 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 by the Prime Minister this year. At Nightingale Primary these values are reinforced regularly and in the following ways:
Democracy is fully integrated within Nightingale Primary. Both pupil and parent/carer voice plays a central part in developing school improvement priorities. We actively encourage children to have a voice and share their views and opinions regularly. Our method of choosing house captains is one such example. Every September, we have an election where the candidates for put forward their ideas to the rest of the school. A secret ballot ensues and the results are announced in a special assembly. The children love this process and have great respect for the outcomes. The school council representatives (2 per class from Year 3 to Year 6) are elected in a similar manner. They meet weekly then take the ideas from the meeting back to their classes for discussion. These election processes reflect our British electoral system and demonstrate democracy in action.
Every child also contributes their ideas to the creation of their own class charter based on UNICEF’s Rights of the Child. This sets ground rules for classroom conduct and establishes the standards of behaviour children can expect from each other over the year ahead. Governors also talk regularly to children to establish their views as a way of ensuring that school self-evaluation is robust and accurate, and therefore effective in moving the school forward.
The Rule of Law
Children are taught to understand the value and need for laws; that they are there for individual protection, the responsibilities that this involves and the consequences when laws are broken. Assemblies and discussions in class focus on recognising right from wrong. Children have to abide by rules on a daily basis through school rules and these are support by the home-school agreement. They play by rules when representing their house or school at sporting events and workshops that they attend out of school. The ‘House Point’ system and ‘Celebration Assembly’ positively highlights those adhering to the school rules and values. Children and staff follow the Behaviour Policy and clearly understand the rewards and sanctions that are used. Consequences, in line with the school’s Behaviour Policy, remind children that breaking the rules may impact on themselves and others. We encourage visits to/from our local Police and Fire Service to reinforce this.
Within school, children are actively encouraged to make choices and decisions, knowing that they are in a safe and supportive environment. Children are taught to understand their personal freedoms and how to use these rights to best effect to ensure they make choices in a safe manner (through E-safety and PSHE lessons). Through challenges in the classroom, participation in extra-curricular clubs and other opportunities to be on various school committees, pupils are given the freedom to make choices.
Our core value of respect can be found in all areas of school life. 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
We are a diverse school and actively promote it through our celebrations of different faiths and cultures. Religious Education/PSHE lessons and assemblies reinforce messages of tolerance and respect for others. The children visit places of worship that are important to different faiths. Children will have learnt about the beliefs and practices of people of the following world faiths; Judaism, Sikhism, Hinduism, Buddhism and Islam by the time they leave us.
At Nightingale we will actively challenge children, staff or parents expressing opinions contrary to fundamental British Values, including those expressing ‘extremist’ views.