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 2011, and these values were reiterated in 2014.

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At New Ash Green Primary School we promote the basic British values of democracy, the rule of law, individual liberty, and mutual respect and tolerance for those with different faiths and beliefs in the following ways:

Democracy

Children are taught about democracy right from the start. Each year the children, as a class write their class charter associated with the School Charter which clearly outlines their rights and responsibilities. Each class also decide in a democratic way what their class names will be for the year.

We have a School Council with members from year one to year six; these children are elected by their class. The Council meets regularly and in the meetings the children’s views and ideas on a range of school issues are sought and they help make decisions, for example naming the animals for our Learning Powers. They also collect class views which they bring to their meetings and are involved in fundraising for the school. We have House Captains which, again, are voted for by the school.

On annual basis Year 5 children are taken to visit the Houses of Parliament to further develop their understanding and experience of living in a democracy.

The May King, Queen and Attendants are also voted for by the school.

During a General Election year children are taught about the process and we then have a mock election in school.

Children have regular questionnaires with which they are able to give their feedback about different aspects of the school and from which actions are then taken.

The Rule of Law

Children are taught the value of and reasons behind our school rules, the responsibilities that this involves and the consequences when rules are broken. Each class agrees its own class charter at the beginning of the academic year and the subsequent consequences for not following these rules and the rewards for adhering to them. Our children know that they have rights and responsibilities following the school charter.

Through PSHE and following our SMSC Policy children are taught about the law in the wider community. The PCSO is invited in to talk to Year 5 and 6 about the age of criminal responsibility.

Individual Liberty & Mutual Respect

Children are actively encouraged to make choices, knowing that they are in a safe and supportive environment. Through our work we discuss different choices that the children can make and encourage them to make the right choices. 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.  We promote a growth mind-set in our children to develop their ability to look for positive ways to tackle challenges in work and in life. We look at E-safety as a key part of the computing curriculum and the importance making safe choices when online.

Mutual respect is at the heart of our values. We are an inclusive school where everyone is valued and has a contribution to make to the school. Children learn that their behaviours have an effect on their own rights and those of others.  Our school ethos, ‘Together Everyone Achieves More’, is reflected in how we encourage our children to learn from each other.

Tolerance of those of Different Faiths and Beliefs

All different faiths and beliefs are explored and celebrated through assemblies, RE sessions and with the support of a variety of visitors into school. The children are taught that people have different faiths and beliefs and that these should be accepted.

At New Ash Green we will actively challenge children, staff or parents expressing opinions contrary to the fundamental British Values, including extremist views.