The DfE state the need to develop and deepen pupils understanding of the fundamental British values of democracy, individual liberty, the rule of law and mutual respect and tolerance.
The 4 fundamental British values are:
Democracy - Your opinion counts
The rule of law - No one is above the law; laws protect everyone; innocent until proven guilty
Individual Liberty - Freedom of speech
Respect and Tolerance - All backgrounds and cultures; all ages; all genders and sexualities; all religions and beliefs
At St John’s C of E Primary, these values are reinforced regularly and in the following ways:
Being part of Britain
As a school, we value and celebrate diversity. Alongside this, we value and celebrate being part of Britain. In general terms, this means that we celebrate traditions, such as customs in the course of the year; for example, Harvest festival during the Autumn term, and what could be more British than a watching a pantomime around Christmas time! We also value and celebrate national events, such as Royal Weddings and the Olympics.
Pupils learn about being part of Britain from different perspectives. Two specific examples of when we teach about being part of Britain are:
Geographically: Through our curriculum pupils have a better understanding of what Britain is, learning more about:
• its capital cities and counties, its rivers and mountains
• how ‘Great Britain’ differs from ‘England’ and ‘the United Kingdom’
• where Britain is in relation to the rest of Europe and other countries in the world
Historically: Through our planned curriculum, pupils learn about how past events have made us the country we are today.
Democracy - We all have the chance to help make decisions
Each year the pupils decide upon and contribute to their class rules and the rights associated with these. Pupils have many opportunities for their voices to be heard. We have a school council which meets regularly with the Deputy Headteacher to discuss issues raised in class council meetings; these meeting are chaired by the Year 6 representatives. Two council members are elected by their class peers and are involved in making the school a better place to learn. The school council is able to genuinely effect change within the school.
Pupil questionnaires and interviews are also conducted throughout the year. We know that the formation of the school council and the active participation of our pupils will sow the seeds for a more sophisticated understanding of democracy in the future.
Democracy in EYFS: making decisions together and listening to children’s and parent’s voices. For example: parent questionnaires. Children are given opportunities to make decisions about their choice of activities and the resources they play with, giving opportunities to develop enquiring minds in an atmosphere where questions are valued. We encourage children to engage in healthy risk taking, making choices about how they keep themselves safe. The children have a daily voting station to decide which book they want to hear read by the class teacher at the end of the day.
The Rule of Law - We all follow the rules
Our pupils will encounter rules and laws throughout their entire lives. We want our pupils to understand that whether these laws govern the class, the school, the community or the country, they are set for good reasons and must be adhered to. The involvement of our pupils in the creation of the school rules, that are fair and reasonable, helps them to understand the reasons behind the rules and the consequences if they are broken. Pupils are taught from Reception the rules of the school i.e. Golden Rules, and Relentless Routines, and they are also encouraged to be role models throughout the school.
In individual classes, pupils discuss various rules and the importance of following them.
Rule of law in EYFS: understanding that rules matter, as cited in Personal Social and Emotional Development. We consistently reinforce our high expectations of children. Children are taught the value and reasons behind our expectations. How rules are there to protect us, that everyone has a responsibility and the consequences when rules are broken.
Individual Liberty - We all have the opportunity to make our own choices
Within school, 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 choices safely, through provision of a safe environment and empowering education. Pupils are encouraged to know, understand and exercise their rights and personal freedoms and advised how to exercise these safely, for example through our E-Safety and PSHE lessons. Pupils are given important roles in school, such as play leaders, lunchtime helpers and play leaders. Pupils are also encouraged to understand responsibility in school in terms of behaviour and attitude to learning.
Lessons often give pupils opportunities to choose different approaches to their learning for example choosing different methods or resources to solve calculation in maths.
We offer a range of clubs which pupils have the freedom to choose from, based on their interests.
Individual liberty in EYFS: freedom for all, for example reflecting on their differences and understanding that we are free to have different opinions. Children are actively encouraged to make choices, knowing that they are in a safe and supportive environment. Provide boundaries for young children to make choices safely, through our provision of a safe enabling environment and effective supportive teaching.
Mutual Respect - We all respect one another
Mutual respect is at the core of our school life. Pupils learn to treat each other and staff with great respect. This is evident when walking around the school and in the classrooms. Our schools mission is ‘Working together to build a firm foundation for learning and caring’ and this is seen throughout the various relationships between pupils and staff.
Pupils work together in class with a wide range of abilities, supporting each other through peer learning. As part of our wellbeing offer children take part in social circles, learning how to take turns and work together.
Mutual respect in EYFS: treat others as you want to be treated. Children gain respect through interaction with caring adults who show and value their individual personalities. Positive, caring and polite behaviour encouraged and praised at all times in an environment where children learn to respect themselves, other people and their surroundings.
Tolerance of those of Different Faiths and Beliefs - We all accept each other’s differences
Religious Education lessons, RE themed weeks 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 on an annual rotation.
Through our curriculum and the routines of our daily school life, we strive to demonstrate tolerance and help children to become knowledgeable and understanding citizens who can build a better Britain for the future.
Tolerance of those of different faiths and beliefs in EYFS: enhance children’s understanding of different faiths and beliefs by participating in a range of celebrations and multi-cultural activities throughout the year. Children have the opportunity to dress-up in clothes and try foods from other cultures and encourage parents and carers and other people in the community to participate and support.