The Government set out its definition of British values in the 2011 Prevent Strategy, and these values were reiterated in (2014) with the Department of Education reinforcing 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”.
We aim to work closely with our parents, other schools and organisations, building partnerships, which benefit, not only our children, but others in the wider community, both on a local, national and global level. We have interwoven our British Values into the Rights of the Child.
At St Barnabas Primary School, we ensure the core British values are reinforced regularly and in the following ways:
Pupil Voice is firmly embedded in the ethos of our school, and the children have many opportunities for their voices to be heard. Our School Council is just one example:
School council elections are held at the beginning of each year, and all children in Years 1 to 6 are invited to stand. A councillor is elected from each class to represent the opinions, suggestions and issues raised from the class. School Council meetings are held twice a term and are led by councillors from Year 6. The Council is also divided into sub-committees which meet termly to discuss issues, conduct surveys, plan fundraising events etc:
- Fundraising Committee
- Enjoy & Achieve Committee
- Eco Committee
- Stay Safe Committee
- International Committee
St Barnabas Primary School is currently working towards Level 1 of the UNICEF Rights Respecting School Award. Each year the children decide upon their “class charter”, as well as the rights associated with these and all children contribute to the drawing up of the charters.
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 regular school days, as well as when dealing with behaviour and through school assemblies. 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 and Fire Service help reinforce this message.
Within school, pupils are actively encouraged to make choices and take responsibility for these choices, knowing that they are in a safe and supportive environment. As a school we have a responsibility to provide boundaries and safety for children through rules and regulations but also to give our children opportunities to make mistakes and to learn from their experiences.
Pupils are encouraged to know, understand and exercise their rights and personal freedoms and advised how to exercise these safely, for example, through E-Safety lessons.
Whether it be through their choice of learning challenges, how they record a piece of learning, or through participation in our range of extra-curricular clubs and opportunities, pupils are given the freedom to make choices.
Through our Christian ethos, children develop core values, (Respect, Hope, Compassion and Courage). We encourage a community spirit and sense of belonging, where children show respect for each other, understand differences and have a very clear sense of right and wrong. Children learn that their behaviour impacts on their own rights and those of others. All members of the school community are expected to treat each other with respect.
When children leave St Barnabas, they do so not only as enthusiastic and learners, but also as responsible and caring young people with an understanding of their role as part of a community.
Tolerance of those of Different Faiths and Beliefs
St Barnabas Primary School is situated in a mainly white British area and therefore there is a strong philosophy within the school of celebrating cultural diversity.
Our programme of assemblies address understanding and acceptance of different faiths and beliefs through stories and celebrations from a variety of faiths and cultures. RE, PSHE and RRSA teaching reinforce this. In RE lessons, members of different faiths or religions are invited to visit to share their knowledge to enhance learning within classes and the school and classes visit places of worship that are important to different faiths.
Open Days, termly productions and Diversity Month, together with annual events such as Firework Night and the Summer Fete are just a sample of some of the significant dates in the school calendar, which are always well-supported and enjoyed by pupils, families, staff and members of the wider community.
The Prevent strategy (2011)
Promoting Fundamental British Values as part of SMSC in schools (November 2014)