Promoting British Values
The DfE has 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.”
What are British Values?
In accordance with The Department for Education, we aim to actively promote British Values at West Leigh Infant School and Backwell Junior School. British Values aim to ensure young people leave school prepared for life in modern Britain. Our pupils are encouraged to regard people of all faiths, races and cultures with respect and tolerance. We also aim to develop an understanding that while different people may hold different views about what is ethical, all people living in England are subject to its law.
The British Values we promote in our schools are:
- Rule of Law.
- Individual Liberty.
- Mutual Respect.
- Tolerance of those of different faiths and beliefs.
- To enable pupils to develop their self-knowledge, self-esteem and self-confidence;
- To enable pupils to distinguish right from wrong and to respect the civil and criminal law of Britain;
- To encourage pupils to accept responsibility for their behaviour, show initiative, and to understand how they can contribute positively to the lives of those living and working in the locality of the school and to society more widely;
- To enable pupils to acquire a broad general knowledge of and respect for public institutions and services in Britain;
- To further tolerance and harmony between different cultural traditions by enabling pupils to acquire an appreciation of and respect for their own and other cultures;
- To encourage respect for other people;
- To encourage respect for democracy and support for participation in the democratic processes, including respect for the basis on which the law is made and applied in Britain.
Promoting British Values at Backwell Federation
Promoting British Values in our schools is woven into our school values. Our school values at West Leigh Infant School and Backwell Junior School are:
- Diversity – We appreciate and celebrate our differences.
- Celebration – We celebrate success and learn from our mistakes.
- Challenge – We challenge each other to be our best.
- Respect – We show respect for others, the environment and ourselves.
- Responsible – We are responsible for our own learning, actions and behaviour.
- Self-Esteem and Confidence – We believe in ourselves and can recognise our strengths and what we can improve.
- Aspire – We aspire to always be our best and achieve all we can.
At West Leigh Infant School and Backwell Junior School, all children are treated fairly and every child is encouraged to express their own views. At the start of each year, we hold a ‘Polling Station’ to elect candidates who want to run as class representative for our School Councils. This process helps to introduce our pupils to the principles of democratic elections. Our School Councils gives our pupils the opportunity to have their voices heard and see their influence in action. In addition, at Backwell Junior School we also have the role of House Captains where children are elected to lead their House and take an active role in school events such as Sports day and Our Easter Festival. This reflects how our schools work as communities with pupils taking on responsibilities for the running of them..
Children’s and parents’ voice is very important in our schools and it helps to shape the way we approach our learning. The expectation that our pupils contribute and cooperate in our school is reflected in our whole-school behaviour policy.
Rule of Law
At West Leigh Infant School and Backwell Junior School we have high expectations of our children which are regularly and consistently reinforced. Children aspire to for fill our Backwell Bs (Be your Best; Be responsible; Be Kind) or The West Leigh Wishes (we are safe; we are kind; we try our best) to demonstrate how they value their learning, their environment and their communities. In addition to our School Rules, at the start of each academic year children create their own class rules to keep everyone happy and safe. We teach our pupils that everyone has a responsibility and there are consequences when rules are broken.
Within our schools, pupils are actively encouraged to make choices and these choices are made knowing they are in a safe and supportive environment. Our pupils are encouraged to know, understand and exercise their rights and responsibilities. Through lessons such as E-Safety and discussions with School Council, our pupils are encourages to exercise their rights and personal freedoms safely. Choice is actively encouraged in our schools whether it be through their choice of learning challenge or how they record their individual topic work.
Pupils are encouraged to know, understand and exercise their rights and personal freedoms, leading to self-esteem and confidence, and are advised how to exercise these safely through:
- Online Safety and PSHE lessons
- Choices about their learning challenge and how they record
- Participation in after school clubs
- Circle time and ‘Show and Tell’
- Pupil conferencing
- Non-uniform days
Respect is regarded with high importance in our school vision (Together we aspire, achieve and celebrate), ethos of acknowledging and celebrating diversity, as well as our school behaviour policy. Respect is modelled every day in our schools and all staff help children to understand how to respect by talking about how our actions and words can affect others. Our school behaviour policy and house point system helps to reinforce and promote respectful behaviour around our schools. Bullying is not tolerated and pupils are taught about the different types of bullying, why they might occur and discuss possible strategies for dealing with incidents should they witness any.
Tolerance of those of Different Faiths and Beliefs
Our school values celebrate our differences and encourage all our pupils to be proud of who they are. At West Leigh Infant School and Backwell Junior School we celebrate that everyone is different and everyone is special because they are known and loved by God. Diversity as a blessing is acknowledged at our schools through a broad and balanced curriculum where a range of different cultures are taught throughout the year. Within specific curriculum areas pupils learn about influential individuals: artists; scientists; musicians from a diverse range of cultures and backgrounds are spotlighted. British and global celebrations are learnt throughout the year encouraging children to develop their understanding of different faiths and beliefs.
Delivering these British Values
Time is given to sharing and discussing British Values in weekly, dedicated assembly slots. Here, teachers share examples of the British Values in action and support the children in remembering each value and its meaning. At West Leigh Infant School, a high-profile display board is used to reinforce assemblies and promote these values