We want children at Michael Drayton to feel proud to be British. We want them to understand the long standing traditions and customs that make our country a great place to live. We also want our children to fully understand the aspects that allow our country to operate in a fair, civilised manner. Finally, we wish our children to show mutual respect and tolerance to all individuals, both in our country and across the world.
The DfE 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” and this fits with our hopes for the children we teach at our school as they progress through their childhood and into later life.
The Government set out its definition of British values in the 2011 Prevent Strategy, and these values were reiterated in 2014. We regularly reinforce the values set out in a wide range of ways. The values are as follows:
Each year the children decide upon their class charter and the rights and responsibilities associated with these. All the children contribute to the drawing up of the charter and these are displayed in class and on class pages on the school website.
Children have many opportunities for their voices to be heard. We have a school council which meets regularly to discuss issues raised in class council meetings. The council is able to access the school budget if needed and is able to genuinely effect change within the school. All school council members are voted for by their class mates. Children are also able to stand and vote for the running of Eco Councilor and that of Learning Detectives. In Year 6, the children choose House Captains for the four house teams. These councilors are proudly displayed in the school’s main hall.
Children have a termly questionnaire with which they are able to put forward their views about the school.
During P4C lessons the session is mostly led by the children’s ideas based on the stimulus provided. Children ask important questions and then decide as a group which questions will be used for enquiry.
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 to reinforce this message.
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 secure environment and empowering education. Pupils are encouraged to know, understand and exercise their rights and personal freedoms and are advised how to exercise these with care for themselves, for example through our Online Safety, PSHE, RE and P4C lessons. Whether it is 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 in a wide range of ways.
Mutual respect is at the heart of our values. Children learn that their behaviours have an effect on their own rights and those of others. All members of the school community are encouraged to treat each other with respect. Children are encouraged to do this through the promotion and discussion of Learning Behaviours which are taught as an intrinsic part of their education. Learning Detectives are given opportunities to ‘spot’ these opportunities and time in assemblies is given to explore these further.
Tolerance of those of Different Faiths and Beliefs
Michael Drayton Junior School is situated in an area which is not greatly culturally diverse; therefore, we place a great emphasis on promoting an understanding of diversity. Assemblies, enrichment lessons and themed days are regularly planned to encourage a respect for different faiths and beliefs. Our RE, PSHE and P4C teaching reinforces this and ensures that the children are taught about different stories and celebrations from a variety of cultures. Members of different faiths or religions are encouraged to share their knowledge to enhance learning within classes and the school.
At Michael Drayton we will actively challenge pupils, staff or parents expressing opinions contrary to fundamental British Values, including ‘extremist’ views.