Promoting British Values at WJS
The DfE 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 the 2011 Prevent Strategy. At Whitstable Junior School these values are reinforced regularly and in the following ways:
Democracy is evident throughout the school. Pupils have the opportunity to have their voices heard through our School Council, Arts Council, Leaders of Learning scheme and pupil questionnaires and surveys. Year 6 pupils wishing to be considered for the roles of Head and Deputy Head boys and girls write formal applications and are interviewed by staff. Many school actions are strongly influenced by feedback from pupil groups and committees. The election of School Councilors is based solely on pupil votes. The council has its own budget and is able to genuinely effect change within the school. Our school behaviour policy involves class rules to support our community code which are agreed and voted for by the whole class.
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; Fire Service; Lifeguards etc. are regular parts of our calendar and help 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 safe environment and empowering education. Pupils are encouraged to know, understand and exercise their rights and personal freedoms and advise how to exercise these safely, for example through our E-Safety and PSHE lessons. Whether it be through choice of challenge, of how they record, of participation in our numerous extra-curricular clubs and opportunities, or pupil organised and run charity events and competitions, pupils are given the freedom to make choices.
Part of our school ethos and behaviour policy revolves around Core Values such as ‘Respect’, and pupils have been part of discussions and assemblies related to what this means and how it is shown. Our Community Code explicitly promotes this – Be Safe, Be Kind, Be Responsible. Posters around the school promote respect for others and this is reiterated through our classroom and learning rules, as well as our behaviour policy. All children have the opportunity to collect evidence of how they live our Core Values both within and outside of school through our Royal Native Oyster Citizenship Award scheme.
Tolerance of those of Different Faiths and Beliefs:
This is achieved through enhancing pupils understanding of their place in a culturally diverse society and by giving them opportunities to experience such diversity. Assemblies and discussions involving prejudices and prejudice-based bullying have been followed and supported by learning in RE and PSHE. The school regularly visits local church communities. Members of different faiths and religions are encouraged to share their knowledge to enhance learning within classes and the school.