Importance is placed on British Values. The DFE expectations are, “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, and these values have been reiterated by the Prime Minister this year. At Bishops Lydeard Church School, these values are reinforced regularly and in the following ways:
Democracy is a strong thread throughout the school and children have many opportunities for their voices to be heard. We have a school council (elected by their peers) who meet regularly to decide on improvements they would like to make to our school; last year they made recommendations on improving play times, use of water bottles and supported national charities (red nose day, children in need, Christmas jumper appeal). Other projects have involved implementing a young enterprise scheme for each class and working with other local school councils to work on a transition project (from primary to secondary).
Sports leaders are also elected and work together to promote sporting values throughout the school. In addition all pupils complete questionnaires on their lessons, the environment and anything they would like to change- this is then reviewed by class teachers and the senior leadership team. All children have the opportunity to talk to senior staff on a regular basis and use these occasions to share their views. The headteacher also has an open door policy where any individual, both children and staff can come and share their views.
The school has a vertical house system of four houses, Quantock, Mendip, Brendon and Blackdown. House captains are chosen to lead the house. House assemblies are run by the house captains and they take ideas from their houses on the themes and focus of the assemblies.
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.
We have strong links with our local PCSO who regularly visits the school to talk to children and lead assemblies. We also promote Online Safety through lessons, assemblies and the school website so children are fully aware of the law regarding social media.
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 the 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 Online Safety and PSHE lessons.
Examining inspirational people during lessons and assemblies help to reinforce the children’s understanding of civil rights and freedom of choice. Whether it is through choice of challenge, of how they record, of participation in our numerous extra-curricular clubs and opportunities; we encourage pupils to make their own choices. For example, pupils are given the choice for the whole school Friday afternoon activities, enabling children from difference classes to work with each other and on activities that interest them.
Part of our school ethos and behaviour policy is centred round our Core Values such as ‘Respect’, and treating people the way you wish to be treated. This extends to the children and adults within the school and wider community. Pupils have been part of discussions and assemblies related to what this means and how it is shown. Our school rules and restorative justice ethos promotes respect for others.
We hold weekly Celebration Assemblies to promote the core values and high standards. It is an opportunity to respect others in a celebratory manner.
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. As a church school, this runs through our school ethos, assemblies and lessons. Themed days help to raise awareness of different cultures, beliefs and cuisine.
Links with SMSC (spiritual, moral, social and cultural development) using the SIAMS Framework