Promoting British Values at Godinton Primary
The DfE have 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, and these values were reiterated in 2014. According to Ofsted, British values are: democracy; the rule of law; individual liberty; mutual respect for and tolerance of those with different faiths and beliefs and for those without faith
At Godinton Primary these values are reinforced regularly and in the following ways.
British Values Statement
The children in each class begin their year by discussing the rules which they wish to have for their classroom and the rights that are associated with these. All the children in class contribute to the drawing up of the class rules.
Children have many opportunities for their voices to be . We have a school council that meets regularly to discuss issues raised in class council meetings. The council is able to effect change within the school. Their class votes in the council members for each year group.
The children are able to raise issues with the Headteacher and governing body should they so wish. Recently, Year 5 pupils asked the Headteacher and governing body to consider abandoning school uniform. This matter was debated at a Full Governing Body meeting, and the Chair of Governors visited Year 5 to explain the decision that had been reached. As a result of his further discussion with the children, they were then involved in the process of selecting a new design for the school emblem.
The new names for the classes and removal rooms were selected from entries submitted by our children after a whole school competition.
Each term class members vote for who they think should win the creative homework award from all who have submitted entries.
Our children are completing a questionnaire through which they are able to put forward their views about the school.
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, 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 advised how to exercise these safely, for example through our E-Safety and PSHE lessons. Whether it be 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.
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 treat each other with respect.
Our selection of citizens of the week in a weekly school assembly serves to reinforce how much we value good behaviour and mutual respect. We applaud those who value others and recognise their achievements in doing so.
Ashford is not a town with a rich cultural diversity. However, this is slowly changing as increasing numbers of people from ethnic minorities settle in the town, particularly Nepalese. We place a great emphasis on promoting diversity with the children. Our website promotes the languages that can be heard within our school. We have a web page on which our own children speak their mother tongue in order that we may all learn the basic rudiments of the languages spoken at Godinton.
We celebrate the cultures that are present in our school community. At their own suggestion, some of our British children organised a cake sale to raise funds for the victims of the Nepalese earthquake.
Godinton Primary is the only primary school in Kent to be a participant in the EU funded Erasmus project. Some of our pupils and staff have travelled to Poland, Belgium, Turkey, Austria and Romania on cross cultural visits. In addition, our Year 3 children have a day trip to our partner school in France and host these children at Godinton. Children from years 4-6 have the opportunity to participate in our bi-annual 4 day residential trip to France, to experience a foreign culture in more depth. Each year, the school plays host to visiting Japanese students, who work with our children so that both may learn about each other’s cultures.
Tolerance of those of Different Faiths and Beliefs
Assemblies are regularly planned to address this issue either directly or through the inclusion of stories and celebrations from a variety of faiths and cultures. Our RE and PSHE teaching reinforce this. Members of different faiths or religions are encouraged to share their knowledge to enhance learning within classes and the school.
At Godinton Primary School, we will actively challenge pupils, staff or parents expressing opinions contrary to fundamental British Values, including ‘extremist’ views.