British Values

British values

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.”

The government set out its definition of British values in the 2011 Prevent Strategy, and these values have been reiterated by the Prime Minister in June 2014.

British values are promoted at Kerr Mackie in so much of what we do, not least during our school assemblies, Religious Education, and PHSE. The values are integral to our long-standing  Ethos statement which compliments British values and always has done. 

As well as actively promoting British values, the opposite also applies: we would actively challenge pupils, staff or parents expressing opinions contrary to fundamental British values, including ‘extremist’ views.

The term ‘British values’ might be slightly misleading in that these values are integral to so many countries throughout the world-they differ in no way from the values of most western European countries, for example.

Below are just a few examples of how we promote British values.

As a school, we value and celebrate the diverse heritages of everybody at Kerr Mackie. Alongside this, we value and celebrate being part of Britain. In general terms, this means that we celebrate traditions such as customs in the course of the year, for example, Harvest Festival during the Autumn term, a trip to the pantomime around Christmas and an Easter Egg decorating competition in the Spring term. We also value and celebrate national events, recent examples being the London Olympics and Le Grand Depart in 2014.

Democracy

Democracy is rife within the school. Pupils have the opportunity to have their voices heard through our School council and Food ambassadors. The school council is able to genuinely effect change within the school. In the past, the School Council has planned equipment for the school playgrounds, organised fund raising events and contributed to the choice of the school rules. The council are also actively involved in recruitment of new staff.  The Food Ambassadors have been involved in designing the school dinner menu and food tastings. More recently, the Food Ambassadors have contributed to the implementation of  Family service at lunchtimes  and its’ rules.  Our school behaviour policy involves rewards which the pupils vote on as a class group.

Other examples of ‘pupil voice’ are:

  • Children have the opportunity to nominate and vote for others to receive a certificate for showing a  great learning attitude

  • Children have the opportunity to nominate and vote for others to receive a certificate for showing a great learning attitude

  • The school council nominates various charities which are recommended to classes. All the children vote to decide two school charities to support.

  • Y6 pupils select a charity for their particular year group and plan a range of fund raising activities throughout the year for the charity. A recent example was the charity ‘Toilet Twinning’.

Pupils are always listened to by adults and are taught to listen carefully and with concern to each other, respecting the right of every individual to have their opinions and voices heard. We encourage pupils to take ownership of not only their school but also of their own learning and progress. This encourages a heightened sense of both personal and social responsibility and is demonstrated on a daily basis by our pupils.

Rules and Law

The importance of rules and 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. These values are reinforced in different ways:

  • Visits from authorities such as the Police; Fire Service; are regular parts of our calendar and help reinforce this message.

  • During Religious Education, when rules for particular faiths are thought about

  • During other school subjects, where there is respect and appreciation for different rules e.g. in a sports lesson, e-safety

Individual Liberty

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 safety, 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 E-Safety and PSHE lessons.

  • through choice of learning challenge or activity

  • through choices about  how they record their learning

  • through choices around the participation in our numerous extra-curricular clubs and opportunities

Mutual respect and tolerance of those with different faiths and beliefs

Kerr Mackie Primary is an area which is greatly culturally diverse and we are proud to promote and celebrate our different backgrounds and beliefs. Mutual respect is at the heart of our aims and ethosTo help each child develop a good understanding of right and wrong, treat each other as equals and become decent and responsible citizens- and it’s reflected in our school rules: To show respect to everyone

Our pupils know and understand that it is expected and imperative that respect is shown to everyone, whatever differences we may have, and to everything, whether it is a school resource, a religious belief or whatever. Children learn that their behaviour choices have an effect on their own rights and those of others. All members of the school community should treat each other with respect.

Specific examples of how we at Kerr Mackie enhance pupils understanding and respect for different faiths and beliefs are:

  • through Religious Education, SEAL and other lessons where we might develop awareness and appreciation of other cultures-in English through fiction and in Art by considering culture from other parts of the world for example

  • through celebrating and enjoying learning about the differences in countries and cultures around the world

Sadly, no school can guarantee that there will never be instances which are contrary to this value. At Kerr Mackie Primary, such instances are extremely rare. They are treated seriously in line with our school policies.