All schools have been asked “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.”
Norris Bank Primary School takes seriously its responsibility to prepare our children for life in modern Britain, both within the school, and also within the community and further afield. We recognise that Britain is a multi-cultural, multi-faith country, and work hard to provide experiences of this for our pupils.
The government set out its definition of British values in its “Prevent Strategy” as:
- The rule of law
- Individual liberty
- Mutual respect
- Tolerance of those of different faiths and beliefs
Democracy is evident within the school. We have a school council, whose members are elected by their peers, and which makes decisions on aspects of school life to the benefit of fellow pupils. Pupil-voice conferencing adds choice and opinion to curriculum matters, and some topics are chosen by the pupils voting for them. All classes develop class rules or charters, which are prominent in each classroom. Many areas of the curriculum are in themselves a study of democracy and how it works, e.g. Ancient Greeks. At the core of democracy is the idea of fairness, which is a key area of PSHE.
The Rule of Law
The importance of laws, whether they be class charters, the school rules, or the laws of our country, is reinforced in our school. The rules for individual classes and the school are relevant and valued by the children and adults of the school, and are referred to when dealing with behaviour. School assemblies regularly address the responsibility that each child has to follow rules, both in and out of school. Visits from the police and fire services reinforce the importance of rules in the wider world. 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.
Within school, pupils are actively encouraged to make choices, in their work and play, knowing that they are in a safe and supportive environment. Children become increasingly self-aware and confident. We take every opportunity to participate in large events, such as sports tournaments, and musical concerts, so that our children get the opportunity to be part of larger communities. Children are encouraged to take risks and develop the confidence to ‘have a go’ and so increase the chances of experiencing success. There is high participation in sport and music. All pupils are given the freedom to make choices.
We encourage mutual respect within the school and the wider community. Our weekly celebration assemblies highlight the great work, behaviour and attitudes which we value at Norris Bank Primary, and they illustrate the support and respect that individuals have from the whole school community. Circle times and class discussion allow all pupils to express themselves and to be listened to. We take the values of respect into our community, with events such as visits at Christmas to our local church, and celebrating national days such as Remembrance Day, Mothers’ Day, and significant religious days. Our class charters, as well as our school rules and behaviour policy all support the idea of mutual respect. Pupils are trusted be respectful of others when receiving visitors to the school, and showing them round.
Tolerance of those of Different Faiths and Beliefs
We work hard at Norris Bank Primary to expand the horizons of our children, so that they understand their place in our diverse society. Assemblies and discussions about tolerance, prejudices and prejudice-based bullying have been followed and supported by learning in RE and PSHE. Our RE curriculum covers the Jewish, Hindu and Muslim faiths, as well as Christianity, and PSHE covers bullying, disability, and difference, appropriate to the children’s levels of understanding. The school has strong links with the local church, with assemblies led on a termly basis. We also teach Spanish across KS2 so that our children learn about other languages and cultures.