Promoting British Values at West Heath Primary School
The Department for Education 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 reiterated these in 2014. At West Heath these values are reinforced regularly and in the following ways.
Being part of Britain
As a school, we value and celebrate the diverse heritage of everybody. Alongside this, we value and celebrate being part of Britain. In general terms, this means that we celebrate traditions and customs in the course of the year; for example, Harvest Festival during the autumn term and trips to the Church at Christmas. We also value and celebrate national sporting events and celebrations.
Our curriculum ensures that our children learn about being part of Britain. We learn about the countries of Britain, its place in the world, as well as about is key physical features and landmarks. We learn about key moments in British history and significant historical figures.
Democracy is rife within our school, pupils have the opportunity to have their voices heard through our Unicef Ambassadors and pupil questionnaires. The elections of our Head Boy and Girl and our Head Sports Boy and Girl, as well as the winners of our class Core Values Award each term, are based solely on pupil votes. Our children are also given the opportunity to learn about democracy through our curriculum. In Year 5 the children have a topic entitled Democracy. As part of this topic we aim to arrange a visit to the Houses of Parliament, although this is not always possible.
The Rule of Law:
The importance of laws, whether they be those that govern the class, school or the country, are reinforced throughout the school day. We have clear school rules, which guide our behaviour policy. Pupils are taught the value and reasons behind laws; that they govern and protect us and the consequences that occur when laws are broken. Visits from authorities such as the police, fire service and Lifeguards etc. are regular parts of our calendar and help reinforce this message.
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 are advised how to exercise these safely, for example through our E-Safety and PSHE lessons.
Mutual respect and tolerance of those with different faiths and beliefs
At West Heath one of our curriculum drivers is Values. We place a huge emphasis on ensuring that our children have an understanding of values such as respect, tolerance, inspiration and friendship to name just a few. Our school assemblies focus upon these words and we refer regularly to them when talking to children.
In addition to this we are currently in the process of becoming a UNICEF Rights Respecting School. This means that we are passionate about ensuring children understand the rights they hold and instilling the message that all people, regardless of their background, hold the same rights.
In our quest to ensure that we respect people with different faiths and beliefs we follow the Birmingham agreed syllabus for Religious Education. Throughout the year we celebrate a wide range of festivals from a variety of different faiths.