The DfE states that there is a 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.”
In the 2011 Prevent Strategy, the Government set out its definition of British values. These values have been reiterated not only by the Prime Minister in 2014, but also by the current Secretary of Education and Ofsted. Here at Langton Green, these values are reinforced regularly in assemblies, workshops, in our school council and within our Independent Learning Activities (ILAs). We aim for our children to become valuable and fully rounded members of society who treat others with respect and tolerance, regardless of background. We promote the basic British values of democracy, the rule of law, individual liberty, and mutual respect and tolerance for those with different faiths and beliefs.
Democracy is embedded within Langton, with both adults and children respecting the right for individuals to have their voices heard. Our School Council (which consists of two elected members from each class from year 1-6), reflects our British electoral system and demonstrates democracy in action. They meet every two weeks to discuss a range of issues. These issues include social and moral elements of school life, such as creating codes of conduct for playtimes, charity fundraising and modelling positive behaviour to their peers. The areas for discussion are then fed back to the rest of the class, when all children share their views and thoughts. Where decisions need to be made, each class member has a vote to ensure their opinion is heard.
The Rule of Law is included implicitly in our Behaviour Policy, with each teacher discussing these rules with their pupils at the beginning of every academic year. A code of conduct for each class is devised with the children. All the adults and children belonging to that class then sign the rules, which are clearly displayed in the classroom. These rules are revisited regularly through PSHCE lessons, assemblies and class circle times and there are clear sanctions for broken rules. We ensure that children understand that school and class rules are there to protect us and are essential for our wellbeing and safety. Elements of the history curriculum (through the ILAs) also enable children to explore the roles of law and authority in the past. The children are taught the value and reasons behind laws that govern and protect us and the responsibilities and consequences when laws are broken.
Individual Liberty - we encourage our children to make choices, knowing that they are in a safe and supportive environment. Through our PSHCE lessons we encourage children to know, understand their rights and personal freedoms and the children are advised how to exercise these safely. Adults in the school revisit these themes through assemblies and circle times. The importance of making safe choices when using the Internet is explored regularly through the Computing curriculum and shared with the whole school and stakeholders regularly.
Mutual Respect - our whole school ethos is built around mutual respect. We are an inclusive school where everyone is valued and has a contribution to make to the school. Children learn that their behaviour has an effect on their own rights and those of others. The importance of working together is stressed in all that we do. Children are encouraged to respect each other throughout the day.
Tolerance of those of Different Faiths and Beliefs - all different faiths and beliefs are explored and celebrated through assemblies, RE sessions and a variety of visits and visitors into school. The children are taught that people have different faiths and beliefs and that we should respect each other. Children within our school are encouraged to share their experiences and traditions. Parents are invited to share celebrations from a range of faiths with us in assemblies and special events in class. The curriculum includes texts from a range of cultures to further raise children’s awareness of different cultures, faiths and beliefs. Through this the children gain an enhanced understanding of their place in a culturally diverse society.