How we promote and teach British Values
The Government set out its definition of British values in the 2011 Prevent Strategy, and these values were reiterated in 2014. At St. Stephen’s these values are reinforced regularly and are already deeply rooted in our School Mission Statement, Vision and our curriculum.
Our School Council is a long established way of giving children a say in how things are run in school. Two children are elected from each class (a boy and a girl) and they meet up with their fellow councillors once a month to discuss any changes or concerns raised by their classmates . In addition, the staff/ governors may wish for feedback on a particular aspect of school life. In the past School Council representatives have spoken at staff and governors meetings and they have been consulted on major changes planned in school. e.g. children have been involved in developing our Mission Statement, Anti- Bullying / Behaviour Policies.
The Rule of Law
The children learn about the importance of laws and rules including those in class, the school and the country. Discussions about laws and rules are reinforced throughout the school day. 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. The children also visit The Magistrates Courts to find how the Court of Law works.
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 support young pupils to think about choices and how they impact on or support others. Pupils are encouraged to know, understand and exercise their rights and personal freedoms . In addition, the pupils are advised how to exercise these safely, for example through our E-Safety and PSHE lessons.
Mutual respect is at the heart of our School Vision and Mission Statement. Children learn that their behaviours have an effect on their own rights and those of others. We believe that a community flourishes when relationships are based on understanding each others’ feelings. Diversity is celebrated and any forms of hate language is challenged. All members of the school community treat each other with respect.
Tolerance of those of Different Faiths and Belief
St. Stephen’s has a rich cultural diversity. 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 celebrate different faiths and beliefs. Members of different faiths or religions are encouraged to share their knowledge to enhance learning within classes and the school. Children visit places of worship that are important to different faiths. In addition, children are provided opportunities to question beliefs as a way to enhance tolerance and understanding. E.g. we have a RE day which includes ‘ big questions about God’ After the terrorist attacks in London, we invited an Iman to talk about the values of Islam and how these were very different from what is sometimes reported after such an attack.
At St. Stephen’s we will actively challenge pupils, staff or parents expressing opinions contrary to fundamental British Values, including ‘extremist’ views.
The following links give examples of how we teach British Values as part of the curriculum: