Promoting British Values at Mead Vale Community Primary School
At Mead Vale Community Primary School British Values are embedded into our school life. British Values are reflected in the way our school is run both throughout our ethos and within the culture of our school.
In accordance with DFE departmental advice November 2014 (Promoting fundamental British values as part of SMSC in schools) Mead Vale is meeting the requirements of section 78 of the Education Act 2002 which is partly defined by DFE as ‘Actively promoting the values means challenging opinions or behaviours in school that are contrary to fundamental British Values’ through our upholding and teaching about British values, which are:
• rule of law
• individual liberty
• mutual respect
• acceptance of those of different faiths and beliefs
These values are taught explicitly through Personal, Social, Health and Emotional Education (PSHE/ Social, Emotional aspects of Learning -SEAL) , Religious Education (RE) and Collective Worship. We also teach British Values through planning and delivering a broad, balanced curriculum. We are involved in progress towards external accreditation to demonstrate evidence of our commitment to these values:
• UNICEF Rights Respecting School Award – Recognition of Commitment
• Whole school CEOPS training attained
• Healthy Schools Award/ Whole school Games Gold Award attained
At Mead Vale we actively promote British Values through daily collective worship and whole school systems such as the election and running of our successful school council, digital leaders and green team. We also actively promote British Values by ensuring that our curriculum planning and delivery includes real opportunities for exploring these values.
At Mead Vale Community Primary School, these values are reinforced regularly and in the following ways:
Democracy is an important value at our school. We are currently working towards becoming a UNICEF Rights Respecting School and have already attained our ‘Recognition of Commitment’. Pupils have their voices heard through our school council. The elections of members of the school council are based on pupil votes, demonstrating how democracy works by actively promoting democratic processes. Pupil voice is actively sought throughout our school curriculum and our Mead Vale. Excellence awards are based around our school values and each term we have a new focus, e.g. respect, hope, commitment, independence, honesty and excellence. At the end of each term children are nominated to be awarded a Values Award certificate.
Democracy is further demonstrated within our school community through the process of fair elections for our Parent Governors.
Rule of Law
At Mead Vale it is consistently reinforced that laws are essential for our well-being and safety, whether they are those that govern the class, school or the country.
Our Mead Vale behaviour policy helps to ensure that children understand how to behave in a positive way that helps to create a good learning environment. Our reward system of House Points reinforces this. Our commitment to the ‘United Nations Convention of the Rights of the Child’ also supports children’s understanding of this area. We focus on four rights at Mead Vale. Everyone has the right to
· Feel safe
· To be able to learn
· To be treated fairly
· To have a voice
We are committed to praising children’s efforts. We endeavour to praise the children informally, individually, during group work, class praise (marble in the jar), House (non-uniform award) and the whole school together. Children are rewarded not only for achievement in curriculum areas, but for behaviour and for demonstrating our Mead Vale Values.
Rewards are given in the form of stickers, stamps, class marbles, house points and certificates/trophies. Children’s achievements are also recognised during Celebration Assemblies.
Children and parents sign home/school and E safety agreements upon entering Mead Vale that sets out the expectations for pupils’ learning and behaviour. These commitments mirror the expectations set by society and function as a set of rules to enable positive participation in school life.
Through our PSHE/SEAL curriculum, children are taught about emotional wellbeing and how their individual choices can affect those around them. By encouraging children to take responsibility for their own choices, we are promoting the ownership of behaviour and adherence to the rule of law in wider society.
Visits from authorities such as the Police, Fire Service and CEOPS to talk to the children support their safety. Visits also establish good behaviour expectations for outside of school. Talking to the pupils about how to stay safe helps the children to see that Police services and other services help uphold the law and protect them.
At Mead Vale children are taught bicycle safety according to their age/ability, ensuring that they follow the rules of the road working closely with SUSTRANS.
Playground buddies/play leaders and staff speak restoratively with children, encouraging them to solve problems positively. Children also understand that if someone is being bullied then they should report this to an adult to make sure that our school rules are being maintained. Children also have a worries box where they can write their concerns which are addressed by our Learning Mentors.
Children are taught about rights and responsibilities in our PSHE curriculum and also as part of our assembly programme. Mead Vale’ school values form the basis of our assembly programme andfocus on human rights and how they can be promoted and respected. Children’s achievements are celebrated in assemblies to instil in them a sense of worth and create ambitious pupils who believe in themselves and their self-worth.
Children are taught about making ‘good’ choices and have a full understanding that they are the ones that make choices about how they act, whether those choices are well made or not. As a school we provide boundaries for our children to make choices safely, through the provision of a safe environment and planned curriculum. Pupils are encouraged to know, understand and exercise their rights and personal freedoms and are advised how to exercise these safely, through for example our online safety curriculum. Pupils are given the freedom to make choices, e.g. following a line of enquiry in their work or signing up for extra curricular clubs.
In class children take on jobs that help to make the school function well. Children also participate in groups that help to develop them as citizens. For example, the school Green Team helps the school to improve its environment and encourages us to travel to school in a healthy and sustainable way; the School Council gives the pupils a voice and allows them to make important decisions which affect themselves and life in school.
Individual liberty has School Values as its foundations. They help the children and staff to understand what the key features of a healthy positive environment are and enable individual freedoms to be maintained and respected.
Children are taught to respect others regardless of their individual differences. Bullying of any kind is not tolerated and our approach to dealing with bullying incidents is detailed in our Anti-Bullying policy. Children are taught about how to develop respectful relationships in a wide variety of ways including through our PSHE curriculum and SEAL. We also promote mutual respect in the online world as set out in our Online Safety and Acceptable Use policy that is seen and signed by all stakeholders at Mead Vale.
We hold assemblies and workshops that celebrate difference and other cultures. These help to build understanding of different people and their belief systems that may hold both similarities and differences to our own.
We join in cluster project days that include children and staff from the cluster schools working together to achieve a common goal. The unique make-up of our cluster, including all ages and special schools, means that all stakeholders have developed a respect for the capabilities of all members of the group and in turn, this can impact on their views on society as a whole.
Mead Vale values links with other localities. We are forming pen-pal links with another school outside of the county with a very different cultural intake and we also have links with children in Fiji. We also use opportunities such as the Olympics and World Cup to learn about life and cultures in other countries.
Some pupils carry out the role of ‘play leader’ at lunchtimes where they help to organise activities with other pupils in order to enable them to have enjoyable playtimes. This fosters a mutual respect between all parties across a range of ages.
The charity work that Mead Vale’ children participate in is extremely valuable in helping them to develop a respect for others whilst also supporting the development of their role as active citizens in the wider society. The School Council decide annually which three charities they will support.
Acceptance of those with different faiths and beliefs
During PSHE and SEAL lessons, children learn to accept and embrace difference and to understand how individuals feel by exploring emotional literacy. This work crosses all potential barriers of faith and religion. Supporting this, children’s RE lessons enable them to develop a growing understanding of different cultures and beliefs. The more children learn about religions, the more likely they are to understand different people’s motivations and feelings, thereby enabling them to be more tolerant of those cultures and beliefs that differ from their own.
At the heart of our work, the Mead Vale’s values form the foundation for learning acceptance and as such, the values are spoken about and promoted and as a result strengthen the core British values in our society.
Our Equalities Policy ensures that people of all religious beliefs, genders, ethnicities, abilities or any other differences are offered the same opportunities to thrive at our school.
International projects such as learning about Christmas traditions around the world help to develop children’s experiences and understanding of other countries and their traditions, cultures and beliefs. Other learning that supports this is through the teaching of French and sharing of other languages through teacher exchanges.
In assemblies, religious acceptance is strengthened through the celebration of different religious festivals such as Holi, Chinese New Year, Eid and Christian celebrations. Sometimes, stories are shared or personal experiences of either the staff or children spoken about in order to develop a greater depth of understanding of religious identities.