Promoting British Values at Swalwell Primary School
Background and Aims
In the diverse, multicultural world we live in, we want to encourage our learners, all of whom are growing up British, to better understand the society they live in and their place within it.
In 2014, the Coalition Government issued guidance on what it called “fundamental British values”, defined as ‘democracy, the rule of law, individual liberty, and mutual respect and tolerance of those with different faiths and beliefs’ as well as an understanding of British history heritage and traditions. At Swalwell Primary School we believe that all these ideas are important and valuable, not just in Britain but for many people all around the world.
- Provide pupils with a broad general knowledge of, and promote respect for, public institutions and services - by discussing these whenever appropriate in curriculum work.
- Teach pupils how they can influence decision-making through the democratic process - for example in our School Council work.
- Include in the curriculum information on the advantages and disadvantages of democracy and how it works in Britain - for example when considering periods of history where democracy was not as fully developed as it is now.
- Encourage pupils to become involved in decision-making processes and ensure they are listened to in school.
- Organise visits to the local council and Parliament – visits will be arranged to visit Gateshead Civic Centre and will attend gatherings of School Councils across the borough.
The Rule of Law
- Ensure school rules and expectations are clear and fair by discussing these with pupils and establishing classroom rules with the pupils themselves. Teach this through our behaviour policy.
- Help pupils to distinguish right from wrong during everyday interactions and discussions of stories, fables and other literary materials.
- Help pupils to respect the law and the basis on which it is made by showing how rules help everyone to interact in an orderly and fair manner and protect the vulnerable in society.
- Help pupils to understand that living under the rule of law protects individuals.
- Include visits from the police in the curriculum. We have regular sessions with the Community Police Officers.
- Teach pupils aspects of both civil and criminal law and discuss how this might differ from some religious laws. We have links with the community police.
- Develop restorative justice approaches to resolve conflicts as part of sanctions in our approach to behaviour
- Support pupils to develop their self-knowledge, self-esteem and self-confidence through all areas of teaching and learning in school.
- Encourage pupils to take responsibility for their behaviour, as well as knowing their rights through all of their interaction with adults and each other in school.
- Challenge stereotypes through PHSE work and assemblies.
- Implement a strong anti-bullying culture as enshrined in our policies for Anti-Bullying and Behaviour.
- Follow the UNICEF rights respecting schools agenda.
- Children are encouraged to know, understand and exercise their rights and personal freedoms safely – for example, through our E-Safety lessons in computing and in PSHE lessons.
- Stereotypes are challenged through our assembly themes and classroom discussions and we actively promote anti bullying campaigns and initiatives to raise understanding and awareness amongst our whole school community.
Many tasks within lessons are tackled by children working collaboratively with different children so that all our learners become comfortable working with all their peers, whatever their differences in background and prior achievement. During class discussions children are encouraged to listen to one another and acknowledge their differences in a spirit of acceptance and respect.
Every year we mark Anti-bullying Week with a range of events to raise awareness and encourage positive relationships between all children in the school. This is underpinned by a clear and consistently-enforced anti-bullying policy.
Each week we hold a celebration assembly to share our achievements. Through this children, parents and carers are encouraged to notice and praise one another’s strengths and achievements.
Tolerance for Different Faiths and Beliefs
We follow Gateshead agreed syllabus for Religious Education (2018) which encourages understanding of the different major faiths and religions around the world. The RE and PSHE curriculum both promote a thorough exploration of how both religious and non-religious people approach questions of meaning, ethics and philosophy. Further more we:
- Challenge prejudicial or discriminatory behaviour through discussion and use of illustrative materials as well as our approach to behaviour in school.
- Organise visits to places of worship. Visits are arranged to the local churches and other diverse places of worship as appropriate to the curriculum.
- Develop critical personal thinking skills throughout our curricular work.
- Discuss differences between people, such as differences of faith, ethnicity, disability, gender or sexuality and differences of family situations, such as looked-after children or young carers through our PHSE and broader curricular work and through visitors to school sharing their experiences