Advice from DEF November 2014
All maintained schools must meet the Education Act 2002 to promote the spiritual, moral, social and cultural development of their pupils. The expectation is that through ensuring SMSC development, schools can also demonstrate that they are actively promoting fundamental British values. Fundamental British values are described as ‘democracy; the rule of law; individual liberty and mutual respect and tolerance of those with different faiths and beliefs’.
SMSC development incorporates collective worship; the development of relationships throughout the school and engagement in activities beyond the classroom.
The promoting of British values builds on all of our existing work to develop our positive ethos with our children, for example for children to regard all people, regardless of faith, race and culture, with respect and tolerance. Within school this would include children with disabilities and a range of special needs.
Our strategy on embedding British values includes all work on SMSC; SEAL and PSHE, all of which are integral to the ethos of the school.
At New Oscott Primary School these values are reinforced regularly and in the following ways:
Each year the children decide upon their class rules and the rights associated with these. All of the children contribute to the drawing up of the class rules and expectations. We have a School Council which meets regularly to discuss issues raised in class by pupils. Every child on the School Council is voted in by their class. Children have an annual questionnaire where they are able to put forward their views about school. Issues are discussed at School Council and an action plan drawn up. This is displayed in the main reception area and regularly updated.
Mrs Walklett also invites pupils for ‘Tea With Me’ each Friday. Over a cup of tea and a piece of cake, Mrs Walklett and her guests discuss important questiona such as: ‘Do you feel safe?’; ‘What is behaviour like in our school?’ ‘What is good about New Oscott Primary – and what could make it even better?’
THE RULE OF LAW
The importance of laws, whether they be those that govern the class, the school, or the country, are consistently reinforced at New Oscott Primary School. Pupils are taught from an early age the rules of our school. There are class rules, playground rules and esafety rules. Pupils are taught the value and reasons behind rules and 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 Service and Fire Service help reinforce this message.
At New Oscott Primary School pupils are actively encouraged to make choices, knowing that they are in a safe and supportive environment. As a school we educate and provide boundaries for young people to make informed choices, through a safe environment and an empowering education. Pupils are encouraged to know, understand and exercise their rights and personal freedoms and advised how to exercise these safely, for example through e-safety and PSHE lessons. One of the questions in our pupil ‘Building Learning Power’ questionnaire is: ‘Are you trusted to do things on your own in school?’ In July 2015 97% of our pupils answered ‘Yes’.
Mutual respect is at the heart of our values. Children learn that their behaviours have an effect on their rights and those of others. All members of the school community treat each other with respect.
TOLERANCE OF THOSE OF DIFFERENT FAITHS AND BELIEFS
New Oscott Primary is a diverse school. We actively promote diversity through our celebrations of different faiths and cultures. Religious Education lessons and PSHE lessons reinforce messages of tolerance and respect for others. Our multicultural displays around school illustrate our commitment to exploring our diverse school community. Members of different faiths and religions are encouraged to share their knowledge to enhance learning within classes and the school.
During the school year, we explore one value each month in more detail. The values are as follows:
October: Tolerance (respect)
November: Giving service
January: Determination (links with BLP learning focus ‘Resilience’)
February: Co-operation (reciprocity)