Teaching & Promoting British Values at Littletown Primary Academy
At Littletown Primary Academy we understand that the society we live in is diverse and therefore, our curriculum and life within school reflects this. For our pupils, we aim to continually weave the thread of social, cultural, moral and spiritual British values throughout day to day school life. We aim to build a community that is cohesive and that challenges any ideology that seeks to undermine that cohesion. Underpinning this are the values and understanding of democracy, law, individual liberty, respect, tolerance, tradition and heritage. The ‘Equality Act 2010’ protects all individuals from discrimination and it is the schools duty to ensure that all individuals have equal access and opportunity to all that is on offer. Funding, including that for pupils with special educational needs and disabilities (SEND) and disadvantaged pupils, is used to target inequalities, to ensure equality.
The DfE has reinforced the 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.”
The Government set out its definition of British values in the 2011 Prevent Strategy, and these values have been reiterated (2014). Copies of the 2011 Prevent Strategy can be found in the school staffroom.
‘Learning Today for the World of Tomorrow’
Littletown Primary Academy is a happy, secure, friendly and welcoming school, with a true family and community atmosphere, in which all staff and pupils are positive, caring and optimistic. They engage with and enjoy their learning and smile! The staff and governors also enjoy what they do and do it very well. Our school community has high expectations, both in terms of achievement and behaviour, and everyone is expected to do their best and to use their special gifts and talents, at their own particular level. At Littletown Primary Academy, all members of the school family and the contributions they make to the school are greatly valued. Kindness and politeness are expected at all times, and people are always acknowledged and thanked for what they do. ‘Care’, ‘tolerance’, ‘trust’ and ‘respect’ are very important to us.
Littletown Primary Academy teaches and promotes explicitly the following key British Values in these outlined ways:
Pupil Voice is important at Littletown Primary Academy and staff listen to the children. The children discuss and decide on ways to improve their learning. Democracy is displayed when classes vote for school learning forum representatives following an election process. This ensures every class has a say on the decisions that are made in our school. The forum representatives meet regularly to discuss any issues raised in class learning forums. Meetings are minuted and shared with staff. Year 6 children are House Captains and sports leaders.
Through PSHE and assemblies our curriculum encourages all aspects of respect for democracy and the democratic process. Individual children are also appointed for posts of responsibility in the classroom. These rotate to establish fairness and equality. For example, there are play leaders who lead the engagement of activities and games at lunchtimes. Views are sought from parents and the wider community, through questionnaires. The community is at the heart of the school and local issues are raised, discussed and acted upon.
Children are taught about democracy in this country and how it differs from other countries, including through history topics such as Ancient Greece. Levels of government and the voting system are explored. Imperfections in the democratic system are discussed. Children have an understanding of how citizens can influence decision making, both locally and nationally. Elections are discussed, in the context of the democratic process. Non democratic systems are explored and contrasts made. Children know what is on the news locally, nationally and internationally and discuss it.
The rule of law
The importance of laws, whether they are those that govern the class, the school, or the country, are consistently reinforced at Littletown Primary Academy. Pupils are taught the rules of school from an early age in Reception and Year 1. The children are aware of the consequences of not following the rules in their school community. The children learn to understand the difference between right and wrong in all aspects of school life throughout the day.
There are clear policies for ‘Positive Behaviour and Discipline’, ‘Anti-Bullying’ and ‘Ethnic Diversity and Race Relations’. There are also clear policies for Disability Equality, Special Educational Needs and Gender Equality. Children are given the opportunity to understand aspects of civil and criminal law and discuss how this might be different from some religious laws. Pupils in our school expect and receive a fair system where actions are always respectfully justified and where staff engage in dialogue around sanctions.
At Littletown Primary Academy our 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 pupils 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 are advised how to exercise these safely, for example through our e-Safety programme and assemblies.
Our children are encouraged to give their opinions and share these ideas with due regard for the feelings of others through the dialogic approach to learning evident in the classrooms. Children understand that their right to their own opinion is tempered by their duty to do what their parents and the school want them to do. Children have a right to be listened to and great value is placed on this in lessons and within the behaviour management policy. Children know that there is freedom to choose and hold other faiths and beliefs and that this is protected by law.
Children also know that there are limits to individual liberty, for example racism, homophobic and bullying behaviour are not tolerated. As part of our curriculum, we place a huge emphasis on the social and emotional learning of our children and feel we send them off to secondary school as well rounded individuals, ready to undertake the next stage of their learning and life.
We celebrate children’s achievements both in and out of school in assemblies, through certificates and by following a personalised approach. We know our children really well and they know they are part of community.
Respect is at the heart of our values. Respect is one of the six most important words in our school ethos. Children learn that their behaviours have an effect on their own rights and those of others via sanctions. All members of the school community treat each other with respect. This is an absolute expectation and features within our school ethos statement. Children are expected to demonstrate good manners, always be polite, kind and show courtesy to everybody and this is celebrated.
The school, through its Curriculum, teaches respect for and makes comparisons between other countries and cultures in the world. For example, life in other countries and times of history underpin the importance of respect and tolerance.
Tolerance of those of different Faiths and Beliefs
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. Throughout school life the children are encouraged to discuss differences between people such as their faith, ethnicity, disability, gender or sexuality. They also discuss differences in family life such as looked after children or young carers. International and national failures in tolerance throughout history are discussed. Children have an understanding of the importance of combating discrimination, and this is explored locally, nationally and internationally. Children understand that being British is about living with a wide range of people, from different backgrounds and that understanding the uniqueness of this has value for community cohesion, and world peace.
British Traditions and Heritage
We celebrate the role of Britain both historically and in the present. We want pupils to have knowledge of and be proud of their British heritage and the cultural and historical traditions that we are renowned for the world over. This involves recognising or celebrating royal events, Remembrance Day, festivals such as Harvest, Christmas, Easter alongside those from other cultures. These form a part of our school calendar and are discussed during assemblies as they arise.
Our history, music and art curricula, in particular, provide important ways in which we teach and celebrate British History and culture.
Our Forest School approach teaches children about the great outdoors as well as essential life skills. We appreciate how lucky we are that our school is situated in such a lovely setting and we always try to make the best possible use of our beautiful grounds for learning.
We have a traditional and highly successful ‘house’ system which teaches the children the value of working together, teamwork and supporting one another of different ages. Children represent their house on Sports Day and participate in house events throughout the year.
Sporting events celebrate British traditions and heritage, as well as the Olympics. These experiences build memories in the children that will stand the test of time and allow our pupils to become good, effective citizens who make a positive contribution to society.
We teach our children to respect everyone regardless of any differences. Our ‘Home School agreement’ encourages partnership with our families, and we work very hard to involve everybody in the life of the school. Through our curriculum and ethos, we always seek to develop our teaching of British Values further and look at different ways of celebrating what is inherently British, whilst recognising our brothers and sisters from other cultures in Britain and around the world.