At Broad Square Primary School, we uphold and support the need to teach children, both implicitly and explicitly, about important values.
The DfE has recently 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.”
Although in 2015 this is something that is developing in its significance for the government and for schools, it is not something new at Broad Square Primary. The values listed by The DFE have been taught and encouraged here for some time, through our regular curricular and non-curricular provision.
We also believe that such values are also not exclusively British, as these are actively promoted in many countries world-wide and, hence, we tend to refer to them using more generic terms, such as ‘Broad Square Values’, whilst still ensuring appropriate coverage of all elements required.
Below are just a few examples of how we promote these values.
Children have many opportunities for their voices to be heard and also to learn about the processes and procedures involved in democracy. At the start of every year each class elects a representative to form our School Council. The children are encouraged to prepare speeches to outline their reasons for wanting to take this office and also to explain what they hope to achieve.
All the children are then given the opportunity to have a free vote for their chosen representative. The School Council then meets regularly to discuss issues relevant to the pupils. The School Council also meets with members of the Senior Leadership of the school, including Governors to ensure that the pupil voice is heard.
At the end of each short term, pupils in each class have the opportunity to identify the ‘Star Achiever’ in their class for the term, known as the ‘Values Champions’. Children have regular opportunities to put forward their views about the school through questionnaires and surveys.
The Rule of Law
Each year the children decide upon their class charter and all the children contribute to the drawing up of these. These are then displayed in the classroom and used throughout the year.
The importance of Laws, whether they be those that govern the class, the school, or the country, are consistently reinforced throughout regular school days, as well as when dealing with behaviour and through school assemblies. 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 and theatre groups, as well as a range of sporting activities, help to reinforce this message.
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 provide boundaries for young pupils to make choices safely, Pupils are encouraged to know and understand their rights and personal freedoms and are advised how to exercise these safely, for example through our E-Safety and PSHE lessons. Special activities such as; anti-bullying and road safety workshops, also help the children to make safe and effective choices.
At Broad Square, children learn that their behaviours have an effect on their own rights and those of others. All members of the school community are expected to treat each other with respect. Adults provide a positive role model for children and children are encouraged to listen to each other and behave in a supportive and respectful way to each other. We expect our children to extend the same levels of respect to those that they meet outside of school, for example, when on trips or engaged in visits off site.
Tolerance of those of Different Faiths and Beliefs
We celebrate a range of different festivals from major world religions and enjoy using the children themselves and their families to help to share their cultures with others. We welcome visitors from a range of cultures and make visits which enhance our pupils’ experiences. Topic work and special themed weeks also regularly cover these elements. We follow the Opening Worlds Curriculum in KS2 and the local agreed syllabus for RE in KS1, which covers all the world religions.
At Broad Square, we will actively challenge pupils, staff or parents expressing opinions contrary to fundamental Broad Square Values and British Values. Where necessary, the school will uphold the procedures, which are outlined within the Child Protection Policy.
Educate Against Hate
The purpose of this organisation is to provide practical advice, support and resources to protect children from extremism and radicalisation.
Anyone can be vulnerable to extremism and radicalisation, but children are particularly at risk. As they grow and become more independent, it is not unusual for them to take risks, explore new things and push boundaries. Teenage years are often a time when young people will be searching for answers to questions about identity, faith and belonging, as well as looking for adventure and excitement. Extremist groups know young people are vulnerable and may claim to offer them answers, identity and a strong social network, and using the internet and social media to spread their ideology.
Please head to https://www.educateagainsthate.com/ for more information.