Preparing Children for Life in Modern Britain
The DfE have 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.”
At St. Giles’ C of E Academy we take very seriously our responsibility to prepare children for life in modern Britain. We ensure that the fundamental British Values are introduced, discussed and lived out through the ethos and work of the school. All curriculum areas provide a vehicle for furthering understanding of these concepts and, in particular, our RE, PSHE and Citizenship lessons provide excellent opportunities to deepen and develop understanding. Children embrace these concepts with enthusiasm and demonstrate a good understanding of their application to their own lives.
The school makes considerable efforts to ensure children have exposure to a wide experience beyond their local community during which these concepts are shown, through for example, sporting events, a range of visits and use of outdoor education centres. Their strong rooted values-based understanding gives them an excellent platform for embracing difference.
The Rule of Law
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 help reinforce this message. The school’s behaviour policy gives pupils the opportunity to reflect on appropriate behaviours and to change negative behaviours. Children are taught to manage their own behaviour in a variety of ways and to realise that there are consequences for unacceptable behaviour.
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, through provision of a safe environment and 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 our E-Safety and SMSC lessons. Whether it be through choice of learning challenge, of how they record, of participation in our numerous extra-curricular clubs and opportunities, pupils are given the freedom to make choices.
As part of our positive ethos, children learn that their behaviours have an effect on their own rights and those of others. All members of the school community treat each other with respect. The school encourages pupils to raise monies and awareness to support local and national charities; it also supports emergency disasters that happen across the world.
Tolerance of those of Different Faiths and Beliefs
Daily collective worship is planned to address this issue either directly or through the inclusion of stories and celebrations from a variety of faiths and cultures. Our RE and SMSC teaching reinforce this. Members of different faiths or religions are encouraged to share their knowledge to enhance learning within classes and the school. Children visit places of worship that are important to different faiths. In addition, discussions involving prejudices and prejudice-based bullying have been followed. The school staff are fully aware of the importance of being a role model for all pupils; demonstrating politeness, courtesy and respect for each other, visitors and children at all times.