Promoting British Values at St Mark’s
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”.
The government set out its definition of British values in the 2011 Prevent Strategy, and these values have been reiterated by the Prime Minister this year. At St Mark’s these values are reinforced regularly and in the following ways:
Democracy is prevalent within the school. Pupils have the opportunity to have their voices heard through our School Council, and Pupil questionnaires. The elections of School Council representatives are based solely on pupil votes. Our school behaviour policy involves rewards which the pupils vote on as a class group. Debates and voting are strategies of pupil voice that are regularly used across the curriculum. Democracy is taught as a key element of our curriculum.
The Rule of Law:
The importance of Laws, whether they be those that govern the class, the school, or the country, are consistently reinforced through 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 are regular parts of our calendar and help reinforce this message. The school operates a whole school code of conduct from which pupils in each class derive a set of classroom rules which are displayed and regularly referred to.
Identify is developed by enabling pupils 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 are given advice on how to exercise these safely, for example through our E-Safety and PSHCE lessons.
Respect is a cornerstone of our school ethos and school code of conduct. Pupils take part in discussions and assemblies related to what this means and how it is shown. Posters around the school promote respect for others and this is reiterated through our classroom and learning rules, underpinned through our Behaviour for Learning policy.
Tolerance of those of Different Faiths and Beliefs:
This is achieved through enhancing pupils’ understanding of their place in a culturally diverse society and by giving them opportunities to experience such diversity for example, by year group visits to the places of worship of the main religions. Through assemblies and lessons pupils share aspects of different faith systems and cultures with one another and tolerance of different lifestyles. Any form of discriminatory language including homophobic name calling will be challenged. Assemblies and discussions involving prejudices and prejudice-based bullying have been followed and supported by learning in RE and PSHCE. Members of different faiths or religions are encouraged to share their knowledge to enhance learning within classes and the school.