“The values I’m talking about – a belief in freedom, tolerance of others, accepting personal and social responsibility, respecting and upholding the rule of law – are the things we should try to live by every day. To me they’re as British as the Union Flag, as football, as fish and chips. Of course, people will say that these values are vital to other people in other countries. And, of course, they’re right. But what sets Britain apart are the traditions and history that anchors them and allows them to continue to flourish and develop.”
David Cameron 2014
The Department for Education defines British values as having 5 different elements:
- The rule of law
- Individual liberty
- Mutual respect
- Tolerance of those of different faiths and beliefs
The promotion of British values and ethos is a key part of life at Pluckley Church of England Primary School .They are an integral and long standing element to our approach to teaching and learning and the wider school community. We actively promote British values in our approach to children, parents, the community and other stakeholders.
As the above statement from David Cameron highlights, the term ‘British values’ can be misleading as these values are also held by many other countries and cultures across the world. The following information highlights just a few of the ways that these values form part of our every day school life.
Being a part of Britain
At Pluckley Church of England Primary School we celebrate the heritage of everyone in our community. We also recognise that we are virtually a single ethnic community and so we strive to ensure that our children understand the diverse nature of Britain today. Alongside this, we value and celebrate being part of Britain. In general terms, this means that we celebrate traditions and customs throughout the year such as Harvest festival and Remembrance Day during the Autumn term, the Nativity at Christmas.
Furthermore, children learn about being part of Britain from different specific perspectives. We link our geographic and historical past to British Values as this helps our children to understand how British values are entrenched in the social fabric of our country.
Every member of the school community; children, parents and staff have many opportunities for their voices to be heard.
An obvious example are our Student Governors. The election of the Student Governing Body members reflects our British electoral system and demonstrates democracy in action. All year groups are represented on the Student Governing Body and they meet regularly to discuss issues raised by the different classes. Children also vote for the prestigious posts of 'Prefects' and 'Chair of the Student Governing Body'
Other examples of ‘pupil voice’ are:
- Children agree to uphold and respect the school rules and are actively encouraged to discuss what these mean and the importance of them.
- Children have the opportunity to nominate and vote for others to receive a certificate for great learning or choices
- Children's comments on their own work, children are asked to respond and reflect on their own learning as part of the marking process.
Pupils are listened to by adults and are taught to listen carefully and with concern to each other, respecting the right of every individual to have their opinions and voices heard. We encourage pupils to take ownership of not only their school but also of their own learning and progress. This encourages a heightened sense of both personal and social responsibility and is demonstrated on a daily basis by our pupils.
Rules and Laws
The importance of rules and laws, whether they be those that govern our school or our country, are referred to and reinforced often, such as in assemblies and when reflecting on behaviour choices. All staff encourage the children to understand that although they have rights, they also have responsibilities. For example, they have a right to be safe but they have a responsibility to ensure that they keep others safe.
Our School Rights and Responsibilities
In order to reflect our values and meet the aims for behaviour, we believe that pupils, staff, Governors, parents and carers all have rights. These rights determine our individual responsibilities
We have agreed on the following;
- It is my right to have good teaching. It is my responsibility to always try my best
- It is my right to have stimulating lessons. It is my responsibility to listen carefully to instructions and follow them
- It is my right to be treated fairly. It is my responsibility to be polite, helpful and considerate to others
- It is my right to express my opinions and beliefs. It is my responsibility to respect the opinions and beliefs of others
- It is my right to be able to move safely. It is my responsibility to move quietly and gently. In school, I will keep to the left.
- It is my right to be safe from harm at school. It is my responsibility to keep my hands and feet to myself
- It is my right to expect my belongings to be safe. It is my responsibility to respect the property of others
- It is my right not to hear bad language. It is my responsibility not to use offensive language
Pupils are taught to value and understand the reasons behind the laws; that these rules are necessary in order to create a safe, stimulating learning environment. Children are taught that each individual has a responsibility to uphold these rules in order to create a harmonious place to learn and that those who do not uphold the rules are subject to negative consequences, in the same way they would be in the wider community. We also reinforce these rules in a positive way through mature discussion and positive rewards.
These values are reinforced in different ways:
- visits from authorities such as the police and fire service
- during Religious Education, when rules for particular faiths are considered
- during other school subjects, where there is respect and appreciation for different rules - in a sports lesson for example
We aim to provide children with an understanding of the importance of the Rule of Law that will aid them in their life outside of school and in their future adult life.
We promote children’s freedom of choice and their right to hold and express views and beliefs in a respectful and considered way. Through the provision of a safe, supportive environment and empowered education, we have boundaries in place that allow children to make choices safely. We offer a range of clubs which pupils have the freedom to choose from, based on their interests. At Pluckley Church of England Primary School, we believe that valuing choice and freedom in daily school life will foster a value for individual liberty as the children embark upon their adult lives.
Mutual respect and tolerance of those with different faiths and beliefs
Mutual respect and community spirit is at the heart of our school Christian ethos.
"Pluckley Church of England Primary School provides a safe, caring environment where collaborative work makes learning fun. We support each other to achieve, through creative and inspiring learning opportunities, with a focus on memorable experiences both in and out of school. This is enhanced by high quality out of school activities allowing us all to make a positive contribution. Our school promotes health, happiness and excellence for all, thus enhancing the learning community and contributing towards social wellbeing and an improved economic status.”
At Pluckley Church of England Primary School we offer a culturally rich and diverse curriculum in which all major religions are studied and respected. We strongly believe that tolerance is gained through knowledge and understanding. Through our curriculum and the routines of our daily school life, we strive to demonstrate tolerance and help children to become knowledgeable and understanding citizens who can build a better Britain for the future.