Promoting British Values at Whitfield Primary Academy
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 this year. At Whitfield Primary Academy these values are reinforced regularly and in the following ways:
The class council meets weekly to discuss ideas and issues on a given agenda. The representatives meet at least once a month to discuss the class council outcomes. These are usually forwarded to the Deputy Head or the Head teacher. As a result of school council meetings, equipment has been purchased; e.g. an outdoor clock and playground equipment. Children have also had a say in colour paint schemes across the school and more recently helped to influence the decision about the new school uniform. The children have been involved in giving their thoughts to the learning environment via a Junior Leadership Team and how it could be improved upon. This is recorded and fed back to the Senior Leadership Team. Each year the council is invited to take part in The Local Democracy (Mandate for change) at the local town Hall, where they discuss with other local schools, what works for young people in the local area and what could be improved. These ideas are forwarded directly to Stoke on Trent council.
In addition to this, children complete an annual questionnaire where they are able to put forward their views about the school.
The Rule of Law
The importance of laws, whether they are those that govern the class, the school, or the country, is consistently reinforced at Whitfield Primary Academy. Pupils are taught from an early age the rules of the academy. These are our Golden Rules and Safety Rules. Pupils are taught the value and reasons behind rules and 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. ‘Rules’, ‘Right are Wrong’ and ‘Laws’ are taught and embedded as part of the academy’s PSHCE scheme of work which is delivered throughout the whole academy.
At Whitfield Primary Academy, pupils are actively encouraged to make choices, knowing that they are in a safe and supportive environment. As an academy we educate and provide boundaries for young pupils to make informed choices, through a safe environment and an empowering education. Pupils are given the freedom to make choices, for example, whether it is through choice of challenge, or simply by choosing to participate in our numerous extra-curricular clubs and opportunities. Our challenge homework projects allow children to partake in activities that interest them and present them in interesting ways.
Part of our academy ethos and behaviour policy has revolved around Core Values such as 'Respect', and pupils have been part of discussions and assemblies related to what this means and how it is shown. The school ethos and aims promote respect for others and this is reiterated through our classroom and Golden Rules, as well as our behaviour policy. Bullying has been an area whereby the academy has placed a strong focus and provided children with a variety of assemblies and workshops to help them to reflect upon and understand the impact of bullying others.
Tolerance of those of Different Faiths and Beliefs
Whitfield is a diverse academy. We actively promote diversity through our celebrations of different faiths and cultures each half term. Religious Education lessons and PSHE lessons reinforce messages of tolerance and respect for others. Members of different faiths and religions are encouraged to share their knowledge to enhance learning within classes and the school. The children visit places of worship that are important to different faiths. SMSC representatives are chosen from year 3 to year 6 to meet and suggest themes and activities for specific cultural focus days. Each class has a weekly timetabled opportunity to discuss all aspects of SMSC and to explore areas of interest and current affairs. Key stage 2 complete a weekly interactive quiz relating to ‘this week’s news’ which promotes key discussions about present day issues.