School was used as a polling station for the General Election. We decided to mirror this by holding our own school election. Year 6 briefed all the children in school about the manifestos of the five main political parties before having the opportunity to vote. The children enjoyed the experience of voting and it gave them an insight into how important democracy is.
At Thorney Close Primary School we take very seriously our responsibility to prepare children for life in ‘Modern Britain’. We ensure 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. Children are enthusiastic to demonstrate a good understanding of how these values apply to their own lives. Thorney Close Primary School is committed to serving its community. We recognise the multicultural, multi faith and ever changing nature of the United Kingdom. We also understand the vital role the school has for ensuing our children are not subjected to intimidating or racialization by others wishing to unduly or illegally influence them. Our equal opportunities guidance suggests there will be no discrimination of any individual or group regardless of their faith, ethnicity, gender, sexuality, political or financial status or similar.
The Government emphasises that schools are required to ensure that key ‘British Values’ are taught in all UK schools. The Department for Education state that there is a 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 were reiterated by the Prime Minister in 2014.
The British Values are:
Rule of Law
Tolerance of those of different faiths & beliefs
Our children have the opportunity to have their voice heard through our School Council. Elections are undertaken and children vote for their peers. Each year children elect a Head Boy and Head Girl.
The Rule of Law
The importance of laws and rules whether they are those that govern the class, the school or the country are consistently reinforced throughout the school day. Our Behaviour Policy clearly outlines our behavioural expectations and children are well aware of the consequences for their actions. Children are taught the value and reasons for the laws, that they protect us and the responsibilities that are involved, as well as what the consequences are when laws are broken. Visits from authorities such as the police, fire service, church and other organisations support and reinforce these messages for our children.
Within school, children are actively encouraged to make choices, knowing that they are in a safe and supportive environment. As a school we educate and set boundaries for our children to make choices safely for them to know and understand their rights and personal freedoms and how these can be fulfilled safely within our school environment.
Our children are regularly allowed to make their own choices by attending clubs, selecting meals, selecting aspects of their learning and by becoming increasingly independent.
Respect is one of the core values that underpins our school. Our children know and understand that it is expected and imperative that respect is shown to everyone, whatever difference we may have. Respect is in evidence in all we do and children and adults, including visitors are treated with the utmost respect. We are polite and courteous in how we behave towards others.
Tolerance of those with different faiths and beliefs
Our children are encouraged to understand that other people having different faiths or beliefs should be accepted and tolerated and should not be the cause of prejudice or discriminatory behaviour. At Thorney Close Primary School our children learn to understand their place in a culturally diverse society. Our RE and PSHCE curriculum, assemblies, visits and visitors to the school contribute to the children’s knowledge and understanding and the right for each person to be respected and regarded equally irrespective of gender, ability, faith, race or heritage.
Please click on the document below to read further information by the DFE on Promoting Fundamental British Values as part of SMSC in Schools.