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 in 2014. At Bruce Grove these values are reinforced regularly and in the following ways:
Democracy has always been part of school life. Pupils have the opportunity to have their voices heard through our School Council and pupil questionnaires. The elections of House Captains, School Council Reps as well as the winner of the class Benchmark Award each term are based solely on pupil votes. At the start of each year, pupils devise their class rules. Pupils also vote on the type of class rewards they may receive.
The Rule of Law
The importance of Laws, whether they are 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. This concept is also reinforced by visits from authorities such as the police and fire service.
Alongside rules and laws, we promote freedom of choice and the right to respectfully express views and beliefs. Through the provision of a safe, supportive environment and empowering education, we provide boundaries for our young pupils to make choices safely; for example:
• choices about what learning challenge or activity
• choices about how they record their learning
• choices around the participation in extra-curricular activities
Our pupils are encouraged to know, understand and exercise their rights and personal freedoms and are taught how to exercise these safely, such as in e-safety and PSHCE lessons.
The Bruce Grove Benchmarks form part of our school ethos and behaviour policy in particular being ‘Respectful and Honest’. Pupils are part of discussions and assemblies related to what this means and how it is shown. Respect for others is reiterated through our classroom and learning rules, as well as within our behaviour policy.
Tolerance of those of Different Faiths and Beliefs
Bruce Grove Primary is a culturally diverse school and we are proud to celebrate and promote our different backgrounds and beliefs. Our school motto is ‘Unity is Strength’. The ability to respect themselves, their peers and develop as good citizens is at the core of our aims and values. At Bruce Grove children learn and reflect that their behaviour choices have an effect on their own rights and those of others. All members of the school community should treat each other with respect. Assemblies and learning in RE and the Humanities explore the themes of tolerance and respect. Throughout the academic year visits to places of worship of the major denominations serve to promote understanding and mutual respect of those of different faiths and beliefs.