Promoting British Values at Hazlemere Church of England Combined School
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 DfE says the understanding and knowledge that pupils will be expected to have include:
- How citizens can influence decision-making through the democratic process
- An appreciation that living under the rule of law protects individual citizens
- An understanding that bodies such as the police and the army can be held to account by the people, through the democratic organs of government
- An understanding that the freedom to hold other faiths and beliefs is protected in law, and an acceptance that other people having different faiths or beliefs to oneself (or having none) should not be the cause of prejudicial or discriminatory behaviour
- An understanding of the problems of identifying and combating discrimination
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. At Hazlemere Church of England Combined School these values are reinforced regularly and in the following ways.
Democracy is embedded at the school. Pupils are always 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. Pupils also have the opportunity to air their opinions and ideas through our School Council, Pupil Voice and regular questionnaires. The elections of the School Council members are based solely on pupil votes, reflecting our British electoral system and demonstrating democracy in action.
The Rule of Law
The importance of laws whether they are those that govern the class, the school or the country, are consistently reinforced. Each class discusses and sets its own rules that are clearly understood by all and seen to be necessary to ensure that every class member is able to learn in a safe and ordered environment. Our 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.
Within school, pupils are actively encouraged to make choices, knowing that they are in a safe and supportive environment. As a school we educate and provide boundaries for our pupils to make choices safely, through the provision of a safe environment and an empowering education. Our pupils are encouraged to know, understand and exercise their rights and personal freedoms and are advised how to exercise these safely; examples of this can be clearly seen in our e-safety and P.S.H.E. lessons. Whether it is through choice of challenge; of how they record; of participation in our numerous extra- curricular activities; our pupils are given the freedom to make choices.
Respect is one of the core values of our school as can be seen through our Christian values and ethos. The school takes opportunities to actively promote British Values through daily collective worship and whole school systems and structures such as electing and running a successful School Council Members. We also actively promote British values through ensuring that our curriculum planning and delivery includes real opportunities for exploring these values. The pupils know and understand that it is expected and imperative that respect is shown to everyone, whatever differences we may have and to everything, however big or small. The core value of Respect at Hazlemere Church Of England Combined School underpins our work every day both in and out of the classroom.
Tolerance of Those With Different Faiths And Beliefs
Our core values
To grow in wisdom and stature and in favour with God and men
Luke 2, v 52
Through this, everyone is encouraged to be the best they can be by
Showing Kindness, Forgiveness, Generosity, Courage, Honesty, Perseverance, Respect & Responsibility. This ensures tolerance of those who have different faiths and beliefs. Hazlemere Church of England Combined School enhances pupils understanding of different faiths and beliefs through religious education studies; P.S.H.E. work; participating in celebrations such as Diwali; welcoming visitors from other schools that are not predominately white British and enjoying a depth of study.
Beliefs, traditions and customs in the United Kingdom and around the World will be studied, with visitors being invited in to our school to enrich and extend understanding. Through this our pupils gain an enhanced understanding of their place in a culturally diverse society.
At Hazlemere Church of England Combined School, we develop and promote British Values throughout our school and within our curriculum as supported by our school ethos and Christian distinctiveness.
“We want every school to promote the basic British Values of democracy, the rule of law, individual liberty, and mutual respect and tolerance for those of different faiths and beliefs.” Lord Nash
A key part of our plan for education is to ensure children become valuable and fully rounded members of society who treat others with respect and leave school fully prepared for life in modern Britain.
- The Rule of Law
- Individual Liberty
- Mutual Respect
- Tolerance for those of different faiths and beliefs
To do this our children will develop;
- An understanding of how citizens can influence decision-making through the democratic process
- An understanding that the freedom to hold other faiths and beliefs is protected in law
- An acceptance that people having different faiths and beliefs to oneself (or having none) should be accepted and tolerated, and should not be the cause of discriminatory behaviour
- An understanding of the importance or identifying and combating discrimination our ethos and aims of the school clearly reflect these values, and the whole school strives to uphold them.
Our school is committed to providing a safe, secure and stimulating environment. We value and promote shared personal achievement, high standards and respect for the individual. We believe that by working together we build understanding of one another and develop the self-esteem of every individual.
This mission statement, school ethos and Christian distinctiveness represents the principles that we strive towards at Hazlemere Church of England Combined School.
Our School Aims
‘To grow in wisdom and stature and in favour with God and Men’
Our aims stand upon three fundamental principles;
- To provide every child with the life skills to become successful learners who reach their full potential.
- To provide a safe, supportive, stimulating and inclusive environment where every child is recognised, cared for, encouraged and valued.
- We will actively ensure the involvement of the whole community, particularly families, who have a vital role in supporting their children’s education. This partnership will encourage healthy and positive attitudes motivating children to become life-long learners.
As a school, we value and celebrate the diverse heritages of everybody at Hazlemere CofE. Alongside this, we value and celebrate being part of Britain. In general terms, this means that we celebrate traditions and customs in the course of the year; for example, Harvest Festival during the Autumn term and trips to the pantomime in at Christmas. We also value and celebrate national focusses, recent examples being; Macmillan Coffee Morning, Roald Dahl Day, Chinese New Year and Safer Internet Day, with many more opportunities planned in throughout the year to collaborate with the wider community and world e.g. Children In Need
Further to this, children learn about being part of Britain from different perspectives. Two specific examples of when we teach about being part of Britain are:
Geographically: Our rivers, coasts and seaside holiday topics ensure that children have a better understanding of what Britain is, learning more about:
•its coasts, rivers and mountains
•where Britain is in relation to the rest of Europe and other countries in the world
Historically: Key moments in British history are studied in the topics such as ‘London’s Burning’ and significant historical figures.
The table below is an indication of where we can find evidence to show that British Values are an intrinsic part of school life at Hazlemere Church of England Combined School.
- Mission Statement
- School Council
Children, parents and staff have many opportunities for their voices to be heard at Hazlemere Church of England Combined School. Democracy is central to how we operate.
An obvious example is our School Council. The election of the School Council members reflects our British electoral system and demonstrates democracy in action: candidates make speeches, pupils consider characteristics important for an elected representative, pupils vote in secret using ballot boxes etc. Made up of one representative from each class, the School Council meets regularly to discuss issues raised by the different classes. The council has its own budget and is able to effect change within the school; in the past, the School Council has hosted fundraising activities and helped to provide equipment for our school grounds as selected by the children. The Council are actively involved in providing teachers with feedback.
Another example of ‘pupil voice’ is:
•children are asked to respond and reflect on the teaching and learning they receive as well as make suggestions for the School Council to consider.
Pupils are always 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 through application of our learning powers.
Parents’ opinions are welcomed through methods such as questionnaires, surveys at parents evenings and opportunities to comment on whole school matters.
The Rule of Law
- Mission Statement/ School aims
- Behaviour Policy
- Display of class rules in each classroom- Good to be Green,
- Playground rules
- Playground buddies
- Curriculum links e.g. Crime and Punishment
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. At the start of the school year, each class discusses the school rules and class routines, principles that are clearly understood by all and seen to be necessary to ensure that every class member is able to learn in a safe and ordered environment, these rules are displayed in each class along with the Code of Conduct of the school. These rules play a fundamental role in our behaviour sanctions and rewards and are linked to our Golden Time throughout school.
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. These values are reinforced in different ways:
- Visits from authorities such as the police and fire service
- Cycling Proficiency lessons enable children to understand the rules of the road and the potential dangers encountered should they break those rules.
- During Religious Education, when rules for particular faiths are thought about
- During other school subjects, where there is respect and appreciation for different rules
- Mission Statement/School aims
- Behaviour policy
- P.S.H.E policy
- Displays of children’s activities
- Children’s key roles and responsibilities
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, we provide boundaries for our pupils to make choices safely; for example:
•choices about how they can improve 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 our PSHE JIGSAW lessons. We use the JIGSAW resource across the whole school which also links to assemblies.
Collective worship is used to both explore and support the school’s values. By teaching the children how to manage and understand emotions they will be motivated and equipped to:
- Be effective and successful learners
- Make and sustain friendships
- Deal with and resolve conflict evenly and fairly
- Solve problems with others by themselves
- Manage strong feelings such as frustration, anger or anxiety
- Be able to promote calm and optimistic states that promote the achievement of goals
- Recover from setbacks and persist in the face of difficulties
- Work and play cooperatively
- Compete fairly and win or lose with dignity and respect for all competitors
- Recognise and stand up for their rights and the rights of others
- Understand the value the differences and commonalities between people, respecting the rights of others to have beliefs and values different to their own.
- To respect and value our world, and the things, both material and alive that exist within it.
Children in year 6 are given key roles and responsibilities such as Playground Buddies, Reading Buddies, Sports ambassadors and Prefects they form the school pupil leadership team.
Through opportunities such as our extra-curricular and Lunch Time clubs, Golden Time and Residential Trips, pupils are given the freedom to make safe choices.
Children are encouraged to make choices knowing they are in a safe and supportive environment.
- Mission Statement/School aims
- Behaviour policy
- P.S.H.E policy
- Roles and Responsibilities
- Display of children’s activities
- Display of positive values around school
We have high expectations of achievement and behaviour. Children and staff are polite and kind. We believe everyone has their own special gifts and we are expected to use them.
We listen and respect each other. We teach the children that conflict will be dealt with calmly and fairly. All members of the school family are valued equally.
We celebrate each other’s achievements whether that be in or out of school through our weekly Awards Assemblies.
Teachers plan exciting, interesting, challenging and innovative lessons where everybody is expected to do their best and respect others.
When our older children are given key roles and responsibilities to work alongside younger children this helps to promote mutual respect across the age phases. E.g. Reading buddies, Lunchtime ‘Runners’ and Playground Buddies
Tolerance for those of different faiths and beliefs
- Mission Statement /school aims
- P.S.H.E policy
- R.E. policy
- Worship records
- Alternative faith work as part of the R.E curriculum coverage
We are proud to promote and celebrate our different backgrounds and beliefs. Tolerance, politeness and mutual respect are at the heart of our aims, ethos and R.E curriculum.
Our central aim drives us towards ensuring that our pupils are able to live and work alongside people from all backgrounds and cultures. This will be particularly necessary in a future where due to technological advances will make the 'world a smaller place.'
Our pupils know and understand that it is expected that respect is shown to everyone and to everything, whatever differences we may have. Children learn that their behaviour choices have an effect on their own rights and those of others. All members of the school community are encouraged to treat each other with respect.
Specific examples of how we enhance pupils’ understanding and respect for different faiths and beliefs are:
•Through Religious Education, PSHE and other lessons where we develop awareness and appreciation of other cultures – in English through fiction and in art and music by considering cultures from other parts of the world.
•Celebrating cultural differences through assemblies, themed weeks, noticeboards and displays.
Children are encouraged to share their own experiences when celebrating their own faith. Daily worship reflects and teaches the children tolerance for different faiths and beliefs.
Activities within school support both children and adults of different or no faith, the children are taught respect and tolerance of these groups and the opinions of the groups are taken into account with all activities.
Whilst instances contrary to our values are relatively rare, each is treated seriously in line with our policies and expectations.