Promoting British Values at The Birches Specialist Support 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 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 The Birches Specialist Support Primary 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 where appropriate 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. 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. Our school has a set of rules, including that of Moby Monster with his good sitting and listening, which are deeply embedded in our work every day. Where appropriate classes will discuss and set their own class rules on top of the rules that underpin the school. 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 P.S.H.E. lessons and how pupils make choices using visual systems.
Respect is one of the values of our school. Self evaluation and reflection is encouraged and this teaches pupils to respect one another and celebrate all their differences. This is modelled by the staff throughout the school day. 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 value of respect at The Birches Specialist Support School underpins our work every day both in and out of the classroom.
Tolerance of Those With Different Faiths And Beliefs
Our core value of Respect ensures tolerance of those who have different faiths and beliefs. The Birches Specialist Support School enhances pupils understanding of different faiths and beliefs through religious education studies; P.S.H.E. work welcoming visitors from other schools that are not predominately white British and enjoying a depth of study during “ Super Learning “ weeks. Beliefs, traditions and customs will be studied in depth, with visitors being invited in to our school to enrich and extend understanding. Celebration assemblies acknowledge a breadth of festivals and events covering many different faiths and beliefs. Through this our pupils gain an enhanced understanding of their place in a culturally diverse society.