At Southglade Primary and Nursery School we take very seriously our responsibility to prepare children for life in modern Britain. We ensure that 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 and in particular, our PSHE skills ladder which includes Citizenship, elements of Spiritual Moral, Social and Cultural lessons and Religious Education. The Early Years Curriculum includes Personal, Social and Emotional Development and Understanding the World which help children to respect and value all people and provide opportunities to deepen and develop understanding.
Children at Southglade embrace these concepts with enthusiasm and demonstrate a good understanding of how to apply to their own lives.
Our school makes considerable efforts to ensure children have exposure to a wide experience beyond their local community during which these concepts are shown. Sporting events, a range of trips and visitors and use of outdoor education are planned to ensure children’s experiences are broad, meaningful and varied. Their strong rooted ‘values-based’ understanding gives them an excellent platform for embracing difference.
Our recent Ofsted report (October 2016) states that,
‘Leaders ensure that activities to promote the pupils’ spiritual, moral, social and cultural development and their understanding of fundamental British values are planned well and of high quality. For example, a recent visit to school by two members of staff from the Houses of Parliament was used as a starting point for the school’s own process for selecting a school council.’
What are British Values?
The Government emphasises that schools are required to ensure that key ‘British Values’ are taught in all UK schools. The government set out its definition of British values in the ‘Prevent Strategy’ values of:
- The rule of law
- Individual liberty
- Mutual respect
- Tolerance of those of different faiths and beliefs
Democracy is an integral part of school life. Pupils have the opportunity to have their voices heard through our School Council and by approaching our Well- being team. The yearly elections of School Councillors are based solely on pupil votes and put student voice at the heart of learning and school life. We strongly believe that an effective school council helps children and young people to have a greater say and understanding over matters that affect their school and wider lives. The school council meets fortnightly and a range of topics are discussed. The councillors then relay the key information to their class groups. The council has its own budget and is genuinely able to effect change within the school.
Our school councillors (elected September 2016) had the opportunity to go to London and visit the Houses of Parliament to learn about democracy and their role as school councillors.
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 our school day in Southglade. 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. Our School Code of Conduct based on RESPECT is displayed in each classroom and staff and pupils agree to follow and carry out our whole school ethos.
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 young pupils to make choices safely, through the provision of a safe environment and empowering education. Pupils are encouraged to know, understand and exercise their rights and personal freedoms and are taught how to exercise these safely, for example through our E-Safety and PSHE lessons. Whether it be through choice of challenge, of how they record, their participation in our numerous extra-curricular clubs and opportunities, pupils are given the freedom to make their own choices.
Part of our school ethos and behaviour policy has revolved around core values such as ‘Respect.’ Ofsted (October 2016) stated that, ‘The pupils understand what is expected of them and pupils of all ages talk confidently about the RESPECT code of conduct in school. Even the youngest pupils were able to explain what this means. They are also very clear about the importance of being kind and, in the words of one pupil, ‘If you mock someone, it stays with them forever, like creases on a piece of paper.’
Pupils are a part of discussions, themed assemblies and collective worship related to what this means and how it is shown. Posters around the school promote respect for others and this is reiterated through our classroom rules, as well as our behaviour policy. The concept of ‘fair play’, being magnanimous in defeat and participation in activities that promote kinship and affiliation with others are actively promoted in school.
Tolerance of those of Different Faiths and Beliefs:
Southglade Primary and Nursey school is situated in an area which is not culturally diverse. Therefore, we place a great emphasis on promoting diversity with the children. Assemblies are regularly planned to address this issue either directly or through the inclusion of stories and celebrations from a variety of faiths and cultures. Our PSHE skills ladder and Religious Education teaching also reinforces this ethos.
British History within the Curriculum
At Southglade, our book based curriculum offers a range of curriculum topics which have strong links to Britain both past and present. As a school, we encourage knowledge of current affairs that are significant to us as a nation.
Across all years, there is a strong focus on the work of famous British figures both past and present; these include Florence Nightingale, Winston Churchill and Queen Victoria. The children really enjoy learning about people from the past and in particular those who have had an impact on the modern world who were from our local community. These include Jesse Boot who transformed Boots into the “chemist for the nation” and Brian Clough in the sporting world.
The Senior Leadership Team will focus on a range of British values and PSHE themes in weekly assemblies. Themes include The Royal Family, British traditions, democracy and the law, raising aspirations, overcoming challenges and accepting responsibilities.
A Carter- PSHE/SMSC Coordinator
Review October 2018