British Values at Hatch Warren Junior School
Since September 2014 schools have been required to actively promote fundamental British values to meet the new Spiritual, Moral, Social and Cultural (SMSC) education standard.
What are British values?
The document “Promoting fundamental British values as part of SMSC in schools” says “Schools should 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”.
It is this list of values that are used below as a basis for this statement.
Promoting British values at Hatch Warren Junior School
At Hatch Warren Junior School, the importance of Social, Moral, Spiritual and Cultural education in developing well-rounded citizens who contribute to society and improve their communities has always been recognised and promoted. British fundamental values have always been at the heart of what we do, although in the past they may not have been explicitly labelled as such. When the term ‘British’ values is used it is important to underline that this embraces the fact that we are a nation with a proud history of people of many different ethnic backgrounds, religious beliefs and secular values all living together in a plural society. Our school models this wider picture of inclusivity, freedom and equality, so our underpinning values are British to the core.
How do we promote these values?
The ways in which we achieve the requirement to promote British values are many. Some of them are explored below.
In school we listen to the opinions and beliefs of both children and parents. Children, in particular, are encouraged to express their opinions in class discussions and invited to impact on the development of their school through the school council. The school council is elected on an annual basis with a secret ballot across the school and each class is represented by two members. The council meets regularly to consider how they want their school to develop and have been instrumental in bringing about positive changes and developments within school, including choosing which charities they wish to support on a annual basis. Class rules are also established through discussions in class and used through circle times that take place regularly in school. Other key roles in school are also elected including the position of house captains. We celebrate the process of democracy as often as possible and have invited our local MP into school on several occasions for special events. Children are also encouraged to develop their understanding of democracy through in class discussions linked to topic areas such as the Ancient Greeks and through television reports such as 'Newsround' which is watched in class PSHE lessons when particular issues arise.
The Rule of Law
We have high expectations of our children and these are consistently re-enforced by all staff across the school who follow the school behaviour system. The children are taught the value and reasons behind the expectations that we have and that the rules that we adopt in school are in place to protect everyone and allow all to flourish within school. Children are asked to consider the difference between what is right and what is wrong through Assemblies, RE sessions and PSHE lessons and are supported in making good choices by the school rules which are regularly revisited in assemblies. We welcome visitors into school to re-enforce these messages including PCSOs and the fire brigade. Through specific units of work children are also taught about rules and laws that they need to abide by including laws relating to drugs and alcohol and the safe use of the internet. The children are encouraged to make the correct decisions when it comes to following school rules through positive reinforcement through the use of house points and numerous other rewards. Children also have the opportunity to consider how the UNICEF children's charter helps to provide them with rights through PSHE work covered across the school.
Children are encouraged to make choices about what they do in school, knowing that they are making these choices in a safe and supportive environment. We encourage them to develop a positive growth mindset throughout their time in school and for them not to put limits on themselves or their learning, through active teaching empowering children to make decisions about their learning and outcomes. Children are also encouraged to pursue their own interests, for example in terms of the clubs that they will chose to attend after school. Individuality is also celebrated through activities such as 'In The Spotlight' where children are given the opportunity to share their interests and hopes. The whole process is also supported by PSHE lessons and daily assemblies.
At Hatch Warren Junior School we recognise that everyone is important and special and needs to be treated as such. Our school rules, behaviour policy, the modelling of staff and pupils in important roles in school as well as specific teaching through PSHE, circle times and assemblies actively promote this value.
Tolerance of those of different faiths and beliefs
Our school, like our country, has a richness that is due to the diversity of those who live here, and we value, embrace, and respect those from different backgrounds, cultures and beliefs. We aim to enhance children’s understanding of different faiths and beliefs by participating in a range of celebrations throughout the year. We follow the Hampshire curriculum 'Living Difference' which provides children with an insight into different religions and we actively encourage children from different backgrounds to share their cultural and religious experiences in class and in assemblies.