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 this year (2014).
At Parkgate these values are reinforced regularly and in the following ways:
Each year the children work together on their class charter and the rights associated with these. All the children contribute to the drawing up of the charter.
We have a student council which meets every month with our PSHE lead teacher to discuss issues raised in class council meetings. The council is able to effect change within the school. Every child on the council is voted in by their class. Older pupils are encouraged to canvass their fellow pupils for their votes by delivering a short speech on how they will try to make a difference if they are elected. The voting process is supported each year with a presentation that sets the context for School Councils in the context of wider British Democracy.
The Rule of Law
Pupils are taught from an early age the three Rights at Parkgate. Pupils are taught the value and reasons behind these rights, that they govern and protect us, the responsibilities that this involves and the consequences when laws are broken. Parkgate encourages a restorative approach to behaviours. Teaching and support staff have been trained to support children in thinking about the consequences of their behaviour. An important element of this work has been to ensure that all children who are affected by their peers’ behaviour, are supported in ensuring they have a sense of justice and closure. Visits from authorities such as the Police and Fire Service help reinforce the message of the importance of making the right choices both at school and in the wider community.
At Parkgate, we provide opportunities for young pupils to make informed choices in a safe environment. In PSHE lessons pupils are encouraged to explore the relationship between rights and responsibilities. This process supports them in remembering that choices and actions have consequences. The protective behaviours curriculum, delivered across both phases, provides pupils with the tools to keep themselves safe and encourages them to identify a network of adults to support them in managing risk.
Mutual respect is at the heart of our values at Parkgate, and we actively promote an atmosphere of mutual respect in all areas of the school. One of our Rights reads: We have the right to be respected. The meaning of this is discussed during the drafting of class charters every September. Children are supported in understanding that their behaviours have an effect on their own rights and those of others.
Tolerance of Different Faiths and Beliefs
Parkgate is a school which serves one of the most culturally diverse areas of the City. We actively celebrate diversity through our recognition of different faith festivals throughout the year and strive to ensure that our pupils, staff and parents not only feel valued, but feel they can make a positive contribution to the life of the school. Religious Education and PSHE lessons reinforce messages of acceptance and respect for others. Members of different faiths and religions are encouraged to share their experiences and knowledge to enhance learning within classes and the school. We also strongly believe that diversity should and can be celebrated in all aspects of school life: from other areas of the curriculum to performance assemblies.