The Department for Education (DfE) have 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 were reiterated to schools during 2014. At Sholing Junior School these values are reinforced regularly and in the following ways:
Each year the classes decide upon their class rules and all the children contribute to the drawing up of these rules. Children have many opportunities for their voices to be heard. We have a School Council which meets to discuss issues raised in class council meetings. The Council has the ability to genuinely effect change within the school. Its members for each year group are voted in by their class. We also have house teams and the children in each team vote for their house captains. Children have an annual questionnaire with which they are able to put forward their views about the school.
Some of our pupils visit the Houses of Parliament to meet Royston Smith MP and our Head Boy and Head Girl are invited to attend Prime Minister's questions. The school building is regularly used for local elections and the children discuss some of the issues relating to democracy in class and assembly. We have a good relationship with Southampton City Council and the Mayor and councillors visit the school.
The Rule of Law
The importance of Laws, whether they be those that govern the class, the school, or the country, are consistently reinforced every day, as well as when dealing with behaviour and through school assemblies and worship. 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. Visits from authorities such as the Police, Fire Service and City Council Members help reinforce this message.
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 provision of a safe environment and empowering education.
Pupils are encouraged to know, understand and exercise their rights and personal freedoms and advised how to exercise these safely, for example through our E-Safety and PSHE sessions. Whether it is through choice of learning challenge, of how they record or participation in our numerous extra-curricular clubs and opportunities, pupils are given the freedom to make choices.
Mutual respect is at the heart of our values. Children learn that their behaviours have an effect on their own rights and those of others. All members of the school community treat each other with respect.
Tolerance of those of Different Faiths and Beliefs
Sholing Junior School is situated in an area which has cultural diversity, therefore we place a great emphasis on promoting the importance of tolerance with the children. Assemblies are planned to address this issue either directly or through the inclusion of stories and celebrations from a variety of faiths and cultures. Although our Collective Worships are predominantly of a Christian flavour our RE, PSHE and teaching reinforce tolerance of others and explore different faiths, cultures and backgrounds.
Members of different faiths or religions are encouraged to share their knowledge to enhance learning within classes and the school. Children visit places of worship that are important to different faiths as part of their RE work.
At Sholing Junior School we will actively challenge pupils, staff or parents expressing opinions contrary to fundamental British Values, including ‘extremist’ views where appropriate. Almost all of the staff have undertaken PREVENT (The College of Policing Channel General Awareness) training.