At Bildeston Primary School British values are promoted through everything we do, especially during our school assemblies, Religious Education and Spiritual, Moral, Social and Cultural [SMSC] sessions. The values are integral to our ethos and evidence of this can be seen throughout our school.
As well as actively promoting British values, the opposite also applies: we would actively challenge pupils, staff or parents expressing opinions contrary to fundamental British values, including ‘extremist’ views. (In line with our ‘Equality’ and ‘Anti Radicalisation’ Policies).
These values are integral to so many countries throughout the world – they differ in no way from the values of most western European countries.
Being part of Britain
We value and celebrate the diverse heritage of everybody attending Bildeston Primary School. Alongside this, we value and celebrate being part of Britain. In general terms, this means that we celebrate traditions, such as customs in the course of the year; for example, Harvest festival during the autumn term, and a very British trip to a pantomime around Christmas time! We also value and celebrate national events as they occur, for example the First World War Commemoration.
Furthermore, children learn about being part of Britain from different specific perspectives. Two specific examples of when we teach about being part of Britain are:
Geographically: we ensure that children have a better understanding of what Britain is, learning more about:
its capital cities and counties, its rivers and mountains
how ‘Great Britain’ differs from ‘England’ and ‘the United Kingdom’
where Britain is in relation to the rest of Europe and other countries in the world
Historically: children learn about inventions and discoveries, different houses and shelters, famous historical people.
Children, parents and staff have many opportunities for their voices to be heard at Bildeston Primary. Democracy is central to how we operate and we ensure that pupils are aware of key moments in our democratic process such as voting in the EU Referendum or general elections, through a school version.
Our School Council
The election of the School Council members reflects our British electoral system and demonstrates democracy in action: candidates make speeches, pupils consider characteristics important for an elected representative, pupils vote in private. Made up of different representatives from each year group, the School Council meet regularly to discuss issues raised by the different classes. The council has its own budget and is able to genuinely effect change within the school. Minutes from the pupils meetings are recorded by the elected secretary.
Pupils have a voice in our school:
they agree their rules within the classroom;
pupils are invited to give feedback on various subjects as well as whole school areas using pupil questionnaires
Pupils are able to give feedback to governors through regular pupil perception interviews.
Pupils are always listened to by adults and are taught to listen carefully and with concern to each other. We respect the right of every individual to have their opinions and voices heard. We encourage pupils to take ownership of not only their school but also of their own learning and progress. This encourages a heightened sense of personal and social responsibility and is demonstrated on a daily basis by our pupils and often acknowledged by visitors to our school.
Rules and laws
At Bildeston Primary School we follow “Golden Rules” which relate to good behaviour and relate to our national laws.
Golden Rules are:
We are gentle
We are kind and helpful
We are honest
We work hard
We look after property
The importance of rules and laws, whether they be those that govern our school or our country, are referred to and reinforced often, such as in assemblies and when reflecting on behaviour choices.
At the start of the school year, each class discusses and sets its rules, a set of principles that are clearly understood by all and seen to be necessary to ensure that every class member is able to learn in a safe and ordered environment.
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. These values are reinforced in different ways:
visits from authorities such as the police
during Religious Education, when rules for particular faiths are considered
during other school subjects, where there is respect and appreciation for different rules – for example (in a sports lesson)
Alongside rules and laws, we promote freedom of choice and the right to respectfully express views and beliefs. Through the provision of a safe, supportive environment and empowering education, we provide boundaries for our young pupils to make choices safely; for example:
choices around the participation in extra-curricular activities
choices about changes to be made within school
Our pupils are encouraged to know, understand and exercise their rights and personal freedoms and are taught how to exercise these safely, such as in our e-safety lessons.
Mutual respect and tolerance of those with different faiths and beliefs
Our pupils understand that it is imperative that respect is shown to everyone, whatever differences we may have, and to everything, whether it is a school resource, a religious belief or artefact. Children learn that their behaviour choices have an effect on their own rights and those of others. All members of the school community treat each other with respect.
Specific examples of how we at Bildeston Primary enhance pupils understanding and respect for different faiths and beliefs through the curriculum are:
within Religious Education, and other lessons where we might develop awareness and appreciation of other cultures; – in English through a range of fiction and in Art by considering culture from other parts of the world.
enjoying a depth of study, where sometimes we will celebrate and enjoy learning about the differences in countries and cultures around the word