Promoting British Values at Summerswood Primary School
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 and those without faith."
The Government set out its definition of British values in the 2011 Prevent Strategy, and these values have been reiterated this year (2014). At Summerswood Primary these values are reinforced regularly and in the following ways:
At Summerswood Primary School, we have a democratically elected School Parliament who represent the views of all the children in school and take on board their ideas to help improve our school. Summerswood School Parliament consists of Key Stage 1 and Key Stage 2 representatives from each class, who have been voted for by their peers.
Summerswood School Parliament debate whole school issues that are brought to their attention by their peers or the staff. These may be things the school community would like to change or achieve. During the last academic year, the School Parliament debated homework, reading, behaviour and many more important issues.
Our members of parliament are encouraged to understand the decision-making processes involved with the successful running of our primary school. Keeping everyone happy is not an easy task, nor is seeing things from another person’s viewpoint. The members of parliament will be encouraged to think of the rules and protocols they can follow to maintain a democracy and make sound judgements.
Summerswood Parliament has a speaker who will bring the parliament and its members to order. The Speaker and Mrs Folkes-Jones (who will have met before the meeting) put forward points for debate to the pupils.
The speaker outlines the agenda for the parliament.
Members outline opinions gathered from their class discussions, setting out their view in clear, simple and direct terms. The Speaker will then ask the other members of parliament for their opinions about the matter that has been proposed.
Parliamentarians will discuss each topic in turn with the Speaker overseeing taking turns, maturational levels, and non-personal debate.
After the debate, in whichever form it takes, the Speaker will ‘Put the Question’ to the members of the parliament. The question being whether they agree to or disagree with the proposed motion.
"For"and "Against" will be displayed for each topic discussed and the members of parliament will vote by: voting with their feet, holding for/against cards up.
The Speaker will declare the result.
This process will be repeated for each motion.
The results and agreed actions are reported back to the classes, staff and headteacher by the elected members of Parliament via minutes sent out by Mrs Folkes-Jones.
Parliament meets on a Thursday on alternate weeks.
Week 1 - a Parliamentary activity is e-mailed to staff to complete in class on a Thursday at 10:10am (this is class assembly time).
Week 2 - Members of Parliament meet Mrs Folkes-Jones in the dining hall at 10:10am to discuss the feedback from their classes and debate points which have arisen, and will feed into the decision-making process for school. Whilst parliament is meeting, classes will complete any follow-up Parliament activities and PSHE.
The Rule of Law
The importance of laws, whether they are those that govern the class, the school, or the country, is consistently reinforced at Summerswood Primary School. Pupils are taught from an early age the rules of the school. These are our rules on our Pathway to Success. Pupils are taught the value and reasons behind rules and laws, that they govern and protect us, the responsibilities that this involves and the consequences when laws are broken. Each year the children decide upon their class rules and all the children contribute to the drawing up of the class rules.
Visits from authorities, such as the Police and Fire Service, help reinforce this message. Expectations are reinforced regularly and opportunities are sought frequently to praise positive choices. Pupils modelling behaviour consistent with the school’s high expectation are regularly recognised and used as role models for others. Opportunities are provided regularly for children and staff to participate or spectate in sporting activities which represent good examples of fairness, rules and etiquette in sport.
We also make use of key events in the local area, like Fireworks Night, the Town Carnival, etc., to reinforce rules and guidelines that help keep oneself and others safe. It helps to reinforce the expectations and benefits of contributing positively to the local community.
At Summerswood Primary 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 informed choices, through a safe environment and an empowering education. Pupils are given the freedom to make choices and become critical thinkers through evaluating, reflecting and collecting valid and reliable evidence to make good decisions, for example: whether it is through choice of challenge and how they record their learning using key skills to present information and communicate ideas. We encourage children to pursue their interests and talents through engagement with a wide variety of extra-curricular activities. We also talk to children about the concept of human rights in assemblies, PSHCE lessons, and we teach them the importance of liberty and the effects of loss of liberty.
Safeguarding our pupils is paramount and PSHCE/e-Safety lessons aim to equip pupils with the skills to make safe choices.
Part of our school ethos and behaviour policy has revolved around the value of ‘RESPECT’ and pupils have been part of discussions and assemblies related to what this means and how it is shown. Our school reward system is centred on our four school houses which involves all children from Years 1 to Year 6. The school ethos and aims promote respect for others, and this is reiterated through our classroom and Pathway to Success rules, as well as our behaviour policy. High levels of mutual respect are obvious in the school and are demonstrated daily in the excellent relationships between staff and pupils.
Tolerance of those of Different Faiths and Beliefs
Summerswood Primary School is a diverse school. We actively promote diversity through our celebrations of different faiths and cultures. Religious Education lessons and PSHCE lessons reinforce messages of tolerance and respect for others. Members of different faiths and religions are encouraged to share their knowledge to enhance learning within classes and the school. The children visit places of worship that are important to different faiths. Members of different faiths and religions within our school family are encouraged to share their knowledge to enhance learning. We also welcome theatre groups who promote messages of equality and underline spiritual, moral, social and cultural values of groups of people around the world and within Britain. Resources in classrooms are regularly audited to ensure they reflect our multi-cultural society and stereotypes are challenged.
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