According to Ofsted, ‘fundamental British values’ are:
• The rule of Law
• Individual Liberty
• Mutual respect for and tolerance of those with different faiths and beliefs and for those without faith.
At Holmleigh Primary School, we uphold these core values and along with our own set of values aim to instil these in our children, teachers and the wider community.
At Holmleigh Primary School, our promotion of spiritual, moral, social and cultural understanding is where these values are explicitly taught in a range of ways including through our whole school assemblies, circle time and special days such as international days. Additionally, the values are taught in R.E and interwoven within our broad and balanced curriculum that teaches elements of democracy, civic responsibility, rules and laws, equality, values and virtues, environmental awareness and understanding of other faiths. Values of tolerance and respect permeate all areas of school life at Holmleigh Primary School.
We believe that the active promotion of British Values means that children are enabled to develop a sense of community and begin to develop their understanding of their role and responsibilities within it.
The following are a selection of activities that are evidence of our commitment to British values.
Each year the children decide upon their class charter and the rights associated with these. All the children contribute to the drawing up of the charter.
Children have many opportunities for their voices to be heard. We have an elected school council that meets regularly. The school council discuss ways of improving the school and they make practical suggestions as to how to do so. Two council members for each year group are democratically voted in by their class.
The importance of Laws, whether they be those that govern the class, the school, or the country, are consistently reinforced throughout regular school days, as well as when dealing with behaviour and through school assemblies. 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. Year 6 projects such as Politeach and participation in the Hackney Junior Citizenship Scheme, as well as visits from authorities such as the Police and Fire Service 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 the 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 assemblies and lessons. Whether it be through choice of learning challenge, of how they record, or participation in our extra-curricular clubs and opportunities, pupils are given the freedom to make choices.
Mutual respect is at the heart of our core values. Children at Holmleigh Primary School learn that their behaviours have an effect on their own rights and those of others. The importance of mutual respect is reiterated through our classroom and learning rules, as well as our behaviour policy and assemblies. We actively promote respect for our environment and we have Year six monitors who help the premises manager and adults to look after our playground.
This is achieved through the enhancement of children’s understanding of their place in a culturally diverse society and by giving them opportunities to experience such diversity. Assemblies and discussions involving prejudices and prejudice-based bullying are followed and supported by learning in RE and PSHE.
We use the whole school and/or class assemblies as a chance to introduce the children to a range of different celebrations and religious festivals e.g. Chinese New Year, Christmas, Easter, Diwali, Eid etc. 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. On a more general level, our assemblies/circle times uphold traditional values of empathy, respect and tolerance. These are also taught within formal PSHE and RE lessons and on an informal nature throughout the school days. At Holmleigh Primary School, we will actively challenge pupils, staff or parents expressing opinions contrary to fundamental British Values, including ‘extremist’ views.