What is meant by “British Values”?
British Values are defined by OFSTED as: Acceptance and engagement with the fundamental British values of democracy, the rule of law, individual liberty and mutual respect and tolerance of those with different faiths and beliefs; pupils develop and demonstrate skills and attitudes that will allow them to participate fully in and contribute positively to life in modern Britain.
Although some people may argue that these values are not uniquely “British” there can be no doubt that they are fundamental to life in Britain and as such they are actively promoted by this school in order to prepare young people for life in modern Britain.
At Wool CE VA Primary School, British Values are embedded throughout school life. We have also chosen the Christian values of Love, Faith, Respect, Aspiration and Perseverance as we feel that these both support and strengthen the British Values within an ever changing society. Through active promotion of these values throughout all aspects of our education and wider school life make them key parts of our distinctive character. British values are regularly promoted through high quality teaching and assistance across the curriculum, within our Collective Worship, and by our positive behaviour policy allowing pupils to develop and demonstrate the skills and attributes. Through this we ensure that the initial footsteps are in place for a positive and prosperous life within the ever-changing society of Modern Britain. We reinforce these values the following ways:
‘And they judged the people at all times. Any hard case they brought to Moses, but any small matter they decided themselves. Exodus 18:26’
This value is embedded in School life as the ‘voice’ of each child is highly valued and respected in the wider school environment. As educators we actively listen to all the children but also in still an understanding of respect within the children to also listen to the teacher and fellow pupils. To reinforce the value of Democracy the School council is actively supported by the entire teaching staff giving the children an opportunity to be heard and see a real change within the school environment. Elections to the school council members are completely based on pupil votes also giving the children a chance to experience political life through manifestos, elections and signing an agreement of how they will behave and support all the student body.
Rule of Law:
The overall importance of laws and other rules, regardless of level of influence, is consistently reinforced and encouraged at Wool CE VA Primary School. At the beginning of the school year all classes sit down and discuss the code of conduct for their classrooms to make sure they are relevant and understood by all, however they are also taught that there is a responsibility to each of the rights given by the classroom rules that they must follow. They are taught this so that they can uphold them and understand why there are consequences when the code of conduct is broken.
‘For it is not the hearers of the law who are righteous before God, but the doers of the law who will be justified. Romans 2:13’
Overall to follow and maintain these rules they are taught the importance of right and wrong and how this works within school working with our Christian values but also later along their path into the future.
Respect is one of the key Christian, school and life values that we support and actively encourage with all the children throughout their learning journey. We believe, at Wool CE VA Primary School that Respect is and should be deeply embedded in both learning and behavior of all members of our school society.
By making this a key component throughout the academic and social learning process we believe that children learn that their character is judged on the way they act and treat others and is also linked directly to the Christian ethos of the school.
‘But you shall love your neighbor as yourself: I am the Lord. Leviticus 19:18’
As a result we teach the children that all members of the community must treat each other with respect that they rightfully deserve. We encourage the children to show respect and understanding of other cultures, heritages and points of view, within home, school and the wider world, as well as a key need to care for the outside environment.
Tolerance of those with different Faiths and Beliefs:
Key Christian concepts and values are a key building block of Wool CE VA School and the understanding and celebration of other faiths, cultures, philosophies and beliefs only work to bolster and support tolerance within our school society.
‘With all humility and gentleness, with patience, bearing with one another in love, eager to maintain the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.’ Ephesians 4:2-3
In embedding this tolerance throughout the academic and social education of the children we believe that it promotes diversity and understanding and is a fundamental to this British value and with this encourage love and respect to all who come to Wool CE VA School no matter who they are.
‘Better is a poor man who walks in his integrity than a rich man who is crooked in his ways.
At Wool CE VA Primary School we fully encourage and support the children to make their own choices. We provide a safe and caring environment which allows the children to develop their ability to make choices that benefit themselves and others within and outside the school environment. We endeavor to help children to identify and recognize when bad choices have been made and what solutions can be made to rectify the issues. We do this through a variety of mediums, for examples, PSHE and RE lessons, following our school and Christian values of love, empathy, respect and courage and to create the classroom conducts so they know and can exercise their rights but also learn what responsibilities go with the rights and many more.
Overall at Wool CE VA Primary we use the 5 key British Values as part of the major building blocks of our entire school society and a major footprint in our learning journey. We endeavor to reinforce an appreciation of British Values intertwined with our own school and Christian values to further enrich and benefit your children for now and further on in their learning journey, continuing on into later life. They are taught to relish the opportunity given to them and are taught this at an age appropriate level, so that they understand that these key rights and responsibilities are not universal. To be born in a country full of opportunity and fair systems that are afforded due to these British Values should in still a true sense of pride and joy.
‘Rejoice always, pray continually, and give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus. Thessalonians 5:16-18’
Background and Rational
The 2008 National Curriculum includes the following statement:
‘The school curriculum should contribute to the development of pupils’ sense of identity through knowledge and understanding of the spiritual, moral, social and cultural heritages of Britain’s diverse society and of the local, national, European, Commonwealth and global dimensions of their lives.’
The 2012 Teachers’ Standards state, as part of teachers’ personal and professional conduct:
“Teachers uphold public trust in the profession and maintain high standards of ethics and behavior, within and outside school, by: not undermining fundamental British values, including democracy, the rule of law, individual liberty and mutual respect, and tolerance of those with different faiths and beliefs.”