Promoting British Values at Ham Dingle
The Department for Education issued guidance on 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.
At Ham Dingle these values are reinforced regularly and in a variety of ways across the curriculum and in every aspect of our work, the experiences and opportunities we provide and in our daily encounters. We also like to celebrate 'Britishness' by participating in national events and commemorations such as the Queen's Birthday and Diamond Jubilee; Remembrance Day and British traditions such as Pancake Day, Pantomime season, Easter Egg Hunt.
The following are examples of how British values and traditions are actively promoted:
At Ham Dingle, pupils have the opportunity to have their voices heard through our regular School Council. The council has its own budget and is able to effect change within the school. Our school council is also part of the wider community- Stourbridge Schools Council Forum. Every child on the school council is voted in by their class. We meet in mixed age groups to discuss issues and to suggest ways to improve the life of the school, for example playground activities, clubs and setting own class rules etc.
Through our curriculum, the children are taught how public services operate and the advantages and disadvantages of democracy. We teach pupils how they can influence decision making and we give them opportunities to do so. For example, children have an annual questionnaire where they are able to put forward their views about the school. Pupils in year 6 are given the opportunity to take part in local debating competitions.
Examples of democracy in action at Ham Dingle:
The Rule of Law:
The importance of the Law is 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. Visits from authorities such as the Police and Fire Service are regular parts of our calendar and help reinforce this message. Children are involved in the creation of class rules and are encouraged to distinguish between right and wrong. We encourage children to understand that living under rule helps to keep order and keeps us safe. We also encourage the exploration of civic and criminal law and how this differs across religions.
Examples of understanding and following 'laws' and rules at Ham Dingle include:
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 a provision of a safe environment and an empowering education. Pupils are encouraged to know, understand and exercise their rights and personal freedoms and advise how to exercise these safely, for example through our E-Safety and PSHE lessons. Whether it is through choice of challenge within learning, participation in extra-curricular clubs and opportunities, pupils are given the freedom to make choices. We aim to develop self-esteem, self- confidence and self- knowledge. Pupils understand they have a responsibility for their behaviour and that they model freedom of speech through participation. Our curriculum challenges stereotypes and we are a school that respects the rights of individuals.
Examples at our school:
Mutual Respect and Tolerance of those of Different Faiths and Beliefs:
Part of our school ethos and behaviour policy revolves around core values such as ‘respect’, and pupils have been part of discussions and assemblies related to what this means and how it is shown. 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. We encourage respect for differences and have links with faith communities. For example, the children have opportunities to visit places of significant cultural interest, place of worship and we actively encourage visitors from a range of communities and organisations in school. We encourage personal thinking skills and discuss the differences between people, faith, ethnicity, disability and gender.
Examples in our school: