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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.'
The Government set out its definition of British values in the 2011 Prevent Strategy, and these values have been reiterated in 2014.
Here at Wheelers Lane Primary we take our responsibility for preparing children for life in modern Britain very seriously. We recognise the multi-cultural and multi-faith nature of our local community, our city - Birmingham and the U.K. We understand the importance and crucial role that Wheelers Lane plays in promoting these values
At Wheelers Lane Primary School these values are reinforced regularly and in the following ways:
We have an annual election for the role of house captains. Children from Year 5 put themselves forward and three candidates in each class are selected by a class vote. The nine candidates write a speech for the hustings which involves the whole school. There is a week of campaigning followed by a vote. Every child and staff member in school vote for their chosen candidate. A total of four house captains are elected who carry out their duties in Year 6.
We have a School Council which meets fortnightly with the Deputy Head and Learning Mentor to discuss issues raised in class council meetings which take place every other week. The council has its own budget and is genuinely able to effect change within the school. Every child on the School Council is voted for by their class from the children who put themselves forward. This is a perfect opportunity for children’s voices to be heard.
Children, parents and staff have an annual questionnaire where they are able to put forward their views about the school.
Within areas of the curriculum, children have the opportunity to participate in debates. This involves looking at both sides of an argument and sharing and valuing the opinion of others.
The Rule of Law
The importance of laws, whether they are those that govern the class, the school, or the country, are consistently reinforced at Wheelers Lane Primary.
Pupils are taught from an early age the rules of the school. These are our School rules, Playground Rules and our Code of Conduct which are displayed all around the school. The children create and follow our school code of conduct and understand the need for rules and sanctions.
We have a clearly structured behaviour policy, which all stakeholders follow. This rewards positive behaviour and ensures our children are good citizens now and in the future.
Our reward and sanction systems are based around the rules. 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.
Children learn about rules and laws in their RE and PSHE lessons and are taught why they are important. Years 5 and 6 have been doing the ‘Values vs Violence’ programme which teaches them about core values and the consequences of their actions.
Visits from services such as the Police and Fire Service help to reinforce this message.
At Wheelers Lane Primary, pupils are actively encouraged to make choices, knowing that they are in a safe and supportive environment. Our ethos and code of conduct values individual liberty and freedom of choice. Whilst also developing responsibility for one’s own actions.
As a school we educate and provide boundaries for young pupils to make informed choices, through a safe environment and an empowering curriculum. 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, RSE and PSHE lessons.
Children not only are encouraged to make decisions about their safety but also through the curriculum, they are given opportunities to choose things they would like to learn about, they can also make decisions about their next steps in their learning with guidance. Within school, pupils are actively encouraged to make informed choices and to work independently. The children have the opportunity to think for themselves, solve problems and formulate ideas and share these with others. They can also suggest extra-curricular activities they would like to take part in – some children have even set up their own clubs such as ‘Lunchtime Minecraft’ as a result of this.
The school councilors for each class also have time each fortnight when they listen to the children’s ideas in the class and what they need in school and feed this back to School Council.
Pupils have key roles and responsibilities in school.
Self-esteem and self-worth are at the core of our teaching and learning. Children understand their role in school: their rights and their responsibilities.
Mutual respect is at the centre of our values.
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. Respect is a fundamental school value and forms part of our school and class rules. Within R.E., P.S.H.E and SMSC curriculum, respect is a value that is discussed in detail. Children are taught self-respect, respect for each other, friends and family and other groups, the world and the environment. This includes promoting respect for differences, i.e. those of gender, faith, culture and religion.
Children’s understanding of respect encourages them to challenge stereotypes, prejudice and ignorance.
Our school rules and code of conduct reflect this.
PE encourages respect and ‘sportsmanship’.
Tolerance of those of Different Faiths and Beliefs
Wheelers Lane Primary is a multi-cultural school. We actively promote diversity through our celebrations of different faiths and cultures, eg. through Christmas, Diwali and Eid Celebrations and collective worship.
Our R.E. curriculum covers all major religions and provides a broad and balanced education on a range of faiths, religions and cultures. Religious Education lessons and PSHE 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. We celebrate a range of different religious festivals. Our children are encouraged to share their values and faith within R.E. There are opportunities to talk and to listen to each other. This develops an understanding of other faiths and promotes tolerance.
Each week our collective worship has a theme based on values that are important for all faiths. The children take part in collective worship, giving them the opportunity to reflect on spiritual and moral themes (for example forgiveness, humility and kindness). This is often through the use of story.