PROMOTING FUNDAMENTAL BRITISH VALUES
The DfE have 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 were reiterated in 2014.
At Birchills, British values are reinforced regularly and in the following ways:
School Parliament – Each class elects two school MPs (one boy and one girl) who meet regularly to plan projects that will help improve the school and be of benefit to its pupils. Prospective members pitch to their class as they are democratically elected into office by their peers.
House Team Captains – Year 6 candidates for the role must complete an application form and then present their pitch to the House Team during the first meeting in the Autumn Term. A vote takes place and the captains then hold the roll for the duration of the year. Deputy Captains are also elected.
Pupil Voice – Typically, there is at least one Pupil Voice session each term whereby a group of children come together to share their thoughts about particular topics. This could be subject specific, about the transition from Infant to Junior School, safety or support groups. The children offer many insightful comments which we then use to help improve our school.
Uniformed organisations – The school is very proud that some its pupils choose to attend a variety of uniformed organisations in the local ear such as Cubs, Brownies and Scouts. Pupils are invited to wear their uniform to school with pride on the annual World Thinking Day.
Curriculum – Through our curriculum children are taught about and are encouraged to respect public institutions and services.
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 Birchills.
Pupils are taught from an early age about the expectations of the school. This is usually accomplished through the creation of age-appropriate Class Rules that are displayed within each classroom and through assemblies in the Autumn Term.
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. Visits from authorities such as the community police help to reinforce these important messages.
At Birchills, we provide an empowering education within a safe and supportive environment. We educate and we also provide boundaries for our pupils. As a result, they are in a position to make informed choices. Pupils are encouraged to know, to understand and to exercise their rights and personal freedoms and are advised how to exercise these safely, for example through our focused work on online safety and within the PSHE/RSE curriculum.
Birchills has a robust anti-bullying policy in place and each year we participate in the Anti-Bullying Week campaign. It is important to use to promote a harmonious school through our PSHE/RSE lessons, daily collective workshop, school values and the school's ethos.
Mutual respect is at the heart of our values. From the earliest age, our pupils learn that their behaviour can have an effect on their own rights and well-being and those of others. All members of the school community, whether they are an adult or a child, are expected to treat each other with respect. We use peer mediation to help resolve small playtime fall-outs and encourage freedom of speech through our number of Pupil Voice.
Tolerance of those of different faiths and beliefs
Birchills provides a variety of opportunities for pupils to learn about the world around them and those of other faiths. Each year group also has the opportunity to learn about other faiths e.g. Judaism in Year 3 and Buddhism in Year 6. We also actively encourage visitors from a range of communities, cultures and organisations into our school. Should you have a community to share about with the children during a whole-school assembly, please contact the school office as we would love to hear more!
The academy supports local charities through special days and activities (e.g. such as MUFTI days, sponsored events and cake sales).