Promoting British Values at William Gilbert Church of England Primary School and Nursery

In accordance with The Department for Education 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 by the Prime Minister. At William Gilbert Church of England Primary School these values are reinforced regularly, and we aim to actively promote British values in school to ensure young people leave school prepared for life in modern Britain.

Our children are encouraged to regard people of all faiths, races and cultures with respect and tolerance and understand that while different people may hold different views about what is ‘right’ and ‘wrong’, all people living in England are subject to its law.

The Key Values are:

  • Democracy
  • Rule of law
  • Individual liberty
  • Mutual respect
  • Tolerance of those of different faiths and belief

How do we teach British Values?

Britain has undergone rapid economic and social change in the last few decades, and we live in an increasingly diverse society. We need to teach our children that it is possible to live together peacefully, each of them a valuable part of our multicultural world.

We don’t plan specific ‘lessons’ to teach children British values – they are included in everything we do. We deliver a curriculum which includes teaching children about British values – and preparing them for life in modern Britain.

What does Democracy look like in our school:

We have a School Council with members from Reception, Year One and Year Two.

The Council meets regularly and in the meetings the children’s views and ideas are sought and they help make decisions and then feedback to their classes.

They also collect class views which they bring to their meetings and are involved in fund raising for the school.

What does The Rule of Law look like in our school?

Children are taught from Nursery about the ‘Golden Rules’ of our school. Pupils are taught the value of and reasons behind our school ‘golden rules’, the responsibilities that this involves and the consequences when rules are broken.

We have a variety of rewards when children keep the Golden Rules including Golden Time, the opportunity to be Star of the week, and stickers. These show children the rules are valued and in keeping them they will be rewarded. As children develop they are taught that rules in the community, wider community and the country are Laws.

What does Individual Liberty look like in our school?

Children are actively encouraged to make choices, knowing that they are in a safe and supportive environment. Through our work we discuss different choices that the children can make and encourage them to make the right choices. We look at online-safety and the importance of making safe choices when online.

What does Mutual Respect look like in our school?

Within school pupils are encouraged to express their personal opinions in a climate of safety and respect for others. The opportunity to express themselves, their beliefs and opinions are promoted through our daily curriculum and extensive extra-curricular activities. Everyone is valued and has a contribution to make at our school. Children are taught that their behaviours have an effect on their own rights and those of others.

What does Tolerance of those of different faiths and beliefs look like in our school?

Through our curriculum, including enquiry based Religious Education, children develop an understanding of their place within a culturally diverse society. Opportunities through the curriculum, visits and visitors allow children to appreciate different faiths and beliefs which prevent prejudice and embrace tolerance. The children are taught that people have different faiths and beliefs and that these should be accepted. Children within our school with different faiths are encouraged to share their practices and special celebrations.

Here are some examples of how British Values are embedded in our day-to-day curriculum:

  • We teach children to be kind, helpful and respectful of others.
  • We teach children to be an active part of their local community.
  • We plan to celebrate festivals and mark special days from the world around us.
  • We teach the children about compromise – that some of us believe one thing… some of us believe something totally different… but we can all play together in the same house (or group setting) and respect each other.
  • We teach children about the world in which they live – the world on their doorstep and the wider world – through books, posters, planned activities, resources, outings and much more.
  • We teach children about the world around them and use the seasons, weather, special days etc to plan meaningful learning experiences.
  • We teach children about Britain, showing them the work of sculptors and artists to inspire creativity, listening to music to promote dance and drama (and listening skills of course).
  • We extend teaching, using the library and online sources of information and support them as they learn to respect others by introducing music, dance, art etc from around the world