The Department for Education has 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.
At Stoke Lodge, our British values are reinforced regularly and in the following ways:
At the start of each year we take time to affirm our school expectations and values to ensure our pupils are given time to understand how they can try their best to achieve excellence. Every member of our school community is responsible for modelling these values at all times.Junior Leadership Team
Each year representatives from across the school are elected by their peers for our Junior Leadership Team (JLT). Pupils take responsibility to write their own proposal and present it to their peers as to why they should be a Learning Detective and represent their class. Once all candidates have addressed the cohort, pupils then place votes and decide who they believe will be the best person to represent their class for the year ahead. Our pupils understand that being a member of our JLT comes with great responsibility and a commitment to trying their best to school life.
At the start of the academic year Senior Leaders share our School Improvement and Implementation Plan with pupils, which enables our JLT to set their pupil improvement priorities. JLT meet twice termly with members of the Senior Leadership Team to feedback and share their own ideas and that of peers. The Teaching and Learning Lead and Curriculum Leads work with our JLT to share new initiatives and ideas. The JLT drop into classes and discuss this with peers, they are Learning Detectives who are trained to spot where things are working well and where we might make improvements to enable us to track the impact of our work on pupils.
Trust Council Representatives
Similarly, each academic year two pupils are voted by the whole school as Trust Council Representatives. Each year balloting stations are set up and all pupils encouraged to place their vote. We time this in line with National Parliament Week and where possible apply for an annual visit to the Houses of Parliament. The Trust Council meet with members of the Olympus Central Team and Board of Trustees to share feedback from across all of our primary settings. It is the responsibility of our Trust Council to work alongside the Senior Leadership Team to ensure equity across all primaries across the Trust.
Democracy is also taught during assemblies and class-based PSHE sessions. We ensure all pupils are regularly given opportunities to express their views in school for example, during our weekly Pause for Thought discussions.
The Rule of Law
The importance of rules and laws, whether they be those that govern our school or our country, are consistently referred to and reinforced at Stoke Lodge.
Pupils are taught from an early age the rules of the school through our Golden Rules and our six Core Values (Gem Powers). 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. These values are reinforced in different ways:
- Visits from authorities such as the police and fire service
- During Religious Education, when rules for particular faiths are discussed and considered
- During other areas of our Curious Curriculum, where there is respect and appreciation for different rules – in a sports lesson, for example
At Stoke Lodge we instil a sense of ambition and aspiration in our pupils by encouraging them to be leaders. Our pupils understand our Golden Rules are designed to keep them safe and to help them to succeed and enjoy life. This extends to visits and learning outside of the classroom for example acting as ambassadors whilst out on educational visits.
Alongside rules and laws, we promote freedom of choice and the right to respectfully express views and beliefs. We teach children what it means to be part of a community and have pride in that community whether that be family, school, within the local area or nationally. Through the provision of a safe, supportive environment and empowering education, we provide boundaries for our young pupils to make choices safely. For example:
- Choices about what learning, challenge or activity they do
- Choices about how they record their learning
- Choices around their participation in extra-curricular activities
Our pupils are encouraged to know, understand and exercise their rights and personal freedoms and are taught how to exercise these safely and responsibly, such as in our Pause for Thought discussions, e-safety and PSHE lessons.
At Stoke Lodge, all pupils are encouraged to challenge themselves and are given ownership of their learning. Next steps are regularly shared with them, whether verbally or with written feedback in books, so that they know exactly what they can do to progress.
Respect and responsibility are key values that permeate all aspects of school life at Stoke Lodge. They are fundamental to the way we support and care for each other, for our community and for the environment.
At Stoke Lodge, we prioritise the close, positive relationships between all adults and children, and see this as being key to enabling all pupils to develop the skills needed to succeed and enjoy life. Each of our school values drive the theme for each term in our assemblies. We discuss our Core Values of Respect and Responsibility and unpick what that means for them as responsible global citizens. Our pupils know it is important that we develop a sense of respect for ourselves, others and our environment (including resources and our learning environments). We provide opportunities for our pupils to learn that their behaviours have an effect on their own rights and those of others. All members of our school community treat each other with respect.
Achievements and successes are shared and displayed for everyone to learn from the individual’s positive attitude and hard work, this includes pupils, parents and staff. Learning and effort are highly respected and the whole school is focused on developing a great sense of worth and achievement.
At Stoke Lodge Primary School we are proud to promote and celebrate our different backgrounds and beliefs. We learn about other faiths and beliefs in a number of ways including:
- Through Religious Education, PSHE and our cultivated curriculum e.g. Composer/Artist/Author of the Term etc
- Through our Curious Curriculum enquiry themes, thinking about local and global intellectual concepts
- Learning about other countries in more depth as part of our class names at the start of each year
Within our Curious Curriculum, we aim to enhance pupils’ understanding of their place in a culturally diverse society and by educating them and giving them opportunities to experience different faiths and beliefs, whether they are similar or different to their own. It is an exciting time at Stoke Lodge as our local community becomes more diverse, leading to a rich cultural and social diversity within our school, which is nurtured so our pupils can gain positive experiences from their peers.