Broadbent Fold Primary School and Nursery
In June 2014, David Cameron emphasised the important role that British values can play in education. Further, how well a school promotes such values is an aspect of Ofsted's inspection process.
Although in 2015 this is something which is developing in its significance for schools, it is not something new at Broadbent Fold Primary. British values are promoted in so much of what we do, not least during our school assemblies, Religious Education and Social and Emotional Aspects of Learning (SEALS) sessions. The values are integral to our ethos statement which complements British values and always has done.
As well as actively promoting British values, the opposite also applies: we would actively challenge pupils, staff or parents expressing opinions contrary to fundamental British values, including ‘extremist’ views.
The term ‘British values’ might be slightly misleading in that these values are integral to so many countries throughout the world – they differ in no way from the values of most western European countries, for example.
Below are just a few examples of how we promote British values.
Being part of Britain
As a school, we value and celebrate the diverse heritages of everybody at Broadbent Fold Primary. Alongside this, we value and celebrate being part of Britain. In general terms, this means that we celebrate traditions, such as customs in the course of the year; for example, Harvest festival during the Autumn term, and what could be more British than a Year 6 Pantomime at Christmas time! We also value and celebrate national events, a recent example being The Armed Forces Day July 2015.
Further, children learn about being part of Britain from different specific perspectives. Two specific examples of when we teach about being part of Britain are:
Geographically: Our geography curriculum ensures that children have a better understanding of what Britain is, learning more about:
- its capital cities and counties, its rivers and mountains
- how ‘Great Britain’ differs from ‘England’ and ‘the United Kingdom’
- where Britain is in relation to the rest of Europe and other countries in the world.
Historically: Class themes throughout the year are based on areas of history such as The Romans, Saxons and Vikings, WW2 and The Tudors. The main focus is British history. During the topic, children learn about an aspect life and how this has developed and changed over time. The actual topic depends on the interests of the children (and teacher!), but might include inventions and discoveries, or houses, or medicine.
Children, parents and staff have many opportunities for their voices to be heard at Broadbent Fold Primary. Democracy is central to how we operate.
An obvious example is our Pupil Leadership Team. The election of the Pupil Leadership and eco-monitor members reflects our British electoral system and demonstrates democracy in action: candidates make speeches, pupils consider characteristics important for an elected representative, pupils vote in secret using ballot boxes etc. Made up of two representatives from each class, the Pupil Leader meets regularly to discuss issues raised by the different classes. The Pupil Leadership is able to genuinely effect change within the school; in the past, the Pupil Leadership has planned and ordered resources for playtime. The Pupil Leadership team is actively involved in recruitment and in providing teachers with feedback, such as providing a review of themed weeks.
Other examples of ‘pupil voice’ are:
- children agree their Class Rules and the rights associated with these; all children contribute to these rules
- children have the opportunity to nominate and vote for others to be class monitors, pupil leaders and eco- monitors, sports ambassadors, play leaders
- children are asked to respond and suggest ideas for learning
- children suggest various charities, they have in the past carried out fund raising events to support these charities.
Pupils are always listened to by adults and are taught to listen carefully and with concern to each other, respecting the right of every individual to have their opinions and voices heard. We encourage pupils to take ownership of not only their school but also of their own learning and progress. This encourages sense of both personal and social responsibility and is demonstrated on a daily basis by our pupils.
Rules and laws
The importance of rules and laws, whether they be those that govern our school or our country, are referred to and reinforced often, such as in assemblies and when reflecting on behaviour choices. At the start of the school year, each class discusses and sets its own Class Rules, a set of principles that are clearly understood by all and seen to be necessary to ensure that every class member is able to learn in a safe and ordered environment.
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. 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 thought about
- during other school subjects, where there is respect and appreciation for different rules – in a sports lesson, for example.
Alongside rules and laws, we promote freedom of choice and the right to respectfully express views and beliefs. 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
- choices about how they record their learning
- choices around the 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, such as in our online safety and SEAL lessons.
Mutual respect and tolerance of those with different faiths and beliefs
At Broadbent Fold Primary mutual respect is at the heart of our aims and ethos. We aim to develop understanding of and respect for a wide range of religious values, languages and cultural traditions and different ways of life .
Our pupils know and understand that it is expected and imperative that respect is shown to everyone, whatever differences we may have, and to everything, whether it is a school resource, a religious belief or whatever. Children learn that their behaviour choices have an effect on their own rights and those of others. All members of the school community should treat each other with respect.
Specific examples of how we at Broadbent Fold Primary enhance pupils understanding and respect for different faiths and beliefs are:
- Through Religious Education, SEAL and other lessons where we might develop awareness and appreciation of other cultures – in English through fiction and in Art by considering culture from other parts of the world, for example.
- Enjoying a depth of study during Whole School Creative Weeks, where sometimes we focus on and theme such as RE and water, Autumn 2014.
- Through themed assemblies covering a range of religions.
- Visitors sharing their beliefs and practises.
- The use of IT to enhance children’s understanding of what other people believe (e.g. Video clips showing the beliefs of a Hindu child).