Promoting British Values at Grimsdyke School
Prior to the introduction of the New National Curriculum (2014), “British Values” already had a high profile in Grimsdyke School. Through the work that the staff and students do as a Rights Respecting School we are able to identify and learnt about, both in context and as a stand-alone concept, all four “British Values”. As a result Grimsdyke children can confidently talk about the four different “values”, what they mean and why they are so important.
Fundamental British Values include –
- the rule of law
- individual liberty
- mutual respect for and tolerance of those with different faiths and beliefs and for those without faith.
What’s the impact of this in school?
Through engaging with the teaching of fundamental British Values and incorporating it as part of the broad and balanced curriculum here at Grimsdyke we are encouraging our students to -
- Understand how citizens can influence decision-making through the democratic process.
- Appreciate that living under the rule of law protects individual citizens and is essential for their wellbeing and safety.
- Understand that the freedom to choose and hold other faiths and beliefs is protected in law.
- Accept that other people having different faiths or beliefs to oneself (or having none) should be accepted and tolerated, and should not be the cause of prejudicial or discriminatory behaviour.
- Understand of the importance of identifying and combatting discrimination.
What does it look like at Grimsdyke School?
Respect and Tolerance – Grimsdyke School is a Rights Respecting School. Respect for ourselves, each other and our surroundings are hugely important to us, this then in turn underpins many policies and procedures across the school.
Each class works hard to develop an effective Classroom Charter which is reinforced by the behaviour policy and our merits and commendations system across the school. Each charter is sign by the members of the class, including all adults, to show its importance and their commitment to it. Each “Class Charter” serves as a reminder to the class of the different ways in which we learn and what we can do to make the most of our time in school.
Each week we have an “Article of the Week” which is drawn from the UNCRC – the students learn about it a t the beginning of the week in Assembly and are then encouraged to apply to their day-to-day life in school.
In the playground (Junior and Infant) we have a Playground Charter, which after a consultation period between the School Steering Group and Student Body was agreed on. The advice presented on these Charters is directly linked to the work of the UNCRC Rights of a Child.
The students are taught that – “With rights comes responsibilities, with responsibilities we can develop respect”.
Democracy – At Grimsdyke School we have a strong “School Steering Group” that is made up of a member from each class and honorary members. Every child across the school has the opportunity to put their name forward to be elected onto the Steering Group.
Once a child has served a year, they are invited to return for the following year to sit as an honorary member. This allows the Steering Group to stay vocal and focussed through careful succession planning.
Within the Steering Group itself a Secretary and Chairperson are elected to serve for a one year period. These two members are very important in driving the group forward on numerous tasks including informing the parents about their different activities through the newsletter.
Children also have opportunities to be part of various pupil voice groups throughout the year and contribute to the development of the school.
Rule of Law – At Grimsdyke School we have a set of expectations that are shared with the students that form the basis of our School Rules. These are carefully linked into the Playground Charters that were designed by the Student Steering Group under consultation with the whole student body. We have also linked these expectations to our behaviour expectations and “Class Charters” in every year group.
High profile is placed on all of these at school as it provides the foundations for the motto of the school – “Learning and Achieving Together”. Students are encouraged to make the most of all learning opportunities while working positively within the expectations that are presented to them. Student Prefects are used positively to reinforce this around the school and are held in high regard as “good role models”.
Individual Liberty – The UNCRC firmly underpins all decisions made at school. The ethos of Rights Respecting is taught throughout the school from Reception to Year Six through the introduction at the beginning of the week to one of the 42 Articles. Students are Grimsdyke School are fully aware that these “rights” are inherent, that they are born with them and they cannot be taken away, Students are taught to take responsibility for these rights through the actions they display, this in turn helps develop respect not only for themselves but also for each other.
British Values in the Grimsdyke Curriculum
British Values are taught in many different ways at Grimsdyke. More often they are taught in a cross curricular way through incorporation into the National Curriculum. Subjects such as R.E., History, Geography and P.S.H.C.E are specific subject areas where British Values are promoted.
In R.E. all children learn about different religions, this allows them to develop a better understanding of them in a modern context. Supporting the work that is completed in class are a range of trips to different places of worship e.g. temples, churches and mosques.
Discussing the origins and development of “democracy” in Ancient Greece has a positive effect on the students understanding and its importance. This in turn has an impact on the different democratic processes across the school e.g. Election of Steering Group Members, Junior Travel Ambassadors, Healthy School Ambassadors and School Librarians.
Collective Worship takes place every day in school, either as part of an assembly, circle time or in RE and PSHE lessons. During these times references to the Right of the Week and British Values takes place. Students are encouraged to participate and share their opinions in a non-threatening environment. This allows students to practise explaining different rights and values while developing a deeper understanding of them so that they acquire the knowledge and understanding of certain issues and key skills, and how to develop and practice appropriate attitudes and values.