Rule of law implies that every citizen is subject to or bound by the law
The DfE have 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.
Fundamental British Values
- Mutual Respect
- All citizens live by the ‘rule of law’
- Democracy for
- Individual liberty
- Tolerance of different faiths and beliefs
How we promote Fundamental British Values in our school?
At Southridge First School we value the diverse ethnic backgrounds of society and those of our pupils and families. We undertake a variety of events and lessons to celebrate these. We have found this approach to be enriching for all parties as it teaches tolerance and respect for the differences in our local community and society as well as the wider world. Underpinning all of this is a range of curriculum topics which have strong links to the British Empire.
Tolerance of different faiths and beliefs:
This is achieved through enhancing pupils understanding of their place in a culturally diverse society and by giving them opportunities to experience such diversity. Assemblies and discussions involving prejudices and prejudice-based bullying have been followed and supported by learning in RE and PSHE. Members of different faiths or religions are encouraged to share their knowledge to enhance learning within classes and the school. Our School Council in particular show that this has been successful. Southridge is situated in an area which is not greatly culturally diverse, therefore we place a great emphasis on promoting diversity with the children. Assemblies are regularly planned to address this issue either directly or through the inclusion of stories and celebrations from a variety of faiths and cultures. Our RE, PSHE and teaching reinforce this. Members of different faiths or religions are encouraged to share their knowledge to enhance learning within classes and the school. Children visit places of worship that are important to different faiths e.g. Hindu temple, Jewish synagogue. Whitley Bay Baptist Church regularly deliver assemblies to our children and our younger pupils have close links with St Mary’s Church. Our Faith and Diversity Workshops help the children to explore different faiths. We always meet back together in assemblies to share work. This means that children get an overview of a range of religions whilst learning about one in depth each year.
Part of our school ethos and behaviour policy has revolved around Core Values such as ‘Respect’, and pupils have been part of discussions and assemblies related to what this means and how it is shown. Posters around the school promote respect for others and this is reiterated through our classroom and learning rules, as well as our behaviour policy. We help our children learn how to show respect for others and understand that differences are not only acceptable but welcome. Children know that everyone is welcome in our school. In addition P.C. Julie Twigg our community police officer and ‘Be Safe ‘ workshop do annual work with the children on tolerance and respect. Daily assembly and class work ensure that this message is constantly reinforced.
All citizens live by the rule of law:
The importance of Laws, whether they be those that govern the class, the school, or the country, are consistently reinforced throughout regular school days, as well as when dealing with behaviour and through school assemblies. We know that an important part of our work is to create productive members of a future society. All children sign a Home School Agreement when they start at Southridge and at the start of each term we reinforce our school values, motto and school rules. 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. Visits from authorities such as the Police; Fire Service; Lifeguards etc. are regular parts of our calendar and help reinforce this message.
Democracy is evident across the school. Each year begins with a democratic process where each class can nominate representatives for our school council. The School Council meet regularly and is able to genuinely effect change within the school. Pupils have the opportunity to have their voices heard through our School Council and Pupil Questionnaires. Any pupil or staff member can bring an item for the agenda at meetings but the key focus areas are school priorities, supporting charities and school development. The winner of the class Core Values Award each term are based on pupil votes. Our school behaviour policy involves rewards which the pupils vote on as a class group. Children have an annual questionnaire with which they are able to put forward their views about the school. Our School Council recently attended a Local Democracy Event at the Local Council Chamber.
Within school, pupils are actively encouraged to make choices, knowing that they are in a safe and supportive environment. As a school we educate and provide boundaries for young pupils to make choices safely, through of provision of a safe environment and empowering education. Pupils are encouraged to know, understand and exercise their rights and personal freedoms and advise how to exercise these safely, for example through our E-Safety and PSHE lessons. Whether it be through choice of challenge, of how they record, of participation in our numerous extra-curricular clubs and opportunities, pupils are given the freedom to make choices.
Development of Skills and Attitudes to Contribute Positively to Life in Modern Britain:
Our children are encouraged to value the school building and contents and to see the link between finance and material possesions. They follow the school rules which are reinforced regularly. Children learn about key figures in history who have contributed to positive changes in society and consider how they can emulate these ideas. Children have lots of opportunities for learning about Great Britain and the wider world around us. Older children are encouraged to support younger children at key times such as assemblies and lunch times. Children learn about different careers starting in Reception and they enjoy visitors who speak to them about career prospects for the future. A huge variety of extra-curricular activities are available to promote a positive mental attitude and team spirit. Children learn about healthy competition and how working together can make us even stronger. Children also are aware of their geographical location in the North east of England and know about various places along the coast e.g. local landmarks such as St Mary’s Lighthouse and Tynemouth Priory. Children also learn about the world wars and commemorate November 11th each year.