In November 2014, the Department for Education (DfE) produced non-statutory guidance on how schools should promote British values as part of spiritual, moral, social, and cultural (SMSC) development.
These values were originally defined by the government as: “democracy, the rule of law, individual liberty and mutual respect and tolerance of those with different faiths and beliefs.”
At Horley Infant School these values are interwoven within the Spiritual, Moral, Social and Cultural (SMSC) development of our pupils and are therefore intrinsic in everything we do.
The values are continually supported and modelled by teachers and adults in all areas of the curriculum and aspects of school life, and are explored through a rigorous assembly programme based upon our own school values which enables us to promote the British Values at an age appropriate level.
We also use the Jigsaw scheme of work which actively combines different aspects of Personal, Social, Health and Economic Education (PSHE) together with Emotional Literacy, Social Skills and Spiritual Development.
As a whole school approach, this gives pupils opportunities to develop and demonstrate skills and attitudes that will allow them to participate fully in and contribute safely and positively to life in modern Britain.
British Values In School
Children’s and parent’s voice is key to the democracy of our school.
Our school behaviour policy is clear that children are expected to contribute and co-operate, taking into account and respecting the views of others.
For example, we have a School Council, Eco and Librarian committee which consist of two members from each class who are nominated and voted for by their peers.
They play an instrumental role in suggesting and directing developments within the school, for example, playtime activities, lunchtime routines, choosing new books and designating planting areas for the good of the school.
Parents take part in the annual exit surveys, DDA questionnaire, Friends fundraisers and school governance.
Rule of Law
As soon as children begin their Reception year at Horley Infant School, they are continually taught to recognise the difference between right and wrong and this, alongside their developing maturity, helps them to apply their understanding of these concepts in their daily lives.
Children play a key role in deciding their school, classroom, playtime and lunchtime rules as well as the consequences if these rules are not adhered to.
All staff consistently reinforce high expectations of children. Children are taught the value and reasons behind the expectations (rules) that they are there to protect and to keep us safe, that everyone has a responsibility and that there are consequences when rules are broken.
Within our school children are encouraged to make choices, knowing that they are in a safe and supportive environment to enable them to do this.
SMSC is implicit within our school ethos so that children are actively encouraged to discuss and reflect upon situations, consider the impact of their decisions and the choices they make.
Children are given opportunities to resolve conflicts effectively and fairly, knowing they are in a safe environment where they can seek support and understanding.
Through E-safety we teach the importance of keeping yourself safe by choosing not to share personal information and the importance of using the internet correctly and respectfully.
Mutual respect and tolerance of those with different faiths and beliefs.
Our school ethos is built around mutual respect and we believe that respect for others is a vital component of moral development.
We are an inclusive school where everyone is valued and has a contribution to make to the school.
Children learn that their behaviours have an effect on their own rights and those of others are actively encouraged to reflect and think about their ideas, thoughts and views and to discuss them openly with their peers.
This may happen in discrete lessons as explored through the Jigsaw scheme but also throughout the day as situations arise, therefore making the discussions more meaningful and relevant. Children are also supported to develop their own reasoned views about moral and ethical issues by finding out about world events through, for example, Espresso and First News, at all times being supported in an age appropriate way. These are planned to give children opportunities to reflect on different beliefs, cultures and moral values.
British Values in the Curriculum
Our curriculum incorporates teaching and learning opportunities for children to explore aspects of the wider world and an appreciation of cultural diversity , for example – Divali and Chinese New Year, at the same time linking them to our own school values which enable us to promote British Values in an age appropriate way.
The RE curriculum is also planned to equip children with the knowledge and understanding which will enable them to reflect upon and respect the diverse nature of people’s beliefs and cultures, laying the foundations for positive and respectful attitudes that will enable them to live safely and peacefully in modern Britain and as part of our ever changing world.