The DfE have 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 it's definition of British values in the 2011 Prevent Strategy, and these values have been reiterated this year (2014). At The Chaucer Infant and Nursery School these values are regularly promoted through high quality teaching, a rounded programme of assemblies and a positive behaviour policy allowing pupils to develop and demonstrate skills and attitudes that will allow them to participate fully in and contribute positively to life in modern Britain.
Democracy underpins the values of the school. All children are treated fairly and have an equal right to express their views and be listened to. Pupils have the opportunity to have their voices heard through our School Council and Pupil Questionnaires. Members of the School Council are elected democratically by their classmates in a yearly ballot which introduces them to the principal of democratic elections.
The Rule of Law - consequences of your actions. Right and Wrong
From entry to school pupils 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. . We have a strong but positive behaviour policy. Through this we consistently promote our high expectations of all. Everyone is expected to follow our school rules and Goldentime is used as a positive reinforcement of good behaviour for all. Pupils are taught the reasons behind school rules, taught the importance of observing our rules and what the consequences will be should they forget to follow any of the rules. The rewards for good behaviour and sanctions for unacceptable behaviour are also clearly displayed throughout school and reinforced regularly with the children.
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. Through our PSHCE and ‘R’ Time sessions we discuss different choices that the children can make and encourage them to make the right choices. Our behaviour policy also gives an excellent forum for staff to discuss the choices (both good and bad) that pupils make about their behaviour in school. It is used to encourage pupils to reflect on their choices and the effect that it has on both their peers and adults. They are given opportunities to resolve conflicts effectively and fairly.
We believe that respect for others is a vital component of moral development. Pupils regularly take part in ‘R’ Time and PSHCE discussions where they are expected to treat the opinions and views of others with respect, even if they differ from their own. We actively support all to develop their own reasoned views about moral and ethical issues. We encourage all pupils to understand that they have rights and responsibilities as citizens within the school and the wider community. Our community involvement such as our Harvest donations to the local foodbank, taking part in the Erewash Litter Pick, collecting Christmas toys and food for the less fortunate and attending the Remembrance Day memorial in the town centre enables pupils to show respect and generosity to others outside our school community.
Tolerance of those of Different Faiths and Beliefs
Assemblies are planned to give children opportunity to reflect on a variety of beliefs, cultures and moral values. Our curriculum incorporates teaching and learning opportunities for children to explore aspects of the wider world and an appreciation of cultural diversity as in for example – Festivals, Divali and Chinese New Year. The RE curriculum is also carefully planned to equip children with the knowledge which will enable them to understand the diverse nature of peoples beliefs. We help them to understand, accept, respect and celebrate diversity.
At The Chaucer we will actively challenge pupils, staff or parents expressing opinions contrary to fundamental British Values, including 'extremist' views
An example of how we approach the promotion of British Values
At school our topics are based around high quality texts. In Autumn 2021, Year 1 and Year 2 based their work around the book ‘Lubna and the Pebble’ by Wendy Meddour. The book lends itself to children learning more about refugees and exploring the theme of friendship. As part of our work we liaised with the charity ‘Derbyshire Refugee Solidarity’, who organised a couple of zoom calls with the children to help us find out more about refugees.
We also thought about how to extend our hand in friendship by putting together some Friendship Boxes to give to the charity to distribute to refugee children. As part of our project the children learnt how to write a letter and they then wrote to a number of local businesses asking for donations for these boxes.
This work tied in closely to two of our school values:
SHOW RESPECT: we respect and listen to the ideas and views of others
• We are polite and well-mannered
• We treat everyone fairly
• We value diversity and recognise that everyone is different
• We are open minded and include everyone
• We listen to each other, work together, take turns and share
BE CARING: everyone at our school should feel they belong here
• We make people feel safe and cared for
• We are kind and considerate to each other
• We help and comfort those who need it
• We think of others feelings and do not say or do things that hurt others
• We care for ourselves, each other, the environment and things around us
Jeremy Ball from BBC East Midlands was told of the work we had done by the charity and he came to video the School Council and a couple of other children talking about it.
The charity sent the following message to him:
DRS are very grateful for the donations from Chaucer Infant school which will be passed onto Afghan families. Rather than simply looking at a book, they have supported the children's learning by searching out people to talk to the children about the real experiences of asylum seekers and refugees and they have responded with their friendship boxes. It's been a really practical example for the children of understanding an issue and making a difference in their community.
We were very proud of the work the Year 1s and 2s did!
Coral McDonnell from Derbyshire Refugee Solidarity Charity collecting the Friendship boxes with the help of our School Council.