British Values

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, and these values have been reiterated this year (2015).

These aspects are integral to our provision and documented in our School Aims and Values, which include the following statement:

‘Our ethos, aims and values actively support the upholding of democracy, rule of law, individual liberty, mutual respect and tolerance of different faiths and beliefs; British Values which we cherish, equipping pupils for life in modern Britain.’

Examples of active practice reflective of above are outlined below:

Democracy

Each year pupils decide their class rules as a group - fitting in with the overarching school rule ‘be kind’. Pupils have many opportunities for their voices to be heard. We have, for example, a School Council with representatives of every class being voted for by their classmates. They can affect change in the school by bringing forward ideas from their peers, discussing with the School Council and presenting suggestions to the CLT. We also have a range of roles of responsibilities, including, ABC (anti-bullying) monitors, Class Monitors, Church Monitors, Green Unicorns (sustainability), Be Kind Monitors and House Captains. Pupils are able to nominate their peers for Silver Unicorns – awards given to those who are exhibiting a school value through their actions. We regularly seek the pupils’ views on their experiences at school which then feed into our SIP e.g. on entry settling in (in first few weeks of Reception); annual general survey; online safety awareness and behaviour and safety.

The Rule of Law

Honesty is one of our School Values and this is explicitly taught through PSHCE and our assembly programme. Rules which govern the class, school and the country are reinforced regularly when opportunities arise in the curriculum and through behaviour guidance, assemblies, church services etc. Pupils understand the difference between right and wrong, and strive to let this guide them. Visits to school by authorities such as the Police and Fire Brigade as well as a talk to Year 6 by a Magistrate and the TFL to reinforce this aspect.

Individual Liberty

Pupils are actively encouraged to make choices and take decisions knowing that they are in a safe and supportive environment, as well as to comprehend and exercise their rights. Online safety lessons are a key illustration of this. Our teaching gives many opportunities for enquiry based and collaborative learning, with associated challenge, decision-making and risk taking. For example, Prep school pupils make a choice of food at lunch time. Our extra activities programme is exceptionally wide-ranging and as such pupils have much choice. Pupils are encouraged to know, understand and exercise their rights and personal freedoms and advised how to exercise these safely, for example through our Online Safety and PSHCE lessons. They also understand that with rights come responsibilities.

Mutual Respect and Tolerance of those of Different Faiths and Beliefs

Respect is another of our School Values and this is explicitly taught through our PSHCE and RE programmes as well as an underpinning to many activities. Pupils learn that their behaviour has an effect on their own rights and those of others. Our Code of Conduct expects all members of the school community to treat each other, and those in the wider community, with respect.

Community Days are organised to include all pupils who undertake a variety of projects with the following organisations, amongst others: Chelsea and Westminster Hospital, Assumption Convent, local nurseries and St Mungo’s food bank. We have close links to Colville Primary School and engage in a number of activities including drumming workshops and year group football tournaments. An Outreach Latin Programme is run at Colville Primary School one afternoon a week and further links with Thomas’s Academy are being developed. We have a strong charitable focus, including work with both the CAIRN Trust and Thomas’s Schools Foundation (TSF) and the pupils engage in awareness activities and often self-initiated fundraising.

The School has strong links with Christ Church where regular, weekly services and assemblies are held. A Carol Service and Easter Service are part of the fabric of the school and Reception performs an annual nativity play. In a school with a Christian ethos, the pupils are taught about other religions through our RE curriculum, and participate in visits to local places of worship (Year 1 and 5 to a Jewish Synagogue, Year 2 to an Islamic Mosque, Year 3 to a Christian Church, Year 4 to a Hindu Temple, Sikh temple, and Year 6 to a Buddhist Temple) and presentations are given by parents about their religion (e.g. talk by a parent on Hanukah).

British values are made explicit through whole school events and assemblies, e.g. Remembrance service, visiting the Invictus Games and school assemblies e.g. about Britain’s longest reigning Monarch. We are preparing pupils to be citizens of the future, to understand their role within society and become actively involved in British life.