PROMOTING BRITISH VALUES AT FAIRFIELD PARK
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 its definition of British values in the 2011 Prevent Strategy.
As a Values school, Fairfield Park Lower School actively promotes ‘Values for All’. At Fairfield Park Lower School, we want to ensure children become valuable and fully rounded members of society who treat others with respect and tolerance, regardless of background. We want to promote the basic British Values of democracy, the rule of law, individual liberty, mutual respect and tolerance for those of different faiths and beliefs which will help prepare them for life in modern Britain. Fairfield Park Values and British Values are built into the daily life of Fairfield Park Lower School and frequent opportunities are given to enable children to apply these values and practise key learning behaviours that support them.
At Fairfield Park Lower School these values are reinforced regularly and in the following ways:
Pupil voice is significant at Fairfield Park Lower. Our pupil elected School Council plays a strong role in our school. They are elected by their class peers and are involved in making the school a better place to learn. Pupils have a great amount of input in regards to what and how they learn as they decide upon the topic they would like to learn (class topic web) about each half term and the teachers use this to inform planning. The pupil’s voice is also heard through pupil conferencing and through pupil questionnaires. We know that the formation of the School Council and the active participation of our pupils will sow the seeds for a more sophisticated understanding of democracy in the future.
The Rule of Law:
Our pupils will encounter rules and laws throughout their entire lives. We want our pupils to understand that whether these laws govern the class, the school, the neighbourhood or the country, they are set for good reasons and must be adhered to.
This understanding of the importance of rules will be consistently reinforced through assemblies, in classes, around the school and through our curriculum. The involvement of our pupils in discussing the Golden Rules helps them to understand the reasons behind the rules and the consequences if they are broken. Through SMSC questions and circle times, we allow opportunity to debate and discuss the reasons for laws so that children can recognise the importance of these for their own
protection. Opportunities for children to take more responsibility around the school are encouraged and such roles as register monitors, community volunteers, playleaders are available.
We invest a great deal of time in creating a positive culture in our school, so that children are in a safe environment where choices and freedoms are encouraged and valued. Pupils are given the freedom to make a variety of meaningful choices such as choosing the level of challenge they want to progress to in a lesson and taking ownership of their child-led learning. We offer a range of clubs which pupils have the freedom to choose from, based on their interests and skills. Through our Online Safety days, we educate children on their rights and personal freedoms as well as supporting them in recognising how to exercise these freedoms safely. During circle times, all children are encouraged to share their feelings in a safe way. At Fairfield Park Lower School, we believe that valuing choice and freedom in daily school life will foster a value for individual liberty as the children embark upon their adult lives.
Mutual respect is at the core of our school life. The children learn to treat each other and staff with great respect. This is evident when walking around the school and in the classrooms. Pupils are encouraged to showcase their work and regularly contribute respectful comments about the work of others. Through Online Safety Days, Kindness Day and Anti-Bullying week, pupils are taught to value differences in themselves and others and most importantly to show respect to all. Diversity is one of our curriculum drivers. We discuss differences between people, such as differences of faith, ethnicity, disability, gender or sexuality and differences of family situations.
Tolerance of those of different faiths and beliefs:
Fairfield Park Lower School follows the Locally Agreed RE Syllabus which ensures that all pupils learn about the main religions and teaches respect and understanding for the cultures, beliefs, opinions and traditions of others. Class assemblies also help to contribute to the knowledge of special occasions, beliefs and customs – this gives children the opportunity to enhance their understanding of their place in a culturally diverse society. Through our curriculum and the routines of our daily school life, we strive to demonstrate tolerance and help children to become knowledgeable and understanding citizens who can build a better Britain for the future. We use opportunities such as the Olympics, the World Cup and current news and events from around the world to help the children study and learn about life and cultures in different countries.