Promoting Fundamental British Values at Honiton Primary School
The Department for Education states that there is a 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 were reiterated by the Prime Minister in 2014. Our values define who we are as a school and hopefully you ‘feel’ this strong community when you visit or join us. We are very proud of what we do. At Honiton Primary School, as part of our values driven school community, these ideals are reinforced regularly and in the following ways:
Democracy is embedded at the school. Pupils are always listened to by adults and are taught to listen carefully and with concern to each other, respecting the right of every individual to have their opinions and voices heard. Pupils also have the opportunity to air their opinions and ideas within lessons and wider school projects such as designing a local play park, creating school dinner menus in consultation with the school chef and designing the new play frames. The elections of the Student Council members are based solely on manifestos and pupil votes, reflecting our British electoral system and demonstrating democracy in action. In addition, our older pupils have experienced meeting local politicians and participating in debating sessions thus learning how to argue and defend points of view. In response to the Covid pandemic we are looking at introducing Wellbeing Ambassadors who will support children's mental health as we move forwards as a school.
The Rule of Law
The importance of laws whether they are those that govern the class, the school or the country, are consistently reinforced throughout our school day, through our school assemblies and also when dealing with behaviour within school. Using our values driven school culture we encourage our pupils to distinguish right from wrong and help pupils to understand that living under the rule of law protects individuals. Our pupils are taught the value of and reasons behind laws; that they govern and protect us, the responsibilities that this involves and the consequences when laws are broken. Visits from the Police, Fire Service, local charities etc. also help to reinforce our messages. Our Behaviour Policy is firm but fair and shared with pupils and parents alike.
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 our pupils to make choices safely, through the provision of a safe environment and an empowering, self-organised education. Through our Growth Guide and rich SOLE curriculum, we support all pupils to develop their self-knowledge, self-esteem, organisation and self-confidence. Our pupils are encouraged to know, understand and exercise their rights and personal freedoms and are advised how to exercise these safely; examples of this can be found in the children’s SOLE books, linked PSHE units of teaching and learning and on our school website (HPS - Values). We implement a strong anti-bullying culture and pride ourselves on being open and responsive to all concerns that are brought to our attention.
At the heart of our whole school ethos is a commitment to Values – a set of core attitudes that we believe contribute to individuals being able to live happy and successful lives within the communities to which they belong. Our three core values are designed to underpin the need for mutual respect between our pupils and their peers, staff, their families and their wider community. Our values are taught through assemblies, our SOLE topics and PSHE sessions which form a key part of our daily dialogue across school. Respect is promoted across school and it is deeply embedded in all that we do. The pupils know and understand that it is expected and imperative that respect is shown to everyone, whatever differences we may have and to everything, however big or small. High expectations are the norm at HPS! Our values underpin our work everyday, both in and out of the classroom. Our school frequently participates in learning activities which promote mutual respect including visits to local residential care homes for the elderly, producing 180 crates of food for our vulnerable families and regular visits to the local church. In addition to these activities our children are given regular opportunities to learn within their community (we are lucky to have our own woods for outdoor learning experiences) and beyond; each time an emphasis is placed on respecting those with whom they come into contact and their surroundings. A wide range of extra-curricular clubs are offered at HPS both at lunchtime, after the school day and throughout the school holidays. These clubs provide another opportunity for mutual respect to be secured in the attitudes of our pupils, both amongst those participating from their own setting, and any visiting staff or teams.
Tolerance of Those With Different Faiths And Beliefs
Our core values ensure tolerance of those who have different faiths and beliefs. We understand the importance of diversity within our community and we are proud to support our families from different cultures. From producing dual-language Widgit resources, dual-language texts in our school library (including an extensive fiction and non-fiction BAME book list) and asking parents to share their cultural experiences with our children; we try and maximise all the opportunities to promote inclusion and diversity. Honiton Primary School enhances pupils' understanding of different faiths and beliefs through religious education studies, Time to Breath reflections and rich SOLE learning. As a response to the COVID pandemic we have recently introduced, 'time to be...'; essentially valuing all children's rights to be children and all that that entails, regardless of race or creed. On an annual basis, as our community evolves and diversifies, we proudly reflect this in our school practise.