The Department for Education state 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.”
At Barrowcliff School we believe promoting these values are equipping pupils with the knowledge, skills and attitudes they need to be able to function in a diverse society.
Democracy is practised regularly at our 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 through pupil voice questionnaires and school council ‘ideas boxes’. The elections of the school Council members are based solely on pupil votes, reflecting our British electoral system and demonstrating democracy in action. In addition, we organise debates in upper key stage 2, which reflect parliamentary procedures.
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 in school. 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 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 etc. also help to reinforce our messages. Our ‘restorative practice’ approach helps us to resolve conflicts.
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 education. We support pupils to develop their self-knowledge, self-esteem 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.
All of our British Values are taught through assemblies and PSHE sessions and form a key part of our daily dialogue across school. Respect is promoted across school and is a value practised and demonstrated daily. 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. Respect at Barrowcliff School supports our work every day both in and out of the classroom. A wide range of extra-curricular clubs are offered at Barrowcliff School both at lunchtime and after the school day. 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
Practising the value of respect ensures tolerance of those who have different faiths and beliefs. Barrowcliff School enhances pupils understanding of different faiths and beliefs through religious education studies; PSHE work and enjoying a depth of study about other cultures and belief systems during themed weeks and wonder days.