Promoting British Values at Beech Street
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, and these values have been reiterated by the Prime Minister in 2014.
Beech Street Primary School is committed to actively promoting the fundamental British values and pupils are encouraged to develop and demonstrate skills and attitudes that will allow them to participate fully in and contribute positively to life in modern Britain. At Beech Street, these values are reinforced regularly in the following ways:
Democratic processes are embedded in the way we work at Beech Street. Pupils views are sought in many ways such as surveys, questionnaires and interviews to put forward their views on our school; pupil voice in drawing up their class rules and charters for the new school year as part of their ‘Jigsaw’ (social and emotional aspects of learning) programme, attendance class reward votes and weekly assemblies. We also have a school council, which is made up of two class councillors elected by their class mates; they meet regularly, to discuss issues raised and have their own budget to genuinely effect change within our school.
At Beech Street our pastoral policies such as the Behaviour Policy, Anti-Bullying Policy, Equality Policy, E-Safety Policy and Safeguarding Policy, ensure that all children can learn in a safe environment and our peer mentoring system is one practical way that supports this, acting as a powerful tool for social inclusion. It encourages our older pupils to support their younger peers through both personal development and school related problems, providing a valuable contribution to emotional and social well being. 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 clearly seen in our e-safety and P.S.H.E. ‘Jigsaw’ lessons. Whether it is through choice of challenge; of how they record; of participation in extra- curricular activities; our pupils are given the freedom to make choices.
We also work with many different agencies such as Childline, Greater Manchester Police, the Prison Service, Fire Service, Young Carers and Health professionals. This ensures that our children know how to keep themselves healthy, safe and fit in order to fully enjoy their lives now and in adulthood.
Tolerance of those of Different Faiths and Beliefs
At Beech Street we achieve this through developing every child's awareness of their place in a culturally diverse society. We want our children to understand the wider community they live in as well as the global community and how they can contribute to both and make a difference. Members of different faiths or religions are encouraged to share their knowledge to enhance learning within classes and the school and children visit places of worship that are important to different faiths. Assemblies and discussions involving prejudices and prejudice-based bullying have been followed and supported by learning in R.E and PSHE.
The Rule of Law
The importance of laws or rules is reinforced in many ways. These include class rules and wider school rules. These wider school rules and values apply to all and are clearly understood as a framework for the way we all conduct ourselves. The need for rules is often discussed in assemblies and through our PSHE ‘Jigsaw’ (personal, social and health education) programme, to enable our children to see the value and reason behind laws, that they govern and protect us. This work is also linked to visits from the Police, Prison and Fire Services.
Respect is one of the core values of our school and underpins our work every day, both in and out of the classroom. 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 is often at the heart of discussions in circle time, assemblies, collective worship, school council meetings and in staff meetings. We regularly ask parents and carers for their views on our school (Parent/Carer Voice) and how it meets the needs of their child, in terms of their happiness and wellbeing. We also have a successful Peer Mentoring system in place, where pupils from Year 6 volunteer to give a little bit of their time each week to help others at lunchtimes. Our events to raise funds for a variety of charities, including Macmillan, Children in Need and the Wood Street Mission also enable our children to think and care for others. We hope that by living in an environment where mutual respect is demonstrated daily, our children will enter the wider world understanding its importance.