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 were reiterated in 2014. At Cabot these values are reinforced regularly and in the following ways.
Cabot is a UNICEF Rights Respecting school. Each year the children decide upon their class contracts and the children have a good understanding of their rights associated. All the children contribute to the drawing up of the contract.
Children have many opportunities for their voices to be heard. We have a school council which meets regularly to discuss issues raised in class council meetings. The council genuinely effects change within the school and has recently formed a ‘Cabot Cares in the Community’ campaign in which children address issues within the local area. Two council members for each year group are elected by their class.
At the start of Year Six, house captains are nominated and voted for once individuals have applied for the role.
The Rule of Law
The importance of Laws, whether they be those that govern the class, the school, or the country, are consistently reinforced throughout regular school days, as well as when dealing with behaviour and through school assemblies. 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 authorities such as the Police and Fire Service help reinforce this message.
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 young pupils to make choices safely, through provision of a safe environment and empowering education. Pupils are encouraged to know, understand and exercise their rights and personal freedoms and advised how to exercise these safely, for example through our E-Safety and PSHE lessons. Whether it be through choice of learning challenge, of how they record, or participation in our extra-curricular clubs and opportunities, pupils are given the freedom to make choices.
Mutual Respect and celebration of different faiths and beliefs.
Mutual respect is at the heart of our school values. Children learn that their behaviours have an effect on their own rights and those of others. All members of the school community treat each other with respect.
As a school community, we celebrate cultural diversity, therefore we place a great emphasis on promoting diversity with the children. Assemblies are regularly planned to ensure that they include a range of celebrations from a variety of faiths and cultures. Our RE and PSHE teaching reinforce this. Members of different faiths or religions are encouraged to share their knowledge to enhance learning within classes and the school. At Cabot we will actively challenge pupils, staff or parents expressing opinions contrary to fundamental British Values, including ‘extremist’ views.