British Values at Lawford C of E Primary School
Updated July 2017
‘High quality learning and caring together in an encouraging and Christian environment.’
We are a Church of England School and the Christian values are at the heart of everything that we do and believe in. Children are immersed in a set of values for life and are the best ambassadors at showing our values in action.
At Lawford C of E Primary School we also uphold and teach pupils about the British Values which are defined as:
- rule of law
- individual liberty
- mutual respect
- tolerance of those of different faiths and beliefs
These values are taught explicitly through Personal, Social, Health and Emotional (PSHE), and Religious Education (RE). Whole school worship assemblies are based around a value each half term and explored through a range of different experiences such as Bible stories, stories from other cultures and ‘I wonder’ questions. We also teach the British Values through planning and delivering a broad and balanced curriculum. We have achieved the following external accreditations which demonstrate evidence of our commitment to British Values:
i. Ofsted grade of ‘Outstanding' behaviour (July 2007)
ii. School Inspection of Anglican and Methodist Schools (SIAMS) 'Outstanding' grade (October 2012)
The school takes opportunities to actively promote British Values through our daily assemblies and whole school systems and structures such as electing and running a successful School Council. We also actively promote the British Values through ensuring that our curriculum planning and delivery includes real opportunities for exploring these values. Actively promoting British Values also means challenging pupils, staff or parents expressing opinions contrary to fundamental British Values, including ‘extremist’ views. All staff carry out annual Prevent training and resources are used in the classroom to look at issues such as stereotyping people by their colour and sex.
At Lawford C of E Primary School, these values are reinforced regularly and in the following ways:
Democracy is an important value at our school. Pupils have the opportunity to have their voices heard through our School Council. The elections of members of the School Council and Sports Leaders are based on pupil votes. The children have worked together and agreed two sets of codes which we at Lawford Primary School actively work and live by; these are our ‘Behaviour and Playtime Codes’. These codes are available in each classroom and actively used by children and adults influencing what is an agreed acceptable behaviour.
The Rule of Law:
The importance of laws and rules, whether they are those that govern the class, the school or the country, are consistently reinforced throughout regular school days. Our ‘Traffic Light System’ for behaviour is aligned to an agreed set of codes (see above) and if children are given verbal warnings this is always set against the agreed school behaviour code. Children are asked to identify which aspect of the code they have broken to ensure that this connection is made and understood. Gold stars have been introduced to reward children for always being on ‘green’ and living their life by the chosen set of rules. 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, fire service, lifeguards etc. are regular parts of our calendar and help reinforce this message.
Pupils are actively encouraged to make choices at our school, knowing that they are in a safe and supportive environment. As a school we provide boundaries for our children to make choices safely, through the provision of a safe environment and planned curriculum. Pupils are encouraged to know, understand and exercise their rights and personal freedoms and are advised how to exercise these safely, for example through our e-Safety teaching and PSHE lessons. Pupils are given the freedom to make choices, e.g. signing up for extra-curricular clubs, choose the level of challenge in some lessons and are becoming increasingly more involved in child–led learning, e.g. and planning and delivering child led assemblies and evaluating assemblies, influencing how adults deliver content in future assemblies. SIAMs report: ‘They enjoy researching for, and leading class worship. An excellent example was on racism when pupils learnt that ‘everyone is the same and it is important not to hurt people’.
Part of our school ethos and behaviour policy are based around core Christian values such as ‘respect’ and ‘responsibility’ and these values determine how we live as a community at Lawford C of E Primary School. Assemblies are based on ‘Values for Life’ and are central to how we expect everyone to go about their life at our school. Children and adults alike, including visitors, are challenged if they are disrespectful in any way. Values are highly visible around the school and can be seen in posters, certificates and as part of our agreed codes. Our SIAMS inspection confirms this is an outstanding aspect of life at Lawford C of E Primary School.
Tolerance of Those of Different Faiths and Beliefs:
This is achieved through enhancing pupils’ understanding of their place in a culturally diverse society and by giving them opportunities to experience such diversity in our local community which is by large white British. Assemblies and discussions involving prejudices and prejudice-based bullying have been followed and supported by learning in RE and PSHE. We are very proud to be linked to Mamponteng Primary School in Ghana and our ‘Ghanaian brothers and sisters’ are represented through photos around the school. Linked projects encourage children to consider similarities and differences between our two schools and we actively encourage staff visits between Lawford C of E Primary School and Mamponteng Primary School. SIAMs report: ‘For example, pupils’ knowledge and understanding of the worldwide church is greatly enhanced through the link with Ghana.’ We are also currently developing a link with a school in Kenya as part of our global learning focus.
We celebrate ‘European Day of Languages’ as a whole school encouraging children to research and discover differences and similarities between us and our European neighbours. Likewise we use opportunities such as the Olympics and World Cup to study and learn about life and culture in countries such as Brazil. Our SIAMS report stated: ‘They enjoy learning about other faiths and are clear about what mosque life means for Muslims and church life for Christians.’
Examples of the British Values Taught in the Curriculum at Lawford C of E Primary School
As part of our daily set up in Foundation Stage, children are taught the value of individual liberty through self-selecting their learning activities. Children are taught about the value of democracy through collaborative decision making, for example, choosing names for class pets and role play areas. They are learning to tolerate the different faiths and beliefs through their learning of the festivals of Chinese New Year and Diwali.
In the spring, the children learn about ‘Our Wonderful World’. We look at all the wonderful aspects of our world and what we can all do to protect them in our classroom and in our wider community. The children talk about how we have a responsibility to look after each other too. Tolerating the beliefs of different faiths continues to be a focus in the summer term as children study the lives, beliefs and traditions of the Islamic faith. In the summer term, linked to our unit on ‘Under the Sea’, we look at threats to the creatures in the sea. As part of ‘World Oceans Day’ we all make a promise to do one thing to help take care of our oceans. Children engage in Forest School activities, learning the value of individual liberty making choices about their learning activities, as well as mutual respect for the natural world around them
Year 1 children are taught the value of democracy through voting for their new role school council members. Children’s ideas are heard and shared with others, resulting in a democratic decision on who the school council members will be. They are taught about the value of laws and rules through their learning in the outdoors, including using the Trim Trail and in the Mud Kitchen. Children are actively encouraged to make personal choices about the foods they eat following their learning about Healthy Living. A ‘gold star’ reward system which recognises when their behaviours and attitudes show respect towards others is used. In RE children learn about the similarities and differences between the Christian and Muslims. The children link these to our school values and discuss how this impacts on their world. In PSHE, children debate what it means to be a good friend and the importance of treating each other with respect.
The autumn term's focus in Year 2 is to recognise how to form relationships and show mutual respect. This is taught through understanding how to tolerate different ideas and beliefs as well as acknowledging how to cope in every day interactions. In R.E, the children study the celebrations that Muslim and Christian Faiths use to thank their god for the natural world. They learn to show mutual respect for one another in their team research groups in ICT. The children learn about our partner school in Ghana, recognising the similarities and differences between our daily lives. Tolerating the beliefs of different faiths continues to be a focus in the spring term as children study the lives, beliefs and traditions of our Ghanaian partner friends in depth, supporting their learning about Africa.
Through studying the life of Nelson Mandela, children learn about the impact and effect that law can have on countries and how people have responded to change laws in the past. During the summer term, children have a chance to express their opinions and experience a democratic vote when planning and making decisions about what to stock at our seaside café with for our sharing afternoon. Mutual Respect continues to be taught and modelled to the children through encouraging them to work with different Learning Partners to share knowledge, ideas and opinions.
In PSHE children learn about rights and responsibilities and the importance of rules. They reflect on rules that are in our classrooms, school and within our society, learning to recognise how this helps our world get along. Following on from this, the children focus on the Olympic values and how they can be implemented in the classroom to improve our Growth Mindset. In R.E, they learn about the natural world and the associated religious stories from different faiths. For example, the children learn about Islam as a religion, and also what it means to be a Muslim. In PE the children take part in squash training and tournaments. The value of the tournament and training is sportsmanship. Children are reminded to show mutual respect towards other players at all times. On the Life Bus, children learn about their body and their mind. Children identify substances that can be harmful to the body and those that can helpful and learn to respect themselves and their bodies. Children organise and lead their own class assemblies covering our school values.
In the autumn term, Year 4 children study the topic, “What are the Houses of Parliament?” They look at where rules in our society originated from and the sanctions that are put in place when these laws are broken. They study the actions and laws passed by parliament. Children are taught to respect the different faiths, looking at Muslim and Christian commitment. They study similarities and differences between Christian and Muslim worship and work in the community. Children organise and lead their own class assemblies covering issues such as honesty and respect. In PSHE children look at different cultures, living in our society and celebrating achievements while developing personal strengths. Children continue to raise money for our partnership school in Ghana, and for ‘Send a Cow’. They understand the impact that the money raised would have on these communities. During the Life Bus the children learn to understand why it is good to be themselves and to value each other. The residential trip to Flatford includes learning to respect and care for the environment as well as learning about the local community. In maths and literacy lessons, the children choose their own challenges ensuring that they are both suitable but will also extend their learning.
Children in Year 5 are responsible for planning, delivering and evaluating their own worship assemblies. They are taught the value of individual liberty by making their own choices about the content and the delivery of this to the rest of the class. This can include using religious stories from other faiths. Children regularly make choices about the learning opportunities they receive, by selecting their own ‘chilli challenges’ in lessons. They are taught about the value of Law through their R.E units on ‘God’s promises’ and ‘The Five Pillars of Islam’ and what guides their lives. Within this, there are links to why we have rules and the consequences that follow if these are broken. There is discussion about why society needs rules, as well as the opportunity to write their own rules to protect things in their lives which they recognise to be important in encouraging peace and harmony in the world. Children learn the value of individual liberty making choices about their learning activities, as well as mutual respect for the natural world around them during reflection times in the Quiet Area.
Through their learning about the Jewish and Islamic faith, children recognise the differences in how people live their lives and the need to respect this. Through their work on Ancient civilisations, they learn about the importance of democracy. They often take part in democratic votes when allocating roles for the Year 5 Easter production and sharing assemblies. Children identify what radicalisation is and can identify ways to keep themselves safe when communicating with the wider world.
Through their history topic on World War Two, children learn about Europe’s fight for freedom and a democratic Europe. They study the impact of the war on civilians, including the role of women during the war and recognise how this has influenced Britain today. Children earn the responsibility to become a prefect through showing respect and acting in the expected manner of British society. As part of their PSHE, children visit ‘Crucial Crew’ where they are taught to make the right choices surrounding use of the internet, railways, drugs and alcohol. They learn about the rules that are in place in society to prevent misuse of these and learn how to keep safe. This is also evident in the experience on the ‘Life Bus’, which teaches them about the misuse of addictive substances including the potential consequences of choosing to partake of such substances. Children continue to build on the value of individual liberty making choices on their residential visit to Mersea. This trip promotes both independence and responsibility.
Children have a democratic voice in the summer term, making decisions about how best to put on a performance; they make decisions about casting, staging and scenery.
Mutual respect is a value learnt from an early age and this is emphasised in Year 6 with the buddy system with Foundation stage. Children give and receive respect from their buddies acting as positive role models in the school environment and society. In R.E, they learn to respect and tolerate other faiths through their learning about the Islamic faith and the importance of the Hajj and exploring Judaism. Children engage in Forest School activities, learning the value of individual liberty making choices about their learning activities, as well as mutual respect for the natural world around them.