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 Department for Education defines British Values as follows:
- Respect for democracy and support or participation in the democratic process
- Respect for the basis on which the law is made and applies in England
- Support for equality of opportunity for all
- Support and respect for the liberties of all within the law
- Respect for and tolerance of different faiths and religious and other beliefs
British Values in our School
We are proud to be British and we develop British Values in many ways. St Matthew’s is a Church of England primary school which seeks to live out Christian values. We promote these values by our words and deeds, and our beliefs and practice therefore permeate every aspect of our school’s activity. We provide a curriculum which is broad and balanced, recognising that every pupil is unique. Our curriculum is designed to enable every pupil to be well-equipped and be active citizens in service to the world.
St Matthew's promotes the fundamental British values of democracy, the rule of law, individual liberty and mutual respect and tolerance of those with different faiths and beliefs are taught and regularly reinforced through our broad, balanced and enriched curriculum.
Democracy - What do we do?
- Provide pupils with a broad general knowledge of, and promote respect for, public institutions and services
- Teach pupils how they can influence decision–making though the democratic process
- Include in the curriculum information on the advantaged and disadvantages of democracy and how it works in Britain
- Encourage pupils to become involved in decision–making processes and ensure they are listened to in school
- Help pupils express their views
- Teach pupils how public services operate and how they are held to account
- Model how received injustice can be peacefully challenged
The Rule of Law - What do we do?
- Ensure school rules and expectations are clear and fair
- Help the pupils distinguish between right and wrong
- Help the pupils respect the law and the basis on which it is made
- Help the pupils understand that living under the law protects individuals
- Include visits from the police/local PCSOs in the curriculum
- Teach the pupils both civil and criminal law and discuss how this might differ from some religious laws
- Develop a restorative justice approach to resolve conflicts
The importance of laws, whether they are those that govern the class, the school, or the country, are reinforced throughout regular school days, as well as when dealing with behaviour and through school Collective Worship. Pupils are taught our school rules from an early age. They are taught the value and reasons behind rules and laws, that they govern and protect us, the responsibilities that this involves and the consequences when rules or laws are broken.
High expectations are reinforced and opportunities are frequently sought to praise positive choices. Pupils’ who model behaviour consistent with the school’s high expectations are recognised and used as role models to others’.
Individual Liberty - What do we do?
- Support the children to develop their self- knowledge, self-esteem and self-confidence
- Encourage the children to take responsibility for their behaviour, as well as, knowing tier rights
- Model freedom of speech through pupil participation, whilst protecting the vulnerable pupils and promoting critical analysis of the evidence.
- Challenge stereotypes
- Implement a strong anti-bullying culture
We actively encourage the children to make choices, knowing that they are in a safe and supportive environment in our PSHE lessons and E–Safety sessions. The children are encouraged to know, understand and exercise their rights and personal freedoms and advised how to exercise these safely.
Mutual Respect and Tolerance for those of Different Faiths and Beliefs - What do we do?
- Within PSHE and RE lessons, children are taught to respect each other and to work collaboratively. They learn to be supportive of each other and to look for similarities while being understanding of differences.
- Children with school responsibilities such as school council representatives, house captains or eco-council representatives, model appropriate behaviours and encourage their peers to demonstrate respect and understanding of others.
- Our school regularly supports charity days. Children often take a lead in raising the profile of charities and raising money for a chosen charity.
- Mutual respect is promoted within PSHE lessons and collective worship. In addition, we take part in national events (i.e. Remembrance Day).
- Regular whole school events such as Sports Day involves the pupils working with children of all ages.
- Within our school, children learn to respect the needs and customs of others with different backgrounds.
- Within RE lessons tolerance of different faiths and beliefs is promoted as the children learn about different religions, their beliefs, places of worship and festivals.
- This is supported by whole school worship/class worship, which also mark and celebrate some of the festivals of different religions.
- Significant celebrations, such as Harvest, give pupils the opportunity to learn how these festivals are marked within different communities and religions.
- Within the safe environment of PSHE, class worship and RE lessons, the children are given the opportunity to discuss and explore different viewpoints. They learn to listen to and respect the beliefs of others.
The children are encouraged to know, understand and exercise their rights and personal freedoms and advised how to exercise these safely. The United Nations' Convention on the Rights of the Child Article 14 states that "Children have the right to think and believe what they want, and to practise their religion, as long as they are not stopping other people from enjoying their rights." We are proud to support our children in their exploration of this and strongly urge parents to further develop their children's understanding of these matters at home.