The Department for Education state that schools should “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.”
All of these values encompass elements of a child’s Spiritual, Moral, Social and Cultural Development (SMSC). SMSC Development takes place through all areas of the curriculum, including PSHE, R.E., History, Geography, Computing, Music, Art and D.T., P.E., Science, Maths, English and French.
At Shotley Bridge Priamry School, we are committed to fundamental British Values and teach them in the following ways:
Democracy is embedded at the school. Children 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. This is also supported by our PSHE curriculum which covers fairness, compromise and resolving conflict. Children also have the opportunity to air their opinions and ideas through our School Council and regular questionnaires. In addition, candidates for school council representatives present their manifestoes and are chosen in a secret ballot by the children. The concept of democracy is reinforced through KS2 History lessons (the Greeks) and assemblies which have addressed how general elections and parliamentary democracy works in the United Kingdom.
The Rule of Law
The importance of the Rule of Law is consistently reinforced whether they are those that govern the class, the school or the country. Our school has rules which are embedded in our work every day. Each class also discusses and sets its own rules that are clearly understood by all and are seen to be necessary to ensure that every class member is able to learn in a safe and orderly environment. The Rule of Law is included in our PSHE curriculum. Our children are taught the value and reasons behind laws, both in school and in wider society. They understand that they govern and protect us, the responsibilities that this involves and the consequences when laws or rules are broken. The laws related to alcohol, drugs and tobacco are covered. Visits from authorities such as the Police and Fire Service, NSPCC and the School Nurse, the Year 6 Safety Carousel and Internet Safety Day help reinforce this message in our PSHE lessons. Assemblies covering the ‘Rule of Law’ have focused on school issues such as lunchtime rules, why washing your hands is important and how the legal system works.
Within school, children 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 children to make choices safely, through the provision of a safe environment and an empowering education. Our children are encouraged to know, understand and exercise their rights, responsibilities and personal freedoms, linked to the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child, and are advised how to exercise these safely. Whether it is through choice of challenge, of how they record information, or of participation in our numerous extra- curricular activities, our children are given the freedom to make choices. Assemblies and PSHE lessons cover gender stereotypes, heroes of liberty (e.g. Martin Luther King), and the UN Convention.
Our children know and understand that it is expected that respect is shown to everyone, whatever differences we may have. We have a multi-cultural school community and we are committed to developing respect for all cultures. We believe that this respect is fostered through PSHE lessons (focusing on families, caring and respectful relationships in real life and online) and in RE. As well as developing intercultural understanding through the teaching of Primary Languages.
Tolerance of those with Different Faiths and Beliefs
Our core values ensure tolerance of those who have different faiths and beliefs. At Shotley Bridge Primary School we have children from a variety of religious backgrounds, including those with no religion. We enhance children’s understanding of different faiths and beliefs through Religious Education, PSHE work and learn about other places of worship to deepen understanding of different celebrations and beliefs. These are studied in depth, with visitors being invited into our school to enrich and extend understanding. KS1 and KS2 assemblies show examples of people showing tolerance of those with different faiths and beliefs.