At Ilsington CofE Primary School we take very seriously our responsibility to prepare children for life in modern Britain. We ensure that the fundamental British Values are introduced, discussed and lived out through the ethos and work of the school. All curriculum areas provide a vehicle for furthering understanding of these concepts and, in particular, our RE and PSHE lessons provide excellent opportunities to deepen and develop understanding. Children embrace these concepts with enthusiasm and demonstrate a good understanding of their application to their own lives.
The school makes considerable efforts to ensure children have exposure to a wide experience beyond their local community during which these concepts are shown. Sporting events, a range of visits and residentials are planned to ensure children’s experiences are broad, meaningful and varied. Their strong rooted values-based understanding gives them an excellent platform for embracing difference.
What are British Values?
The Government emphasises that schools are required to ensure that key ‘British Values’ are taught in all UK schools. The government set out its definition of British values in the ‘Prevent Strategy’ - values of:
- The rule of law
- Individual liberty
- Mutual respect
- Tolerance of those of different faiths and beliefs.
British Values at Ilsington CofE Primary School
Democracy is an integral part of school life. Pupils have the opportunity to have their voices heard through our School Council and Pupil questionnaires. The elections of House Captains and School Councillors are based solely on pupil votes. Weekly meetings of the School Council ensure the reinforcement of democratic processes, the application of freedom of speech and group action to address needs and concerns. Key to this is the concept of holding others to account, including those in positions of authority and influence. Pupils also nominate a child in their class to receive a heads Award each month.
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 collective worship. 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; are regular parts of our calendar and 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 safety, through provision of a safe environment and empowering education. Pupils are encouraged to know, understand and exercise their rights and personal freedoms and advise how to exercise these safely, for example through our E-Safety and PSHE lessons.
Part of our school ethos and behaviour policy has revolved around Values such as ‘Respect’, and pupils have been part of discussions and collective worship related to what this means and how it is shown. The school promotes respect for others and this is reiterated through our classroom rules, as well as our behaviour policy. The concept of ‘fair play’, being magnanimous in defeat and participation in activities that promote kinship and affiliation with others are actively promoted in school.
Tolerance of those of Different Faiths and Beliefs:
As a church school, collective worship is fundamentally Christian in character, but recognises that those attending may have a wide range of faiths, or none. Tolerance of those of different faiths and beliefs is achieved through enhancing pupils understanding of their place in a culturally diverse society and by giving them opportunities to experience such diversity. Collective worship and discussions involving prejudices and prejudice- based bullying have been followed and supported by learning in RE and PSHE. Members of different faiths or religions are encouraged to share their knowledge to enhance learning within classes and the school. Ilsington CofE Primary School follows the Agreed Devon Syllabus for Religious Education. A copy of the units will be on our new website.
British History within the Curriculum:
Ilsington CofE Primary School offers a range of curriculum topics which have strong links to Britain both past and present. As a school, we encourage knowledge of current affairs that are significant to us as a nation. We celebrated the Diamond Jubilee was a large event for the school, with a special afternoon tea party held for parents, grandparents and members of the local community.
In 2012, the school celebrated the Olympics, with opportunities to learn about the history of Olympians in this country. Our learning community schools or participated in a themed dance project.
Every year we have Remembrance Service and make wreaths to be laid at the war memorial. The children are also taught about Remembrance day through our Topic Lessons.
Across all years, there is a strong focus on the work of famous British figures both past and present; these include Florence Nightingale, Winston Churchill and Queen Victoria. The children really enjoy learning about people from the past and in particular those who have had an impact on the modern world and our community.