Promoting British Values
We believe the central goals of education in all communities should be to promote in each child an understanding and acceptance of diversity, alongside a strong sense of belonging within the wider community and the country in which they live.
We acknowledge that a large part of our role, as a Nursery and Infant School, is to create an environment which explicitly teaches children what constitutes socially acceptable behaviour and should help our children to develop a strong sense of what is right and wrong.
The government set out its definition of British values in the 2011 Prevent Strategy and in 2014 the DfE 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.”
At Torpoint Nursery and Infant school these values are reinforced regularly through our curriculum, SMSC and in the following ways:
Pupil voice is of paramount importance and this is reflected within our Achieve Curriculum aims, one of which states ‘voices of the children are heard and listened to, ensuring that they are at the heart of everything we do and every decision we make.’
Pupils have the opportunity to have their voices heard in a number of ways including:
Through our elected School Council. The process of our elections follows that of local and national elections, with children writing their own manifestos and each child in every class then possessing one vote which is cast privately. The School Council work on issues important to the school and consult their classmates about their views and opinions, then bringing these thoughts back to the School Council meetings.
The School Council frequently experience democracy at work, writing to the Prime Minister and the local MP. An example of this has been the recent work completed on ‘the plastic problem’ and previously the project on the PIB pollution within our seas. As a result of the work around the banning of PIBs, the School Council won the House of Commons Speakers Award and travelled to The Houses of Parliament to collect the award.
The members of the School Council have also interviewed local councillors and our Member of Parliament about their roles and responsibilities. Local councillors are invited to School Council meetings on a termly basis.
We consult children about their experiences and thoughts about school; children in the School Council have devised their own questionnaire which gathers children’s views about all aspects of school life. We also talk to children each year about their experiences with the transition to the next class. Whilst consulting children about transition we also consult our parents about their experience of transition.
The children democratically decide upon their individual class rules and together, through the School Council, work to develop the playground rules. These rules are revisited by the School Council on an annual basis.
We also consult parents on a regular basis through specific questionnaires and always respond personally to suggestions made by parents about how we can make our school even better. At our termly Parental Consultation meetings, parents are asked to comment upon their and their child’s experience in school.
Our core values and behaviour system are understood and supported by the pupils who use them to understand rewards and sanctions.
The Rule of Law
The importance of Laws, whether they be those that govern each class, our school or our country, are reinforced each day. In addition, they are positively reinforced through our support for high expectations of children’s behaviour; this often happens through school assemblies, and PSHRE lessons. We also support parents in developing positive parenting around boundaries and behaviour expectations.
The development of classroom and playground rules, each created with the children, allows the importance of rules in the promotion of a happy school community to be valued by all members of the school, both staff and children. We endeavour to involve members of organisations such as the Police, Coastguard and Fire Service in order to reinforce these messages.
Within school, our children are actively encouraged to make choices, knowing that they are in a safe and supportive environment. We help children to recognise that it is better to make positive choices and that there are consequences to all the choices that we make. Our curriculum, and the way in which we organise our curriculum, supports children developing independence. We have school uniform which has two colours (red and blue); this simple fact enables children to start to make decisions; they are expected to wear our school uniform but there is a freedom within that choice as to the colour that they wear. We present pupils with relevant information regarding E-Safety and personal freedoms through our computing and PSHRE curriculum. We also offer pupils a wide range of extra-curricular opportunities that they can choose to participate in.
The children know and understand (through the implementation of our Behaviour Policy) that it is expected and imperative that respect is shown to everyone. The behaviour of all adults in school sets a positive example for our children. The school promotes respect for others and this is reiterated through our classroom and learning environments. Mutual respect is embraced throughout the curriculum from the concept of fairness: ‘fair play’ in PE; the ‘buddy system’ which promotes mutual respect and support between children across Reception and Year 2; the children deciding what are fair consequences for inappropriate choices having been made and class and playground rules.
Tolerance of those of Different Faiths and Beliefs:
We achieve this through enhancing our children’s understanding of their place in a wider culturally diverse society and by giving them opportunities to experience such diversity. Assemblies and discussions involving prejudices are supported by learning in RS and PSHRE. Members of different faiths or religions have been encouraged to share their knowledge to enhance learning within classes and the school.
Cultural Diversity Day is celebrated annually where children experience first-hand a range of diverse cultures through visitors to the school alongside classroom activities.
We allow every child in the school to identify with their own culture. We value the diverse ethnic backgrounds of all our children and families and undertake a variety of events and lessons to celebrate these.
We have found this approach to be enriching for everyone as it teaches tolerance and respect for the differences in our community and the wider world. Underpinning all of these is a range of curriculum themes which allow children to learn about the world in which we live.
Further examples of how we promote British Values throughout the work of the school include:
Every year members of the School Council, together with the Head Teacher, attend the Armistice Day Ceremony at Sparrow Park and take with them a remembrance token made by the children. Representatives from the school also attend the Sunday Remembrance Service in Torpoint. A Remembrance Service is also held in school grounds where members of the British Legion, Town Councillors, The Mayor and parents who are in the forces are invited to attend. The Union Flag is lowered and poems are recited and songs of remembrance performed by the children. Each class makes their own wreath which they lay during the service as a token of remembrance.
The school has strong links with HMS Raleigh and we support all of our forces families. Children take part in Forces Friends assemblies and we held a Forces Friends Picnic where the Royal Marine Band played whilst the children were eating.
The school is a member of the British Legion and MKC Heroes (formally HMS Heroes.)
A group of children from Forces Friends attended the unveiling of the new war memorial in Torpoint.
Every year the School Council attend the ceremony in Torpoint for ‘Fly the Flag for Commonwealth Day’. Activities around the Commonwealth also take place within classes.
Children have studied famous Britons such as Mary Anning and Sir Robert Falcon Scott, British authors such as Julia Donaldson and local author and artist Simon James and British artists such as Anna Dillon and Andy Goldsworthy.
The work of British scientists are celebrated, for example, Year 2 studied the robot which landed upon the comet and also followed Tim Peake on his journey into space where they took part in the seed experiment, growing seeds which had been in space and comparing their growth to those which had not.
During Sports Week, we invite Olympic and Paralympic athletes to work with the children and share their achievements. We hold an annual Country Dance Day where children dance around the Maypole.
We celebrate the Christian festivals of Harvest, Lent, Easter, Advent and Christmas.
Our children sing at many events such as the Mayor’s Civic Service and the ‘Torpoint Feel Good’ festival.
Children celebrated the wedding of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle through a range of wedding themed activities whilst learning about the royal family.
We support local, national and international charities; WWF, Save the Children, Sports Relief, Comic Relief, Shelterbox, Australian Red Cross ( children raised money as a result of the bushfires), Roald Dahl and many others.
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