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Promoting British Values

The following statement reflects how we promote British Values throughout the work of the school. We have given just some of the many examples of how we do this.

We must remember that children want, above all else, to fit in – the desire not to be different. The goal of education in all diverse communities must therefore be to instil in each child a sense of belonging to the wider community and to 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 teachers children what constitutes socially acceptable behaviour and which reinforces good behaviour. We acknowledge that society expects good behaviour as an important outcome of the educational process.

We also acknowledge that we must 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 these values have been reiterated by the Prime Minister.

The DfE have recently 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 work in SMSC and in the following ways:

Democracy 

Democracy is in evidence within the school. Pupils have the opportunity to have their voices heard 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 also trains adults in other schools in Cornwall about how to successfully run a School Council. This is done via Involver through Healthy Schools, Cornwall.

The School Council also experienced democracy at work when they wrote to the Prime Minister and the local MP about the PIB issue.

The members of the School Council have also interviewed local councillors and our Member of Parliament about their roles and responsibilities.

We consult children about their experiences and thoughts about school; for instance, we talk to children each year about their experiences with the transition 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. The work through the School Council on the development of playground rules saw the children award the first Healthy Schools Plus award in Cornwall and the project was used as an exemplar for other schools on the Healthy Schools website.

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, R Time and PHSE 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.

Individual Liberty

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. As a nursery and infant school we spend time ensuring that children understand how to make sensible choices and why they need to consider the choices that they make, all set within clear boundaries which support them in making safe and sensible choices. 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 PSHE curriculum. We also offer pupils a wide range of extra-curricular opportunities that they can choose to participate in.

Mutual Respect:   

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 reading 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 RE and PSHE. Members of different faiths or religions have been encouraged to share their knowledge to enhance learning within classes and the school.

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.

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. Whilst this is taking place, the whole school takes part in the two-minute silence.

For example in 2014, following two days of studying the 100 year Anniversary of the First World War, an Armistice Day Ceremony was held in the school grounds during which the Union Flag was lowered, poems of remembrance recited by children and appropriate songs performed (I Vow to Thee My Country, Imagine). Local dignitaries such as the Mayor, the Captain of HMS Raleigh and members of the Royal British Legion attended.

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 staff and children have worked with South African author Veronica Lamond to develop her latest book, Joey’s Wire Bike. Year 1 used her books on the British Icon the Land Rover, set in Cornwall, to explore the use of these vehicles in our country and abroad.

The work of British scientists are celebrated, for example this year, Year 2 studied the robot which landed upon the comet.

British music is also studied and we are taking part in the BBC 10 pieces of music project.

As a whole school, we have celebrated the Commonwealth, with a huge school Garden Party to celebrate the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee. We wrote letters to Queen and sent her a PowerPoint of our work. We also celebrated the wedding of Prince William and Kate and the baptism of their son William.

We had a visit from two Olympic torchbearers who talked about the community work that meant they had been selected for this opportunity.

Each year we have a Country Dance Day during which we dance around the Maypole.

We also celebrate the Christian festivals of Harvest, Lent, Easter, Advent and Christmas. This year we have made a recycled Christmas tree for the Anglican Church which follows the theme of the 100 year Anniversary of the First World War.

We had children who took part in the Gorseth when it took place in Torpoint and ensured that all children understood what the Gorseth is.

The Royal Marine Band comes in to school each year to perform Christmas songs for the children.

The school has strong links with HMS Raleigh and we support all our forces families.

The school is a member of the British Legion and HMS Heroes.

We held a huge community open day to celebrate the centenary of our school.

When opening our Wildlife Area many dignitaries attended, including Sir Richard Carew-Pole, senior members of the RSPB and the Mayor.

We won the House of Commons Speakers Award for our work around PIBs and the death of wildlife on our beaches. During this work the children discovered e-petitions and encouraged parents to sign so that PIBs could be banned.

Our children sing at many events such as the Torpoint celebration of the Queens Diamond Jubilee and the Mayor’s Civic Service.

We support local, national and international charities; WWF, the Asian tsunami, Save the Children, Sports Relief, Comic Relief, Shelterbox and many others.