The Department of Education has 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 Barnack C of E Primary School these values are regularly promoted through our Christian Values, curriculum, quality first teaching, our programme of assemblies and our behaviour policy and pastoral care which allows pupils to develop and demonstrate skills and attributes that will allow them to participate in and contribute positively to life in Modern Britain.
Each year starts with the democratic election of the School Council. Each class participates in listening to the candidates’ reasons for wanting to be a school councillor, the process of questioning them and finally casting their votes.
In turn the school council representatives are charged with consulting with their class, and bringing forward their ideas and opinions on what should or could happen within the school. The result is that many of our pupils’ ideas are directly included in developing and improving the school.
Within each class the children draw up their class rules, and the rights and responsibilities associated with these rules. All children are encouraged to contribute to the running of their classrooms and the school. Pupil voice surveys are conducted with their outcomes feeding into school developments. Previous impact of pupil voice has been the development of the playground and the purchase of specific equipment.
Our school educates the children about democracy through visits to the school by the local magistrates and
through engaging in debates and discussions about topics through our curriculum.
The Rule of Law:
The importance of laws, as part of living and working together as a school community, permeates many of the structures and expectations that we have at Barnack Primary School. They are referred to by children and staff throughout the day and our underpinned by our School’s Christian Values.
Pupils are taught the value and reasons behind the rules and law, that they govern and protect us, the responsibilities that this involves and the consequences when laws are broken. Visits from local magistrates and working alongside the police, school nurse and fire service all help to reinforce this message.
At Barnack Primary School we encourage pupils to make informed choices. From the earliest stages of their education in Reception where the children have the opportunity to choose a learning activity pupils have opportunity to influence their learning experience throughout the school. Whether this be through the choice of challenge, how they record their work, their response to a teachers marking and feedback, choosing books for the library or by choosing to participate in homework projects, challenges and competitions, and residential opportunities.
Children have the opportunity to take up specific roles and responsibilities within the school, where they plan and deliver assemblies and activities, and can choose to join clubs and groups, many of which develop their social responsibilities and personal skills.
We support and develop the children’s understanding of their role and rights as a citizen whilst ensuring they understand the responsibilities this brings and the importance of the frameworks and structures of society which keep us safe.
Our school ethos and behaviour policy has its foundation in our Christian Values, especially of Love, Respect and Friendship to all abilities and peoples. Our values based assemblies and worship; PSHE and RE lessons combined with special events and theme days consolidate and support these key values. Throughout our curriculum we have worked hard on a ‘What if?’ approach to planning where we consider the nature and basis for the contexts and scenarios we use in class – so that it supports and reinforces our values. Our ethos encourages children to see everyone as equal before God and to begin to understand and challenge prejudice in all forms.
This foundation of mutual respect is also reiterated through our zero tolerance approach to bullying, supported by our policy and specific work during National Anti-Bullying Week and on-going work throughout the curriculum to broaden our children’s appreciation of their actions and of different peoples’ lives and experiences.
Our topic based curriculum, including history, geography, art, DT, dance and music gives our children the opportunity to learn about different cultures and in particular the experiences of children from different countries and backgrounds.
Our children are encouraged to take on a wider role in our community and beyond, we work hard to forge links with other schools and undertake activities, projects and trips to foster their understanding of the world and their role as a global citizen. Only recently we have held an Around the World Day which fostered an understanding of what it is to be a global citizen and celebrated cultural differences.
As a church school we offer hope and joy to the local community through hosting and contributing to many seasonal festivals and community events.
Tolerance for different Faiths and Beliefs:
As a Church School, Barnack Primary School is a community with many Christian families, however although founded on the Christian faith the school recognises the importance of teaching our pupils mutual respect and tolerance for those of different or of no faith.
Our Religious Education Programme conforms to the agreed syllabus from the local authority, and is based on developing both knowledge and understanding of Christianity and other faiths, but also challenges pupils to ask and answer exploratory questions around faith issues. We strive to make our RE teaching interesting and pertinent to the children’s lives and complement it with activities, visiting speakers and trips which makes it real and tangible for the children as well as consolidating their knowledge and understanding
The school recognises its duty to prepare its pupils for life in modern Britain, in which living as a global citizen in the twenty first century, means they need to understand, appreciate and celebrate our differences, whilst understanding what makes us all the same.