Promoting British Values
Promoting British Values at St Gabriel’s
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."
The government set out its definition of British values in the 2011 Prevent Strategy, and these values have been reiterated by the Prime Minister. At St Gabriel’s these values are reinforced regularly and in the following ways:
At St Gabriel’s democracy is taken very seriously. Children are actively encouraged to have a voice and share their views and opinions regularly. Our active school council is one such example. Every September we have an election when the candidates for class representatives on the school council present their election manifesto to the rest of their class. They then vote in a secret ballot and the results are announced in assembly. The school council representatives for each year group meet every week then take the ideas from the meeting back to their classes.
Every child also contributes their ideas for classroom rules at the start of each academic year. This sets ground rules for classroom conduct and establishes the standards of behaviour children can expect from each other over the year ahead.
Governors also talk regularly to children to establish their views as a way of ensuring that school self-evaluation is robust and accurate.
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 the school day, as well as when dealing with behaviour and through school assemblies. Children 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. Our class rules are displayed in all classrooms as a reference for the children.
Visits from authorities such as the Police and Fire Service are regularly part of our school calendar and help reinforce this message.
Within school, children are actively encouraged to make decisions and choices, knowing that they are in a safe and supportive environment. As a school we educate and provide boundaries for young children to take risks and make choices safely. Children are encouraged to know, understand and exercise their rights and personal freedoms and advised how to exercise these safely, for example through our E-Safety and PSHE lessons. Whether it be through choice of learning challenge, how they record their learning, participation in one of our extra-curricular clubs and opportunities, children are given the freedom to make choices and make decisions.
As a Catholic School, mutual respect is at the heart of our values. Children learn that their behaviours have an effect on their own rights and those of others. All members of the school community treat each other with respect and this is reiterated through our school and class rules.
Tolerance of Those of Different Faiths and Beliefs
St Gabriel’s is situated in an area which is not particularly culturally diverse; therefore we place a great emphasis on promoting diversity with the children. Assemblies are regularly planned to address this issue either directly or through the inclusion of stories and celebrations from a variety of faiths and cultures. Our RE and PSHE teaching reinforce this.