Promotion of British Values
At Dormansland School, we recognise not only the importance of allowing children to flourish academically but also our essential role in preparing them for life beyond education. Part of our role in that preparation is ensuring that we promote and reinforce British values.
The government set out its definition of British values in the 2011 Prevent Strategy in the following way:
- rule of law
- individual liberty
- mutual respect
- tolerance of those of different faiths and beliefs
At our school these values are reinforced in a pervasive manner and permeate the school curriculum as well as the wider daily experiences of the children.
The examples that follow are an indication of some of the many ways we seek to embed British values at Dormansland and should be seen as an indication of our approach rather than an exhaustive list.
At Dormansland the principle of democracy is consistently reinforced, with the democratic process being employed for important decisions within the school community. For instance, elections are held for our House captains and vice captains and for the membership of our School Council. The principle of democracy is explored in History and RE lessons, and often forms the basis of our assemblies.
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 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. Visits from authorities such as the Police and Fire Service, are regular parts of our calendar and help to reinforce this message with children of all ages.
Children are actively encouraged to make independent choices, knowing that they are in a safe, secure and supportive environment. As a school we educate and provide boundaries for children to make choices safely. They are encouraged to know, understand and exercise their rights and personal freedoms and receive advice about how to exercise these safely, for example through our exploration of online safety in computing or when working as part of a group on a range of problem-solving activities.
Respect is at the core of our school ethos and is modelled by staff and children alike. The school promotes respect for others and this is reiterated through our classroom and learning environments. In line with our commitment to democracy, children are able to voice their opinions and we foster an environment where they feel safe to disagree with each other. Mutual respect is embraced throughout the curriculum from the concept of ‘fair play’ in PE to a number of ‘buddy’ programmes which promote mutual respect between children across different year groups within the school.
Tolerance of those of different faiths and beliefs
We believe that children need to develop the ability to understand their place in a culturally diverse global society. We aim to give them as many opportunities as possible to experience such diversity within the school community. Children and their families are actively encouraged to share their faith and beliefs at Dormansland. Our RE curriculum provides a broad and balanced education on a range of faiths, religions and cultures.
At Dormansland School, all staff are expected to uphold and promote the fundamental principles of British values. As a school we recognise that safeguarding against radicalisation is no different from safeguarding against any other vulnerability.
Our curriculum promotes respect, tolerance and diversity. Children are encouraged to share their views and recognise that they are entitled to have their own different beliefs which should not be used to influence others.
Our PSHE ( Personal, Social and Health Education ), Citizenship and SMSC ( Spiritual, Moral, Social and Cultural ) provision is embedded across the curriculum, and underpins the ethos of the school.
It is recognised that children with low aspirations are more vulnerable to radicalisation and therefore we strive to equip our pupils with confidence, self-belief, respect and tolerance as well as setting high standards and expectations for themselves.
Children are regularly taught about how to stay safe when using the Internet and are encouraged to recognise that people are not always who they say they are online. They are taught to seek adult help if they are upset or concerned about anything they read or see on the Internet.
Should you feel that the school is not promoting British values in line with this guidance, you should contact the school office and ask to speak with the Head Teacher. Likewise, if you feel that anyone working at the school is actively undermining these values, you should report this to the Head Teacher immediately.