The DfE has 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 Bledlow Ridge these values are reinforced regularly and in the following ways:
Children have many opportunities for their voices to be heard. We have a school council which meets regularly to discuss issues and give feedback. Two council members for each year group are voted in by their class, in an election at the start of each academic year.
Children have regular feedback sessions in with which they are able to put forward their views about the school to feed back through the school council.
During the last General Election and the EU referendum, in learning about the governance and politics of the country, Years 5 and 6 created their own political parties, created their own campaigns and ran their own mock election. This provided pupils with the opportunity to learn how to argue and defend points of view, whilst learning about the democracy of our country.
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. Pupils 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 help reinforce this message.
Within school, pupils are actively encouraged to make choices, knowing that they are in a safe and supportive environment. As a school we educate and provide boundaries for young pupils to make choices safely, through provision of a safe environment and empowering education. Pupils 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. Through participation in our extra-curricular clubs, pupils are given the freedom to make choices.
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 - this is one of our School Values. This is evident in our Friday morning achievement assemblies where the children listen respectfully to each other sharing achievements from outside of school e.g. sports and music achievements. Certificates are awarded to pupils during Friday's assembly who embody our School Values.
Tolerance of those of Different Faiths and Beliefs
In lessons and assemblies, the children are regularly told stories from a variety of faiths and cultures. They learn about how special events and times are remembered and/or celebrated, not just in Britain but throughout different parts of the world. Our RE and PSHE teaching reinforce this. Members of different faiths or religions in our school community are encouraged to share their knowledge to enhance learning. A wide range of resources are used to teach about places of worship, including local visits, where possible.