Promoting British Values at St Margaret’s
The Department of Education have 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.
At St Margaret’s CE Primary School we promote these values in the following ways:
As a Church of England school, Christian values underpin our ethos: Our Christian Ethos and Values. Prayer and reflection time is an important part of our school life. As a Church school, we re-enforce British Values through our collective worship which is Christian. We have close links with our local churches (St Mark with St Margaret and The Ascension) and Southwark Cathedral, where children attend Christian services.
Throughout our Religious Education curriculum, we promote Christian values and also educate our pupils about other faiths and beliefs. We believe that our Christian identity plays an important role in upholding British Values within our school community.
The Rule of the Law
Tolerance of those of different faiths and beliefs
Article 15 “Children have the right to meet together and to join groups and organisations, as long as this does not stop other people from enjoying their rights.
Democracy is widespread within the school. Each year the children decide upon their class charter and the rights associated with this. All the children contribute to the drawing up of the charter. Children have many opportunities for their voices to be heard including the opportunity to express their opinions and vote on other issues in class. We have a school council which meets regularly to discuss a variety of issues. Each KS2 class has a school council representative and they are nominated by and voted for by their class. Candidates give a speech to their peers outlining why they should be elected on to the council. The school council have been instrumental in deciding upon a charity to support and in organising charitable activities to raise money.
Our school Faith Group is made up of pupil representatives from all KS1 and KS2 classes. This group of children has a very important role to play in our Christian Community. They have helped to develop our prayer corners in each class, and lead a Collective Worship. They have reflected upon what makes our Church of England School so special and they are pivotal in supporting our Christian Ethos and Vision. Our Faith Group meet on a regular basis to discuss how we can develop and improve our RE and Collective Worship. It is a chance for the pupils to share their views and feel part of the school’s development.Both the School Council and Faith Group elect a chair, secretary and treasurer, keep minutes of meetings and feedback to classes on any issues that arise or are discussed.
The Rule of Law
Article 28 Children have a right to an education. Discipline in schools should respect children’s human dignity.”
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 acts of worship and assemblies. Pupils are taught the value and reasons behind laws and rules, 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 are advised how to exercise these safely, for example through our E-Safety and PSHE lessons.
The pupils know and understand that it is expected and imperative that respect is shown to everyone, whatever differences we may have. Our Christian values such as Hope, Humility, Truth and Forgiveness, place mutual respect at the very centre of our school. Our Christian values form the themes for our collective worship throughout the year. 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.
Tolerance of those of Different Faiths and Beliefs
This is achieved through enhancing pupils understanding of their place in a culturally diverse society and by giving them opportunities to experience such diversity. We are an ethnically and culturally diverse community; therefore we place a great emphasis on promoting diversity within the school. Worship and assemblies 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. Members of different faiths or religions are encouraged to share their knowledge to enhance learning within classes and the school. Children make regular visits to our local church and cathedral to take part in acts of collective worship and also visit other places of worship that are important to different faiths.
At St Margaret’s we will actively challenge pupils, staff or parents expressing opinions contrary to fundamental British Values, including ‘extremist’ views.
Evidence of our commitment to British Values
- Pupil assistants and buddies support children at lunchtimes.
- An elected school council with representatives from Year 3 to Year 6.
- Faith Group representatives from Year 1 to Year 6.
- Visits to different places of worship.
- Parents and children sign a 'home school agreement'.
- Each class has a 'class agreement'.
- We welcome visitors from other schools and faiths.
- We support and participate in community events and activities.
- We organise fundraising events both locally and abroad.
- Our broad and balanced curriculum teaches elements of democracy, civic responsibility, equality, values, environmental awareness and understanding of other faiths.
- We recognise and celebrate important national events, for example: The Olympics, The Golden Jubilee and Diamond Jubilee and Remembrance Day.