The Department for Education has introduced a statutory duty for schools to promote British Values more actively from September 2014, and to ensure they are taught in schools. 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.”
At Ridgeway Primary School we take very seriously our responsibility to prepare children for life in modern Britain.
All curriculum areas provide a vehicle for furthering understanding of British Values and, in particular, our RE and PSHE lessons provide excellent opportunities to deepen and develop understanding, developing the spiritual, moral, social and cultural education of our children. Children embrace these concepts with enthusiasm and demonstrate a good understanding of their application to their own lives.
At Ridgeway Primary School we uphold and teach pupils about the British Values which are defined as:
Democracy is an important value at our school. In 2019 - 2020 we created our very own Pupil Parlaiment. All pupils in years 3-6 formed a 'Ministry' who were provided with a weekly question to debate. Examples included:
Ministry of Sport: Should PE be compulsory for all children?
Ministry of Food: Should 'takeway food' be banned?
Ministry of Sound: Should music be played in the classroom?
Ministry of Health: Should parents be fined for taking children on holiday in term time?
Ministry of Agriculture: Should children be allowed choose to be a vegetarian?
Ministry of Communications & Internet Safety: Are iPads a benefit to education?
Ministry of Public Relations: Should all paper copies be banned?
Ministry of Behaviour? Is GTBG be allowed to continue?
During the spring term 2020 all children took part in 'The Big Debate' around 'Does Technology benefit children's lives?'
The children have an agreed Pupil Charter and our “Good To Be Green” behaviour system is displayed in each class classroom and is actively used to influence, reward and acknowledge others’ behaviour.
Pupils are listened to by adults and are taught to listen carefully and with concern to each other, respecting the right of every individual to have their opinions and voices heard. We encourage pupils to take ownership of not only their school but also of their own learning and progress. This encourages a heightened sense of both personal and social responsibility and is demonstrated on a daily basis by our pupils. Children play a part in determining their topic learning and are consulted in what and how they would like to learn.
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 and rules, that they govern and protect us, the responsibilities that this involves and the consequences when laws/rules are broken. Visits from authorities such as the Police and Fire Service help reinforce this message.
Alongside rules and laws, we promote freedom of choice and the right to respectfully express views and beliefs.
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 our pupils to make choices safely, through the provision of a safe environment, a planned curriculum and an empowering education. Pupils are encouraged to know, understand and exercise their rights and personal freedoms and are advised how to exercise these safely. This includes our e-safety teaching and PSHE lessons. Whether it be through choice of learning challenge, of how they record, of participation in our numerous extra-curricular clubs and opportunities, pupils are given the freedom to make choices.
Respect is one of the core values of our school and can be seen as part of the ethos of our school. The pupils know and understand that it is expected and imperative that respect is shown to everyone, whatever differences we may have. Children and adults alike, including visitors are challenged if they are disrespectful in any way. Our values are highly visible around the school.
Ridgeway is situated in an area which is not greatly 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 Education teaching reinforce this. Members of different faiths or religions are encouraged to share their knowledge to enhance learning within classes and the school. Children visit places of worship that are important to different faiths. Recently as part of one of our focus weeks we celebrated Ramadan. All our learning was focused around understanding what takes place within Ramadan within the Muslim faith. In 2018 -2019 we celebrated three RE Focus Days.
We are currently working towards becoming a 'Rights repecting School'. We also have termly Cultural days where as a a whole school we focus on learning about the cultures in different countries such as France, Italy and Poland.
We use opportunities such as the Olympics and World Cup to study and learn about life and culture in countries who participate.