How We Promote Preparation and Appreciation of Life in Modern Britain
At Sir Robert Hitcham CEVAP School, British values are promoted in so much of what we do, including through Collective Worship, Religious Education, PSHE and our Behaviour Policy.
At Sir Robert Hitcham CEVAP School we uphold and teach pupils about the British Values which are defined as:
- rule of law;
- individual liberty;
- mutual respect; and
- tolerance of those of different faiths and beliefs.
These values are taught explicitly through Personal, Social, Health and Emotional (PSHE), and Religious Education (RE). We also teach British Values through planning and delivering a broad and balanced curriculum. Through our topic based work and special curriculum events we provide opportunities to find out about life in other countries and to learn about different cultures. We hold a Diversity Week every two years to focus on life in a particular location around the world.
The School takes opportunities to actively promote British Values through our daily Collective Worship and whole school systems and structures such as electing and running a successful School Council. We also actively promote the British Values through ensuring that our curriculum planning and delivery includes real opportunities for exploring these values. Actively promoting British Values also means challenging pupils, staff or parents expressing opinions contrary to fundamental British Values, including ‘extremist’ views.
Being Part of Britain
As a School, we value and celebrate the diverse heritages of everybody at Sir Robert Hitcham Primary School. Alongside this we value and celebrate being part of Britain. In general terms this means that we celebrate traditions, and customs in the course of the year for example, Remembrance Day and Harvest Festival in the Autumn Term. The School recognises national and international events and celebrations, for example specific commemorations, the Olympic Games or significant national achievements.
Further, children learn about being part of Britain from different perspectives. Two specific examples of when we teach about being part of Britain are:
Our curriculum plans ensure that children have a better understanding of what Britain is, learning more about:
- it’s capital city and cities, counties, rivers and mountains;
- how ‘Great Britain’ differs from ‘England’ and the ‘United Kingdom’; and
- where Britain is in relation to the rest of Europe and other countries in the world.
We visit different times in history through topic based work. Children learn about different periods of life both nationally and locally including different aspects of life.
Democracy is an important value at our School. Pupils have the opportunity to have their voices heard through our School Council. The election of members of the School Council demonstrates democracy in action. Pupils consider characteristics important for an elected representative; candidates are asked to make a presentation to their class and the pupils vote in secret. Made up of two representatives from each class, the School Council meets regularly to discuss issues and is genuinely able to effect change within the School.
During the national or local elections, children in our older classes take time to find out how the election works and explore information from political parties.
Other examples of ‘pupil voice’ are:
- children agree their class rules;
- children are asked to respond to questionnaires;
- children are always listened to by adults and are taught to listen carefully and with concern for each other. They know that it is the right of every individual to have their opinions and to have their voices heard; and
- our School House teams have captains and vice captains.
The Rule of Law
The importance of laws and rules, whether they are those that govern the class, the School or the country, are consistently reinforced throughout regular school days. The whole School rules are based on seven Golden Rules and children understand the consequence of not adhering to these. 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. Rules and laws are reinforced in different ways:
- visits from authorities such as the police etc;
- during Religious Education, when rules for particular faiths are thought about; and
- during other School subjects where there is respect and appreciation for different rules – in a sports session for example.
Pupils are actively encouraged to make choices at our School, knowing that they are in a safe and supportive environment. As a School we provide boundaries for our children to make choices safely, through the provision of a safe environment and planned curriculum. 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 teaching;
- when learning about healthy lifestyles in PSHE lessons and topic work;
- pupils are given the freedom to make choices, e.g. through homework projects;
- children are also encouraged to understand the consequences between making a good choice and a bad choice in relation to behaviour;
- children are encouraged to consider how to plan for their own personal safety during PE, on the playground, in science, on our Year 6 residential trip and in the Forest Schools area; and
- our Junior Road Safety Officers support other pupils to develop safe habits when crossing the road.
Part of our School Ethos and Behaviour Policy is based around core Christian values, such as ‘respect’ and ‘responsibility’, and these values determine how we live as a community at Sir Robert Hitcham CEVAP School. Collective Worship themes are based on ‘Values for Life’ and are central to how we expect everyone to go about their life at our School. Children are taught how to apologise in a meaningful way and how to accept an apology with good grace. Children and adults alike, including visitors, are challenged if they are disrespectful in any way. Values are visible around the School and are reflected in our whole School Golden Rules. The importance of these values is reinforced when pupils are rewarded with House Points, or ‘spotlighted’ in assembly for demonstrating our core values.
Our older children participate in a range of competitive sports events with other local schools. During these events the children know how to compete within the spirit and rules of the event, including displaying respect for the other players.
Respect for Those of Different Faiths and Beliefs
Sir Robert Hitcham CEVAP School is proud to promote and celebrate our different backgrounds and beliefs. Mutual respect is at the heart of our aims and ethos.
Our pupils know and understand that it is expected and imperative that respect is shown to everyone, whatever differences we may have, and to everything, whether it is a School resource, a religious belief etc.
Children learn that their behaviour choices have an impact on their own rights and the rights of others. All members of the School community should treat each other with respect.
This is achieved through Religious Education, PHSE and other lessons where we might develop awareness and appreciation of other cultures – in English through fiction and in Art by considering culture from other parts of the world.
Specific examples of how we at Sir Robert Hitcham CEVAP School enhance pupils’ understanding and respect for different faiths and beliefs are:
- learning about major world religions as part of RE;
- inviting parents to talk about their faith as part of RE lessons; and
- Collective Worship where children listen to stories from other faiths and cultures.
Sadly no school can guarantee that there will never be any instances which are contrary to these values. At Sir Robert Hitcham Primary School such instances are extremely rare. They are treated seriously in line with our Behaviour and Equalities policies.