Promoting British Values at Armathwaite School
The Department for Education (DfE) has 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.” The government set out its definition of British values in the 2011 Prevent Strategy. To view the DfE’s definition of British values please goes to https://www.gov.uk/…/SMSC_Guidance_Maintained_Schools.pdf
Armathwaite School is committed to promoting British values of democracy, the rule of law, individual liberty and mutual respect, and tolerance of those with different faiths and beliefs.
This is genuinely reflected in how the school is run. Democracy is embedded in the culture and ethos of our school. Reciprocal respect is modelled and expected from and by all staff, students and volunteers. We model and learn alongside our children whilst we are teaching.
Our Learning Curriculum is firmly based on developing positive learning attitudes and behaviours which foster and encourage the development of self-awareness and independence, resulting in our students becoming confident, resilient, independent learners.
RE and Philosophy for Children provide opportunities to develop the ability to confidently share thoughts and ideas, listen to and consider the thoughts and views of others agree and disagree and provide a balanced presentation of opposing views. Our children learn about showing tolerance for others including those of different faiths and religions. We strive to ensure learning is about developing awareness, understanding and respect.
Student voice is an active and embedded part of everyday school life with all students being members of our school council, participating in discussion and decision making. This includes our weekly good news and issues assembly and our student voice discussions linked to school improvement and development. All students have the opportunity to audit and evaluate school development and all are involved in decision making for future action plans. Recent examples for this are the development of the outdoor learning environment, PE and School Sport, the reorganisation of dinner menus and organisation and maths development.
Student voice is also important in our drive to ensure our school is inclusive and has a strong single equality approach. All our students and staff are involved in developing our school Single Equality Scheme which makes positive plans to develop respect and access for all at our school. In order to do this we discuss age, race, gender, disability and religion, auditing our provision and making action plans for how we can improve in each area by challenging discrimination. Older children and adults naturally model positive behaviours, attitudes and language to younger peers which fosters and grows tolerance and reciprocal respect.
Providing opportunities for all to be involved in decision making and school development means that everyone has ownership of the process and policies in school. The impact this has can be seen in the high levels of engagement by those involved and a collective sense of pride and care.
Armathwaite School hosted training about UNICEF Rights Respecting Schools with all school staff attending the event. We are now working towards our UNICEF Rights Respecting School Award.
Our behaviour policy emphasises positive behaviour reinforcement with a focus on taking responsibility for our own behaviour and showing empathy and respect for those around us. The school has developed a genuine family feel through the development of a buddy system. Older children support and nurture younger pupils, modelling positive behaviour especially during assembly, break, lunch, reading and maths times.
We are a community school and take a role as a centre for learning seriously, actively encouraging community involvement and cohesion. Examples of this are adult evening yoga classes in the school hall, involvement with the local Thursday Club for retired members of the community and the annual village show. We make connections with local businesses exploring their important role and the ways they contribute to the community.
We are a local and fair trade school, working with local businesses and, as a Global Learning expert school, not only hosting training for other schools but also supporting children, staff and families to develop global awareness. (For more information click the Global learning\fair trade tab on our website)
Our children learn about democracy, the rule of law, individual liberty and mutual respect through our student voice times, during Philosophy for children lessons and incidentally across the whole curriculum, particularly in terms of building skills for successful collaboration. Our aim is for everyone to develop respect for each other and awareness of their rights. Child-initiated independent learning is a key area of our curriculum in which this is nurtured and developed. It involves children working on self-initiated projects, following their interests either individually or collaboratively. Throughout this process children and adults value and support each other’s learning. (For further information about child-initiated click the tab on our website)
We continually work to review, develop and improve learning opportunities for children in our school.