Everyone has rights and responsibilities
Promoting British Values at Queensbridge Primary
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.”
The Government set out its definition of British values in the 2011 Prevent Strategy, and these values have been reiterated this year (2014). At Queensbridge these values are reinforced regularly and in the following ways:
Democracy is embedded at the school. Children are always 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. Pupils also have the opportunity to air their opinions and ideas through our School Council and regular questionnaires. The elections of the School Council members are based solely on pupil votes, reflecting our British electoral system and demonstrating democracy in action. School council work not only to solve issues that the children raise but also have input into their curriculum and the standards of the school.
Queensbridge is a UNICEF Rights Respecting school. We also lead on Restorative Justice for the South of England and as a National Teaching School.
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 a parent QC Judge, our Children Centre Legal Team, the Police and Fire Service help reinforce this message. We have PC Tim regularly on site as our community officer who also does assemblies and talks about choices.
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. 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. We Debate regularly and use our words every day with respect, thoughtfully and reflectively.
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. The children know and understand that it is expected and imperative that respect is shown to everyone, whatever differences we may have and to everything, however big or small. We expect all children to take responsibility for their actions and we teach resilience and use restorative practices in everything every day.
Tolerance of Different Faiths and Beliefs
Queensbridge is situated in an area of great culturally diverse, therefore we place a great emphasis on promoting diversity with the children. Assemblies (Word of the Week- SEAL) 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 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. Through this our children gain an enhanced understanding of their place in a culturally diverse society.