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British Values

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 in 2014.

At Knowlsey Juniors, these values are reinforced regularly and in the following ways:

Democracy

Knowsley is a UNICEF Rights Respecting School. Each year the children decide upon their class charter and the rights associated with these. All children contribute to the drawing up of the charter. Children, parents and staff have many opportunities for their voices to be heard at Knowsley. Democracy is central to how we operate.

An obvious example of teaching pupils how they can influence decision-making through the democratic process is our School Council. The election of the School Council members reflects our British electoral system and demonstrates democracy in action: candidates, who are elected by pupils, make speeches, pupils consider characteristics important for an elected representative and all pupils vote in secret using polling booths and a ballot box. The School Council consists of one member from each class, and meets regularly to discuss issues raised by pupils. One of the Year 6 members is voted for as the School Council chairperson. The council is able to genuinely effect change within the school; in the past, the School Council has led a voting system and debates in classes with regards to choosing the new school logo and fundraising events. The School Council are also actively involved in the recruitment of staff. Children and parents/carers have an annual questionnaire with which they are able to put forward their views about the school. Other examples of democracy are:

  • Covered in curriculum information on the advantages and disadvantages of democracy and how it works in Britain and the wider world
  • Pupil voice - encouraging pupils to become involved in decision-making processes and ensuring they are listened to in school
  • Visits from local councillors and Members of Parliament
  • Helping pupils to express their own views, e.g. through Philosophy for Children, PSHE/SMSC lessons
  • Modelling how perceived injustice can be peacefully challenged
  • Voting for Rights Respecting Ambassadors, Eco Councillors and the winner of the Good Egg Award
  • 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. 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. These values are reinforced in different ways:

  • Visits from authorities such as: the Police, Fire Service, Road Safety Team, Crucial Crew
  • Rights Respecting Charter – which is used to draw up class charters
  • Rewards and consequences - enforced through our behaviour policy
  • Reflections – to consider the consequences of right and wrong choices
  • Through whole school/class assemblies, e.g. Rights Respecting Charter (choices), internet safety, firework safety
  • Curriculum links: Mayans (structure of leadership), Lights, Camera Action (copyright), Africa (apartheid), PE (rules of games) and RE (explore relationships between the law of the land and religious law)

Individual Liberty

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 the 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, RE and PSHE lessons
  • Freedom to make choices through participation in our numerous extracurricular clubs and opportunities
  • Philosophy for Children sessions, e.g. identity
  • Year 6 pupils choose their topic for the summer term
  • Anti-bullying roadshow
  • Support pupils to develop their self-knowledge, self-esteem and self-confidence
  • Crucial Crew (Year 6)
  • Choice of fundraising events to support various charities
  • Mutual Respect and Tolerance of Those of Different Faiths and Beliefs

At Knowsley we are proud to promote and celebrate our different backgrounds and beliefs. Mutual respect is at the heart of our aims and ethos; to develop understanding of and respect for a wide range of religious values, languages and cultural traditions and different ways of life.

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 be a religious belief or others’ feelings, or a school resource or property. Children learn that their behaviour choices have an effect on their own rights and those of others. All members of the school community should treat each other with respect. We regularly enhance this in the following ways:

  • Embedded throughout the curriculum: RE and SMSC lessons, Philosophy for Children, internet safety, Invaders and Settlers, Africa,
  • World War II, Victorian Week
  • Fundraising events for local, national and worldwide organisations
  • Assemblies – Mary Seacole, thinking before you speak, being grateful, Rights Respecting Charter, class assemblies, e.g. celebrating diversity
  • Linking project – Alexandra Park
  • Oldham Project
  • Visits to places of worship that are important to different faiths
  • Develop critical, personal thinking skills
  • Discuss differences between people, e.g. differences of faith, ethnicity, disability, gender or sexuality and differences of family situations, such as looked-after children or young carers

At Knowsley we will actively challenge pupils, staff or parents expressing opinions contrary to fundamental British values, including extremist views. We work towards preventing radicalisation by openly discussing acts of extremism and terrorism as they happen and are prominent in the media.