The Department for Education state that there is a 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 were reiterated by the Prime Minister in 2014. At St. Stephen's CofE Junior School, these values are reinforced regularly and in the following ways.
Democracy is embedded at the school. Pupils 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 Pupil Voice representatives and regular questionnaires. The elections of the Pupil Voice members, House Captains and our Values Ambassadors are based solely on pupil votes, reflecting our British electoral system and demonstrating democracy in action.
The importance of laws whether they are those that govern the class, the school or the country, are consistently reinforced. Our school has ‘Golden Rules’, which are deeply embedded in our work every day. All the children understand our rules and know that they are necessary to ensure that everyone is able to learn in a safe and ordered environment. Our 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.
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 and an empowering education. Our pupils are encouraged to know, understand and exercise their rights and personal freedoms and are advised how to exercise these safely; examples of this can be clearly seen in our E-safety and P.S.H.E. lessons. Whether it is through choice of challenge; of how they record; of participation in our numerous extra- curricular activities; our pupils are given the freedom to make choices.
Respect is one of the core values of our school, a value which was chosen by the whole school community and the most important for the children. Our pupils were fully involved in the creation of our values in September 2014 and they are deeply embedded in all that we do at the school. The pupils 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. The core value of Respect at St. Stephens underpins our work every day both in and out of the classroom.