British Values, SMSC (Spiritual, Moral, Social and Cultural Education), PSHE and Religious Education
The DfE have 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, 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 November 2014.
Actively Promoting British Values In Our School
At the Shire MAT, British values are embedded in the following ways:
• Pupils encounter the five principles throughout everyday school life as they are promoted strongly through our school ethos of respecting ourselves, others and our school.
• Our curriculum actively encourages the core values of mutual respect, the development of self-confidence and a lifelong love of learning.
• The teaching of British values are directly promoted throughout school from Foundation Stage to Year 6 through our structured personal, social, health and emotional (PSHE) development curriculum taught following the ‘Jigsaw’ scheme. Jigsaw contributes to British values in every single lesson. We have mapped all Jigsaw lessons against the 5 values to ensure all the values are covered each term.
• Much of the PSHE Curriculum is delivered in both KS1 and KS2 assemblies.
• British values are a regular topic during both KS1 and KS2 assemblies.
• There is a British Values board which highlights the schools idea of ‘What it means to be British’
The Five Values Explained And Examples
Democracy – Democracy can be seen as a state of society characterised the equality of rights and privileges. It can also refer to our nation’s electoral systems.
At the Shire MAT we ensure that pupils are given a ‘voice’ to communicate. We empower our pupils by giving them opportunities to make choices about the things that they believe to be important. By valuing each ‘voice’ and by listening and responding to that voice we demonstrate that we support democracy and liberty.
Our pupil elected school council plays a strong role in our school. They are elected by their class peers and are involved in making the school a better place to learn. Pupil votes, questionnaires and interviews are also conducted at different points to seek views about school.
The rule of law – All people and institutions are subject to and accountable to law that is fairly applied and enforced.
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. Restorative practice takes place throughout the school day by all members of staff. It is now embedded so that the children talk through the rules that they have broken and how by breaking them it impacts on themselves and others. The children now choose their consequences together and talk about what could be done differently next time. It is something the trust has worked hard to build on over the last academic year and lots of training has been put into place to support this.
Individual liberty – Individual liberty suggests the free exercise of rights.
Pupils at the Shire MAT are encouraged to become good and valued citizens. We do this by supporting each pupil to become as independent as possible. Within school, pupils are actively encouraged to make choices, knowing that they are in a safe and supportive environment. We endeavour to demonstrate that everyone has rights; this includes the right to say ‘No’ to ideas or activities that they do not want to take part in. 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. In school pupils are able to take responsibility for particular roles and to understand that with certain rights comes a level of responsibility. Our extensive grounds allow us to encourage outdoor learning to empower our children to take risks, make informed choices, improve their self-esteem and explore the world around them.
Mutual respect – To show proper regard for an individual’s dignity, which is reciprocated.
Mutual respect is at the core of our school life. Our schools anti-bullying and behaviour policy is based on the principles of respecting ourselves, others and the school. Pupils learn to treat each other and staff with great respect. This is evident when walking around the school and in the classrooms. Through themed days/weeks on E-Safety and Anti-bullying pupils learn not only how to respect those in school but friends on-line too. As pupils move through school we ensure opportunities are planned for pupils to go into the community to meet with a range of people in a variety of situations which include: sports events, educational visits and shared participation with other schools.
Tolerance of those of different faiths and beliefs – A fair, objective, and permissive attitude to those whose faiths and beliefs may differ from one’s own.
At the Shire MAT each person is respected and valued equally without regard to ability, gender, faith, heritage or race. This is achieved through enhancing pupils understanding of their place in a culturally diverse society and by giving them opportunities to experience such diversity.
Religious Education is taught discreetly through the scheme ‘Discovery RE’. Within this it allows children to get an insight into the different faiths and religious beliefs. All of our children learn a variety of different religions e.g. Buddhism, Hinduism, Islam, Judaism, Sikhism and Christianity. We schedule that every year group must attend a religious visit once per year and this is so the children are exposed to different religious views, festivals, culture and spirituality. We aim to cultivate a sense of awareness on different beliefs, in a non-judgemental way and hope that the children are mindful of the differences between each faith and how it is personally spiritual to them.
The definitions of each area and examples of each within the Shire MAT;
Spiritual Development – This is the development of non- material elements of a human being which animates and sustains us and, depending on our point of view, either ends or continues in some form when we die. It is the development of sense of identity, self-worth, personal insight, meaning and purpose (Ofsted 2004).
You will see when walking around each school the confidence in our learners; we do a lot in school to build on self-esteem and pride. Our learners have now come to reflect on the work that they provide and look into what steps need to be taken next. We encourage teachers to provide learning experiences which enable children to make connections between different aspects of their learning, we allow pupils time to explore different beliefs and, allow children to have their own beliefs and share them with the School team e.g. through school Council.
Moral development – This is building a framework of values which regulate their own personal behaviour. It is about understanding that there are issues where there is disagreement and it is also about developing an opinion about different views (Ofsted 2004).
All of our staff is restorative practice trained. When investigating behaviour within school it is clearly noted that the children get their say. They are spoken to about what has happened, what could be done differently and the children reflect on what they have done so that they take responsibility for their actions. It is a restorative discussion that makes sure all parties get their opinions across. We aim to have confident children that can state their point of view and so opportunities are given throughout the year for the children to have their say, either through school council, assemblies, questionnaires or interviews.
Social Development – Pupils who are socially aware adjust appropriately and sensitively to a range of social contexts. It is about working successfully as a team. The children show respect for people, living things, property and the environment (Ofsted 2003)
We try to make sure our children are adjusted to different social situations by taking them out on sporting events, educational visits and walks around the community. We have school staff who can support social development and will carry out intervention to enhance the children who are struggling particularly with this area. The children are given as many opportunities as possible to work as part of a team; this is evident in the respect they show towards each other.
Cultural Development – This is about the children understanding their own culture, their town and their country. It is about understanding cultures around the world and that they are often changing. This looks particularly at cultural diversity and preventing racism (Ofsted 2004)
Within the PSHE and British Values curriculum we look regularly at cultural diversity and this is taught discreetly in class and in whole school assemblies. We teach the children about right from wrong and how people can have different beliefs and values. Our children are building on their knowledge of these areas and we hope that when they leave us they leave with more awareness of cultural differences.