The DfE has 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.”
Our School Vision and Values demonstrate how British Values underpin the work of the school.
- To enable pupils to develop their self-knowledge, self-esteem and self-confidence;
- To enable pupils to distinguish right from wrong and to respect the civil and criminal law of Britain;
- To encourage pupils to accept responsibility for their behaviour, show initiative, and to understand how they can contribute positively to the lives of those living and working in the locality of the school and to society more widely;
- To enable pupils to acquire a broad general knowledge of and respect for public institutions and services in Britain;
- To further tolerance and harmony between different cultural traditions by enabling pupils to acquire an appreciation of and respect for their own and other cultures;
- To encourage respect for other people;
- To encourage respect for democracy and support for participation in the democratic processes, including respect for the basis on which the law is made and applied in Britain.
Advice from the DfE is to promote British Values through SMSC although Ofsted will assess it through the curriculum too. Here is a flavour of how the School develops and promotes these fundamental values:
Pupil voice is taken seriously at St Mark's, with children being asked their opinions and suggestions about school matters, ranging from the naming of the classes to being involved in community initiatives. Regular meetings of the democratically-selected School Council s from all year groups ensure that pupils are able to make valuable contributions to the development of the School. Playground Buddies also provide excellent role models for younger pupils and often represent the School in different ways, such as showing prospective parents around. The understanding of democracy as a concept is particularly studied in the whole school topic on Ancient Greece.
The Rule of Law:
Pupils throughout St Mark's develop their understanding of what is right and what is wrong. Each year, they are involved in developing their own class rules and are reminded of what they can expect of/from the School and what the School expects of them in order to maximise their learning. Through their daily School life and explicitly in PHSE lessons, they develop their understanding of actions, responsibilities and consequences. Visits from/to authorities such as the Police, Fire Service and Lifeguards are regular parts of our calendar and help reinforce this message. (Linked document Behaviour Policy).
Tolerance of those of Different Faiths and Beliefs:
This is achieved through enhancing pupils’ understanding of their place in a culturally diverse society and by giving them opportunities to experience such diversity. Learning about a wide range of different religions in RE and PSHE offer these opportunities and also support in discussions around the issue of prejudice. Children have a school visit to a different places of worship during their time at St Mark's including a Hindu Temple and A Jewish Synagogue. We pride ourselves on ensuring that we demonstrate inclusivity in all that we do. We celebrate the diversity of our school through Language Buddies project with Roedean, and each class displays a welcome sign in the languages represented in the school. Our Summer Fair celebrates the rich cultural background of our school, and parents are invited to share food from around the world.
It is an abiding expectation that all members of the School’s community demonstrate a respectful attitude at all times. Reception children begin to develop their understanding of others through the planned learning opportunities within the ‘prime’ areas of ‘Understanding the World’ and ‘Personal, Social and Emotional Development’. Discussions, assemblies, team games in PE and PSHE lessons across the School help to reinforce this message. Our HERO Teams promote mutual respect through team work and collaboration. Bullying is not tolerated and pupils are taught about the different types of bullying, why they might occur and discuss possible strategies for dealing with incidents should they witness any. (Linked document: Behaviour Policy)
St Mark's wholeheartedly supports the aims enshrined in the UNICEF Rights of the Child ideal (see http://www.unicef.org/rightsite/files/uncrcchilldfriendlylanguage.pdf) and actively promotes these through engagement with different charities and particular appeals.
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. This includes following the "Feeling Good Feeling Safe" programme.
Pupils are encouraged to know, understand and exercise their rights and personal freedoms and are advised how to exercise these safely through:
- Online Safety and PSHE lessons
- Choices about their learning challenge and how they record
- Participation in our numerous extended learning clubs and opportunities
- Circle time
- Pupil conferencing
Time is given to sharing and discussing British Values in dedicated assembly slots. Here, we share examples of the British Values in action and support the children in remembering each value and its meaning. (linked document Collective Worship Schedule).