Promoting British Values at the Park Hill Thorns Federation
The DfE British Values are:
At the Park Hill Thorns Federation we have six values:
We uphold and teach pupils about 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” These are exemplified as Democracy, rule of law, individual liberty, mutual respect and tolerance of those of different faiths and all of these are taught explicitly through PSHE and RE. We also deliver a broad and balanced curriculum which reinforces these through our topic teaching. For example in Year 4 Children explore the question “Why do we speak English at school?” where they learn about invaders and settlers throughout Roman, Saxon and Viking times and their legacy. In Year 1 children study the topic “Hello I’m new here” which encourages them to think about how we can welcome a newcomer to the UK and what differences they would find. We also follow the Warwickshire SACRE RE curriculum which ensures children learn about a balance of faiths over their time in school.
The promotion of democracy is extensive within the school. Pupils have the opportunity to have their voices heard through our School Council and pupil questionnaires. At Thorns children in each class vote for their choice of children to represent them in school council. At Park Hill children vote for the children they want to represent them as House Captains, during this process candidates take part in a hustings process where they prepare and read speeches detailing how they would support their house and other children then question them before voting. In addition to this children can choose to for the school to make a donation to charity as one of the rewards in our school’s behaviour policy. Each school council can suggest different charities to raise money for and other children can vote on these during feedback meetings. Each class holds a fortnightly Class Learning Forum where children can discuss anything which is getting in the way of their learning and choose options to help improve this. Children are consulted and contribute to the development of school policies, for example our anti bullying policy and our behavior policy.
The Rule of Law:
The importance of Laws, including those for a class, the school, or the country, are consistently reinforced throughout the regular school day and when dealing with behaviour. At the start of each term children explore our three school rules within their class and produce work to show their understanding of the rules. Through our Core Learning Skill curriculum children can create their own class charter and work towards specific I can statements to demonstrate their understanding and ability to follow rules. We also have visits from the Police and Fire Service which help promote respect for authority figures.
Pupils are encouraged to know, understand and exercise their rights and personal freedoms through our Core Learning Skills, E-Safety, PSHE lessons and in particular through our Taking Care project which gives children a clear framework for understanding their rights and what to do if they feel their early warning signs. Our Core Learning Skill topic of “Developing Independence and Responsibility” helps to build up the skills children need to successfully exercise their rights. Pupils are given the freedom to make choices, for example signing up for extra-curricular clubs, choosing the level of challenge in some lessons and deciding which pieces of work to highlight and share with parents on parents evenings.
We have 6 school values which permeate all aspects of school life. One of these is compassion and, through assemblies, children are encouraged to explore what this means and how we can show compassion towards others rooted in mutual respect. At Thorns school we run a mixed age Circle Time where children explore and celebrate similarities and differences. We also run a buddy system which starts when children enter Year 2 at Thorns Infant school. Children are paired with a buddy in Year 5 who will then be in Year 6 when they start school so that they already know a friendly face and have already completed some tasks together to help build mutual respect. Our Core Learning Skill topic of “Knowing Me, Knowing You” encourages children to think about their actions and interaction with others and gives children a framework for conflict resolution which can be used throughout their lives.
Tolerance of those of Different Faiths and Beliefs:
This is supported by both our Religious Education syllabus and through our PSHE curriculum and daily assemblies. As a federation we have created a list of guarantees for children who spend seven years of education with us and this list includes visits to different places of worship. These visits have included the local Protestant and Catholic churches, a nearby Gurdwara and a Hindu Temple. We also make use of diversity of our staff and families to deepen children’s understanding. For example when Year 2 visited a Gurdwara one of our members of staff acted as tour guide to show children around her place of worship and in Year 1 when children study the topic “Stories from Around the World” a large range of parents came in to share pictures and information about their time living in different countries. During their time in Key Stage Two children study other countries and cultures in more depth such as Guatemala and India and this helps continue to develop their understanding and tolerance for others.