British Values Statement
At West Cornforth Primary School we want our children to learn and grow as individuals and citizens in the community, country and world in which they live. We embrace the belief that at the heart of a modern ever changing, multi-cultural and multi-faith community, is the acceptance of key British values. The school believes that this is something not only achieved through the curriculum, but through the school’s core values and ethos as well as its provision for students beyond formal lessons.
Central to the advocacy of British values are the school’s strategic commitment, purpose and intent:
- to make every effort to prevent and protect pupils, families and staff from extremism in all its forms
- to respect, value and include everyone in our community, regardless of race, religion, culture or ability
- to develop our children’s self-esteem and self-confidence so they feel proud of themselves, proud of their achievements and proud of their school
- to develop in our children lively, inquiring minds, the ability to question, to argue rationally and to apply themselves to realistic tasks and challenges
These guide and drive the direction of the school’s improvement, but are also fundamental in supporting the development of British values.
The government set out its definition of “British Values” in its “Prevent Strategy”; values of:
- The rule of law
- Individual liberty
- Mutual respect
- Tolerance of those of different faiths and beliefs
Through our RE, PHSE and wider curriculum our pupils:
- are encouraged to be reflective about their own and others’ beliefs
- develop an understanding about themselves and others in the world
- recognise the difference between right and wrong and the importance of tolerance and respect for everyone
- understand the consequences of their behaviour and actions and appreciate the viewpoints of others
- are supported in developing a respect for the civil and criminal law of England
- develop their social skills to embrace people from different religions, ethnic and socioeconomic backgrounds
Our school council and action groups ensure pupils’ voices are heard. The class council representatives raise pertinent issues and report back to their classes. They are also actively involved in organising charity events throughout the year. Our range of action groups focus on specific issues such as anti-bullying, e-safety and promoting healthy lifestyles, both in school and within the wider community. In these ways, we teach our children how they can influence decision making through a democratic process. They are encouraged to be involved in the decision-making processes. Children have a broad general knowledge of, and promote respect for, public institutions and services. Within school, pupils are provided with platforms to express their views e.g. discussing current topics in assemblies and class debates and through these we model how perceived injustices can be peacefully challenged.
The Rule of Law
The importance of civil and criminal law is explored through history or enrichment activities. Visits by the local police and other services help our children to understand how these services operate and how they support them and their families and how if necessary they hold people to account. Our pupils benefit from a range of visits during their time at West Cornforth Primary School, for example;
- From community police officers who discuss road safety, stranger danger etc.
- Fire officers
- The school routinely offers advice to parents re incidents concerning e-safety outside school.
Pupils support in the local community in many ways, for example;
- Taking part in Christmas concerts for elderly residents
- Participating in the community Remembrance, Harvest and Christmas services
- Our pupils enrich and understand the importance of looking after their local community.
Within our school, children are encouraged to make personal choices in a safe and supportive environment. We support our children to develop self-knowledge; self- esteem and self-confidence in all we do. Children are taught their rights and personal freedom and the responsibility we must all take for our actions. For example, through e-safety children, are given the ability to make informed safe personal choices. Through the curriculum, children have the opportunity to debate a topic and exercise their right to freedom of speech. During assemblies and through our PHSE curriculum we challenge stereotypes. Children are able to share their concerns informally using worry boxes and playground buddies. We work with agencies such as NSPCC, Durham Constabulary, the Health Service and many more.
The core value of our school ethos is ‘respect’ for ourselves, each other and our environment the importance of mutual respect is emphasised.
Tolerance of those of different beliefs and faiths
Members of different faiths or religions have shared their knowledge to enhance learning within classes and the school. Visits to local places of worship also shape the RE curriculum across year groups. Children have the time to reflect on and talk about their own beliefs and discuss their opinions with others, so their spiritual development is enhanced. The school provides a culture where pupils can do this and celebrate diversity and through developing every child’s awareness of their place in a culturally diverse society. We want our children to understand the wider community they live in as well as the global community and how they can contribute to both and make a difference. In 2017-2018, we are participating in the Commonwealth Project ‘International Relations’ organised by Durham County Council. We are also participating in the ‘Scholars into Schools’ initiative organised by Durham University. School will welcome visitors from the African nations and Germany.
We actively promote British Values and this also means challenging pupils, staff or parents expressing opinions contrary to fundamental British Values, including ‘extremist’ views. This is achieved through enhancing pupils’ understanding of their place in a culturally diverse society and by giving them opportunities to experience such diversity in our local community which is by large white British. Collective worship and discussions involving prejudices and prejudice-based bullying have been followed and supported by learning in RE and PSHCE.