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 of democracy, the rule of law, individual liberty, mutual respect and tolerance of those with different faiths and beliefs.”
Field Junior School supports this expectation through its work and ethos and seeks to maintain and develop well established work and values in all aspects of school life.
Our school is fortunate in having a richly diverse community to draw upon to develop learning opportunities for our children and British values are reinforced regularly and in the following ways:
Throughout their time at Field Junior School, children are given opportunities to discuss and share their views on a range of issues. This may be, for example, as part of a debate in an English lesson, when talking about issues during a PHSE lesson, or when discussing topics in class or in assembly.
Children can express their opinions about the school in pupil surveys, via the School Council and in pupil voice discussions as part of the leadership team’s monitoring of the curriculum. They also have opportunities to vote on options, for example, when electing School Councillors at the beginning of the school year.
Children who serve on the School Council for a year learn valuable lessons about the workings of democracy. They are encouraged to gather the views of their peers and to feedback their achievements and the work of the Council. They also have opportunities to share their views with school governors, when governor representatives attend a school council meeting or when council members attend a governors’ meeting to share their ideas about improving the school.
The School Council also visits the Houses of Parliament each year to meet our local MP and learn about democracy in a wider context.
Children learn about democracy as part of their curriculum studies, for example in topics such as Ancient Greece, and within the PSHE curriculum.
Rule of law
The systems and structures developed within the school provide a strong basis for understanding the importance of rules.
Classes draw up their own class rules at the start of each year, and the school as a whole creates a set of school rules which form part of our behaviour policy.
The children learn that the school has a consistent behaviour policy that is used in all classrooms and around the school
There are many opportunities taken for teaching children about the importance of rules and laws, for example in learning to play team games in PE lessons, where the idea of fair play is promoted.
Our Year 5/6 ‘playground leaders’ teach infants or lower school children playground games, reinforcing the need to have clear rules.
We maintain a relationship with our Police Community Support Officer, who visits the school regularly and is happy to contribute to class and school activities to support learning and give children awareness of the rule of law in a wider community context.
As a school we place great emphasis on allowing children to develop and express their individuality. We encourage children to pursue their interests and talents through engagement with a wide variety of clubs and extra-curricular activities.
We also talk to children about the concept of human rights in assemblies and PSHE lessons, and teach them the importance of liberty, and the effects of loss of liberty (For example study of Rosa Parks within topic work for ‘Black History Month’).
Our aim as a school is to develop independence in our children as they move through the junior school and to prepare them to develop as individuals with interests and opinions as they move into their secondary school years.
Respect is a key value, identified by all school stakeholders, in our school mission statement. Mutual respect is therefore at the heart of the school’s values. Children are taught to respect each other, and adults, and to base their behaviour on empathy towards others. They learn that everyone is different but everyone is equally important. We help children to develop their awareness of people’s differences and similarities, and to value the rich diversity of the human race.
Tolerance of those with different faiths and beliefs
As a school represented by an increasing range of faith groups and cultures we ensure that our RE curriculum includes many opportunities to learn to understand and respect other faiths and beliefs.
We aim to give children opportunities to visit places of worship such as mosques, synagogues and gurdwaras as well as churches, and we welcome members of different faith groups into the school to talk to the children. Festivals and traditions from different faiths are explored and celebrated, often with the help of our own pupils and family members.
Ofsted Autumn 2013
Our most recent Ofsted report highlights some of the work that underpins the core values of the school
- Pupils fully deserve their reputation in the area for their good behaviour. Teachers ensure that they learn the rules quickly and disruptions in lessons are very rare.
- In the playground, pupils of all ages play well together and are quick to look after someone who looks sad.
- Pupils take responsibility well. For example, older pupils enjoy helping Year 3 pupils settle into school and the school council does a good job working with the leaders to improve facilities for their school
- Pupils are very courteous towards adults and one another. With their ‘talking partners’ they discuss issues sensibly and readily accept opinions different to their own.
- A wide range of visits, including residential trips enhance the curriculum and help to develop pupils’ academic, personal and social skills.
- Pupils enjoy many opportunities to reflect on issues such as the beauty of nature and the importance of caring for the environment. They learn much about different faiths and cultures and take a real interest in the lives of people in the countries they study.