Promoting British Values at St Alphonsus’
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 and 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 by the Prime Minister. At St Alphonsus’’ these values are reinforced regularly and in the following ways:
At St Alphonsus’ the children have many opportunities for their voices to be heard. We have a school council which meets regularly to discuss issues raised in class, around school or by peers. The council has its own budget and is able to genuinely effect change within the school. Two council members for each year group are voted in by their class. The annual elections of House Captains are also based solely on pupil votes. Children and parents have an annual questionnaire with which they are able to put forward their views about the school.
Our British Values in practice at St Alphonsus’ Democracy
The Rule of Law
The importance of Laws, whether they be those that govern the class, the school, or the country, are consistently reinforced regularly throughout the school day, 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. Regular visits from authorities such as the Police and the Fire Service help reinforce this message.
Pupils are encouraged to know, understand and exercise their rights and personal freedoms and are advised how to exercise these safely, for example through our E-Safety and PHSE lessons. Whether it be through choice of challenge, of how they record, of participation in our numerous extra-curricular clubs and opportunities, pupils are given the freedom to make choices.
We are free to choose our own activities and challenges in school. Here we are at work
Mutual respect is at the heart of our values and we expect all to adhere to this teaching regardless of their background, faith, or race. Children learn that their behaviours have an effect on their own rights and those of others. All members of the school community treat each other with respect. Pupils have been part of discussions and assemblies related to what mutual respect means and how it is shown.
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. Assemblies and discussions involving prejudices and prejudice-based bullying have been followed and supported by learning in RE and PSHE. Members of different faiths or religions are encouraged to share their knowledge to enhance learning within classes and the school.
RE is meaningful in any society where beliefs and values are important: it’s about getting pupils to engage with the big questions of life. At St Alphonsus’ we regularly celebrate the beliefs and teachings of other faiths through exciting half termly studies of Islam, Judaism, Buddhism and Hinduism as well as focusing primarily on Catholicism. These studies promote awareness and understanding of others. This creates compassion and tolerance from those different from us. We understand why other religions/cultures act/live the way they do. It develops a greater stability in our own faith. We become inspired by the religious commitment of others which inspires us to participate more in our own faith.
Examples of British Values at St Alphonsus’
· Remembrance Day celebrations including knowledge and understanding of key events (UKS2 Autumn 2 topic focus); visit to the local war memorial with local community; studying the people involved and the impact they have had on our society.
· Observations of British Saints Day and in particular a visit to the local church for All Saints Day Mass.
· Assemblies and weekly whole school liturgies upholding the values of empathy, respect and tolerance.
· Values taught through regular RE and PSHE sessions and of an informal nature throughout the school day.
· Anti-Radicalisation Strands.
AIMS AND PRINCIPLES
The main aims of this policy statement are to ensure that staff are fully engaged in being vigilant about radicalisation; that they overcome professional disbelief that such issues will not happen here and ensure that we work alongside other professional bodies and agencies to ensure that our pupils are safe from harm.
The principle objectives are that:
· All governors, teachers, teaching assistants and non-teaching staff will have an understanding of what radicalisation and extremism are and why we need to be vigilant in school.
· All governors, teachers, teaching assistants and non-teaching staff will know what the school policy is on anti-radicalisation and extremism and will follow the policy when issues arise.
· All parents and pupils will know that the school has policies in place to keep pupils safe from harm and that the school regularly reviews its systems to ensure they are appropriate and effective.
DEFINITIONS AND INDICATORS
Radicalisation is defined as the act or process of making a person more radical or favouring of extreme or fundamental changes in political, economic or social conditions, institutions or habits of the mind. Extremism is defined as the holding of extreme political or religious views.
PROCEDURES FOR REFERRALS
Although serious incidents involving radicalisation, to our knowledge, have not occurred at St Alphonsus’ Primary School to date, it is important for us to be constantly vigilant and remain fully informed about the issues which affect the region in which we teach. Staff are reminded to suspend any professional disbelief that instances of radicalisation ‘could not happen here’ and to refer any concerns through the appropriate channels (currently via the Child Protection/ Safeguarding Designated Person).