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British Values Statement

Westwoodside Church of England Academy                                     October 2014

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 the 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 this year (2014). At Westwoodside these values are modelled and consistently reinforced in the following ways.

 

Democracy

Children at Westwoodside play an increasing role in leadership of our school.    

Parents are invited to express their views annually through a whole school questionnaire and an Early Years questionnaire. A suggestion box is also available in the foyer of the school.

Children offer their opinions via class and school council.

School council members are democratically elected each academic year.

Through the school council every child has a voice.

Playground Buddies, Team Captains and Sports Ambassadors are elected and play a crucial role in teaching playground games and developing positive sporting attitudes. Plans are in place to expand the Buddy scheme to include Cyber mentors in 2014-2015.

Older pupils take on a number of leadership roles including: librarians, worship leaders, reading buddies etc.

Pupil voice is addressed through school council and through pupil questionnaires and discussions with pupils by senior and subject leaders.

Team work is modelled by staff and consistently and constantly encouraged.

Our celebration of strengths provides a language that all in school know and can refer to discuss issues of fairness, friendship etc.

We endeavour to ensure that children have the knowledge that no matter how small they are they have the ability to make a difference.

Issues of democracy in the world beyond the school are focused on in an age appropriate manner and parallels drawn with school life e.g. in summer 2014 the local MP spoke with children in Y5 and 6 about his work and how they can make a difference and visited the school again in January 2015. The Scottish independence vote was considered by children in KS2.

We model to our children how perceived injustices can be peacefully challenged again our strengths support this approach.

 

Rule of Law

In our school our rules are simple and centre on Christian Values.

The behaviour code is simple and is exemplified by our focus on personal strengths

Collective worship addresses these value and strengths to ensure they are well known by the whole school population signs are used to support all children to access these.

Each class agrees a class charter at the start of the school year and rules are consistently applied across the school. Children learn to understand that they have rights but that along with rights come responsibilities.

All members of staff uphold, model and reinforce our rules and deliver this within the staff code of conduct.

The Home/ School agreement is signed annually in the new school planners.

Visits from people in authority reinforce the need for rules e.g. the local PCSO, Police Officers (Nov 2014) School Nurse or School Governors e.g. Drug Education (July 2014), Railway Safety (Nov 2014), Librarians etc.

We work, where possible, with local organisations to support local issues e.g. the Parish Council.

Pupils learn about the law in different aspects of the curriculum e.g. laws of the road during Cycling and Pedestrian skills training.

The Local MP Andrew Percy met with the Year 5 and 6 pupils to discuss government, laws and local issues in the summer term 2014 and visited the school in January 2015 also.

 

Individual liberty

Within school children are encouraged to make choices whilst knowing they are in a safe and supportive environment.

Making the right choices and being forgiven are key Christian Values and enable children to try again if they do make the wrong choice. A language of choices is used across the school to reinforce expectations.

Within set boundaries children are educated to make choices safely and with consideration for the feelings of others.

Pupils are encouraged to know, understand and exercise their rights and personal freedoms and to learn how they can exercise these safely e.g. e-safety, food technology,

We provide a wide range of choices for our children e.g. in lessons they may choose the direction of their learning (through involvement in discussion about the current theme) the level of challenge they work at or how to record an answer. Foundation children review their learning on a weekly basis e.g. considering what they liked, disliked and what they can improve on. In the broader context of the school they may choose which extra-curricular activities they take part in.

Through Collective Worship, RE and History children hear stories about people who have fought for liberty or fought for the liberty of others e.g. Nelson Mandela, Ghandi. They also learn about cultural events which have impacted on the liberty of our nation.

Through our Remembrance service pupils commemorate the world wars on an annual basis and they sell and wear poppies. Older children learn about the impact of the war on our lives today. In 2014 the school council attended the Remembrance Day service at the local war memorial along with other Parish members and it is planned that this will be an annual event.

Pupils learn about UNICEF’s rights of the child through Collective worship. Links are also made when we consider charity fund raising for those in need locally and further internationally.

We have a strong anti-bullying culture and staff and children are taught to challenge others to ensure that this remains the case.

SEAL (Social and Emotional Aspects of Learning) are used across the school to develop personal skills.

 

Mutual Respect

Mutual respect is a core Christian Value and as such underpins every aspect of life in our school.

We listen to one another and support children to develop empathy.

All staff treat each other and the children in our care with respect. Raised voices are rarely heard.

We endeavour to respect and value one another’s person, property and opinions even, and especially when, it is different to our own.

Respect underpins all our school and class rules and the behaviour policy. It is a key strength.

In KS1 children learn about the work of Florence Nightingale and the impact that she had on hospitals nationally and internationally. Children find this theme fascinating and inspiring.

 

Tolerance of those of different faiths and beliefs

Although as a school we have a lower than average number of minority groups represented we fully appreciate the importance of enhancing pupils’ understanding of their place in a culturally diverse society and giving them opportunities to experience that diversity.

We recognise that all humanity was created by God and is loved by Him. We should therefore love our fellow men and be tolerant of those different to ourselves.

Collective Worship, our Christian Values (respect, understanding, love of God) and our PSHCE and RE work emphasise tolerance and proactively and successfully educate against any form of prejudice or prejudice based bullying, about which we are constantly vigilant.

Representatives of different faiths and religions are welcomed in our school and where possible we aim to arrange opportunities for children to meet with people from different faiths and to experience our diverse society.

We challenge children’s stereotypes of gender, culture, religion etc. and highlight people who work in non-stereotypical roles e.g. when talking about careers or challenging gender stereotypes.

We encourage children to support others who are not as fortunate as themselves e.g. through our Operation Christmas Child appeal and Food bank collections. Children listen to visitors from these organisations to understand about the diversity of our world both at home and abroad

Links with a culturally diverse school (Crosby Primary) in Scunthorpe support children to learn about others and their lives.

Links with Zambia also support children to consider the lives of others and to put their Christian values into action through fundraising.

Educational visits to our own and contrasting places of worship are actively encouraged.

Resource collections – books, DVDs and artefacts are kept for major world religions.

We welcome contributions from a wide range of people from different cultures and backgrounds e.g. a Parent to deliver French to the children, local Muslim to talk to the children etc.

RE themes enable children to find out about world faiths. In particular Hinduism and Islam are the two major religions studied (ref. The Locally Agreed Syllabus for RE)

Books are chosen to reflect our diverse world and to challenge stereotypes. They frequently form part of our literacy work e.g. Handa’s surprise (KS 1) and Journey to Jo’burg (KS 2).

Where possibly resources that reflect a broad range of cultures are used and celebrated e.g. celebration of Chinese New Year, Divali, Raksha Bandan

We have recently reviewed our Equality policy to ensure that we are compliant with the Public Sector Equality Duty and Governors review progress against our Equality Action Plan.

We encourage children to consider the diversity of family life through the promotions of resources e.g. from the Stonewall charity ‘Different families – Same love’ posters.

 

Celebrating what makes Britain special and highlighting British Values.

Over the last few years the school has actively celebrated British events including: The Olympics, the Jubilee, the Marriage of Prince William and Catherine and the subsequent birth of Prince George. Remembrance Day is marked each year.  British festivals are celebrated from a Christian perspective and also from a non-Christian perspective e.g. Eid, Chinese New Year and Diwali. Opportunities to reflect British Culture are also taken e.g. theatre trips and other events.

Recent initiatives:

Whole School - Royal Mint Competition – What does Britain mean to you?

Y1 – Diwali celebrations, Chinese New Year

Y3 – Music from other cultures

F2 - Tasting fruits from different cultures

Y1 – Handa’s surprise (African theme)

Y4 – Story about children in Africa (Journey to Jo’burg)

Young Voices Choir - Nelson Mandela songs

Theatre visits – F2 trip to the Northern Ballet (3 little pigs) and The Gruffalo

Y1 and Y2 - Chinese New Year celebrations