Promoting British Values at Seahouses Middle School
The Department for Education 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 this year 2014. At Seahouses these values are reinforced regularly and in the following ways.
Pupils have the opportunity to have their voices heard through the School Council. Each class votes for a boy and girl to represent them on the Council which meets monthly.
Focus groups of pupils are used to enable us to gauge the impact of specific strategies we have put in place e.g. their views about feedback and marking or being taught in single sex groups.
Our school behaviour policy involves rewards which the pupils decided on. Year 6 pupils decide on the charity they are going to support through their sponsored walk during Community week. The Year 8 Sports Leaders have the opportunity to set up and run a variety of sports clubs.
The Rule of Law
The importance of laws, whether they be those that govern the class, the school, or the country are consistently reinforced at Seahouses when implementing our behaviour policy which has a clear system of rewards and sanctions which help pupils to understand that their actions have consequences.
Assemblies regularly reinforce the importance of laws. Pupils are taught the value and reasons behind rules and laws, that they govern and protect us, the responsibilities that this involves and the consequences when laws are broken. Visits from the police, first responders, Royal National Lifeboat Institution and visits to the local fire service help to reinforce this message.
At Seahouses pupils are actually encouraged to make choices, knowing they are in a safe and supportive environment. As a school we educate and provide boundaries for pupils to make informed choices through a safe environment and an empowering education. Pupils are encouraged to know, understand and exercise their rights and personal freedoms, and are advised how to exercise these safely, for example through e-safety and PSHE lessons. Whether it be through choice of challenge, how they record work or participation in our numerous extra-curricular clubs or opportunities, pupils are given the freedom to make choices.
Pupils contribute to fundraising for a range of charities. They are encouraged to participate in leadership opportunities that not only develop their skills eg. Sports Leaders and Peer Mentors but also develop the skills of our younger pupils. These examples reinforce what we feel are British values.
Mutual respect is at the heart of our values. 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. Assemblies related to respect happen regularly and respect for others is promoted through our Behaviour for Learning Policy.
Tolerance of Those of Different Faiths and Beliefs
This is achieved through enhancing pupils understanding of their place in a culturally diverse society. Assemblies and discussions involving prejudices and prejudice based bullying have been followed up and supported by learning in RE and PSHE. Our RE curriculum covers a range of religions alongside Christianity.
At Seahouses we will actively challenge pupils, staff or parents expressing opinions contrary to fundamental British values including extremist views.