Our government believes that, ‘British society is founded on fundamental values and principles, which all those living in the UK should respect and support. These values are reflected in the responsibilities, rights and privileges of being a British citizen or permanent resident of the UK. They are based on history and traditions and are protected by law, customs and expectations. There is no place in British society for extremism or intolerance.’
The values we support are not unique to Britain and are shared by many people in the world represented by the diverse families at Wiveliscombe.
We support the values of democracy, rules of law, individual liberty, mutual respect and tolerance of different faiths and beliefs and these are embedded within our curriculum. These values are found in our own school values identified by the children as respect, kindness, honesty, hard work, cooperation, fairness, confidence, tolerance, politeness and responsibility.
We plan assemblies and lessons, particularly in English, PSHE and RE, to teach the children about our values, respecting similarities and differences, tackling stereotypes and understanding why some people discriminate. We aim to empower children to have a voice and to stand up against discrimination, valuing equality, tolerance and mutual respect. The topics and lessons in the school’s curriculum are designed carefully and planned by teachers to provide a rich learning experience that will have a positive impact on pupils’ spiritual, moral, social and cultural development. Whilst focusing on all children developing good skills in English and Maths and all subjects, we ensure they experience extra-curricular clubs such as music, a variety of sports, the arts and outdoor learning. Visits are planned linking with the class topic to provide children with further understanding of the world they live in. We also link with other schools to take part in singing and sporting events. Competitions provide the opportunity for children to meet other children from different schools whilst experiencing the process of decision making and understanding rules and fairness.
As well as promoting British values we would actively challenge pupils or staff expressing opinions contrary to fundamental British values, including ‘extremist’ views and principles.
Being part of Britain
As a school, we value and celebrate the diverse heritages of everybody at Wiveliscombe. Alongside this, we value and celebrate being part of Britain. In general terms, this means that we celebrate traditions and customs in the course of the year; for example, Easter and Christmas, and mark important festivals from other cultures and religions in Britain. We also value and commemorate national events such as Remembrance Day, and the Queen’s birthday and jubilees.
Further, children learn about being part of Britain from different perspectives, and use History and Geography topics as important opportunities to learn about what Britain is, its history, and where it is in relation to the rest of Europe and the World.
Democracy is embedded in the school. Pupils are listened to by adults and are taught to listen carefully and with concern to each other, respecting the right of every individual to have their opinions and voices heard. We encourage pupils to take ownership of not only their school but also of their own learning and progress. This encourages a heightened sense of both personal and social responsibility and is demonstrated on a daily basis by our pupils. The School Council provides a more formal platform for class representatives to raise issues such as reducing food waste. The older children also act as playground/lunchtime buddies helping younger children. We believe that encouraging our children to take on responsibilities and to work together for the good of the school creates positive relationships and is a valuable preparation for future life in our democratic society.
Parents’ opinions are welcomed at Wiveliscombe through methods such as questionnaires, feedback at parents’ evenings and regular liaison with the Wiveliscombe PTFA.
The rule of law
In order to help children understand how society cannot operate without a set of laws, we teach them how our school rules create an ordered, fair and safe place in which to learn. The class rules are agreed by the children and are displayed in classrooms. We help children to distinguish right from wrong and adopt restorative justice approaches to resolve conflicts.
Our children have the opportunity to make individual choices and express opinions that develop their character and self-belief. However, they are encouraged to develop these qualities in the context of the rights and needs of other members of our school community. We model freedom of speech through pupil participation in class in the context of a safe, fair, supportive and ordered learning environment. We discuss and challenge stereotypes and implement a strong anti-bullying culture.
Mutual respect and tolerance of those with different faiths and beliefs
Respect is one of the core values of our school. Children are encouraged to respect themselves and to respect individual differences. This is a fundamental principle that is put into practice in the classroom, around school, in the playground and in assemblies. We help our children to acquire an understanding of, and respect for their own and other cultures and ways of life. We celebrate the languages spoken by some children in the school and the festivals celebrated by some of our families, and welcome visitors who can widen our children’s horizons even further. We believe that through our formal and wider curriculum our children gain an understanding of their place in a culturally diverse society. Our aim to prepare children for the future drives us towards ensuring that our pupils are able to live and work alongside people from all backgrounds and cultures. This will be particularly necessary in a future where due to technological advances will make the ‘world a smaller place.’
The school is aware of the need to be vigilant when it comes to extreme attitudes or behaviour of any kind and appropriate actions will be taken accordingly. All staff have had Prevent training and are aware of the need to alert the Senior Leadership Team and Governing Body if they have any concerns of this nature. Our overriding aim is to teach children to be resilient to such attitudes. This involves pupils being taught how to ask probing questions and make sound judgements for themselves about what is right and wrong.
Created: April 2016
Last reviewed: April 2016