Promoting British Values at Gisburn Road Community Primary School
At Gisburn Road Community Primary School we value the diverse ethnic backgrounds of all pupils and families and undertake a variety of events and lessons to celebrate these. We have found this approach to be enriching for all parties as it teaches tolerance and respect for the differences in our community and the wider world. Underpinning all of this is a range of curriculum topics, which have strong links to Britain’s position in the world.
Below are just a few examples of how we promote British values. The first section is a general overview; the others are specific expectations set out by Ofsted.
As a school, we value and celebrate the diverse heritages of everybody at Gisburn Road Community Primary School. Alongside this, we value and celebrate being part of Britain. In general terms, this means that we celebrate traditions, such as customs in the course of the year; for example, Harvest festival during the Autumn term, Maypole Dancing in the Springtime or our annual Christmas Nativity. We also value and celebrate national events, a recent example being the Queens Jubilee, The General Election and Remembrance Day.
Further, children learn about being part of Britain from different specific perspectives. Two specific examples of when we teach about being part of Britain are:
Our curriculum, Class, Key Stage and whole school topic ensures that children have a better understanding of what Britain is, learning more about:
• It’s capital cities and counties, its rivers and mountains
• How ‘Great Britain’ differs from ‘England’ and ‘the United Kingdom’
• Where Britain is in relation to the rest of Europe and other countries in the world
During ‘Topic’ we learn and understand significant moments in British history. During these curriculum topics, children learn about an aspect life and how this has developed and changed over time. The actual topic depends on the interests of the children and all themes have planned input by the children and all staff.
Children, parents and staff have many opportunities for their voices to be heard at Gisburn Road Community Primary School.
The election of the School Council members reflects our British electoral system and demonstrates democracy in action: candidates make speeches, pupils consider characteristics important for an elected representative, pupils vote in secret using ballot boxes etc. Made up of one representative from each year group, the School Council meets regularly to discuss issues raised by the different classes. The council has its own budget and is able to genuinely effect change within the school; in the past, the School Council has planned playground markings and chosen charities to support. The Council are actively involved in recruitment and in providing teachers with feedback, such as providing a review of themed weeks.
Other examples of ‘pupil voice’ are:
• Children agree their Class Rules and the rights associated with these; all children contribute to the drawing up of the Rules
• Pupil Questionnaires which provide the school leadership with analysis of how the children feel about school
• Pupils respond to teachers marking throughout the school
• Pupils are always 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.
Rules and laws
The importance of rules and laws, whether they be those that govern our school or our country, are referred to and reinforced often, such as in assemblies and when reflecting on behaviour choices. At the start of the school year, each class discusses and sets its own Class Charter, a set of principles that are clearly understood by all and seen to be necessary to ensure that every class member is able to learn in a safe and ordered environment. These are displayed in each classroom.
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. These values are reinforced in different ways:
• Visits from authorities such as the police and fire service
• During other school subjects, where there is respect and appreciation for different rules.
Children are taught that everyone has rights, we all have responsibilities and if we make poor choices, there can be consequences. This is re-enforced through our Behaviour and Discipline Policy.
Alongside rules and laws, we promote freedom of choice and the right to respectfully express views and beliefs. Through the provision of a safe, supportive environment and empowering education, we provide boundaries for our young pupils to make choices safely; for example:
• Choices about what learning challenge or activity
• Choices about how they record their learning
• Choices around the participation in extra-curricular activities
Our pupils are encouraged to know, understand and exercise their rights and personal freedoms and are taught how to exercise these safely, such as in our Computing and PSHE lessons.
Mutual respect and tolerance of those with different faiths and beliefs
Gisburn Road Primary School is a school where the majority of children come from a white British background with around 25% being of other ethnicities.
Our pupils know and understand that it is expected and imperative that respect is shown to everyone, whatever differences we may have, and to everything, whether it is a school resource, a religious belief. Children learn that their behaviour choices have an effect on their own rights and those of others. All members of the school community should treat each other with respect.
Specific examples of how we at Gisburn Road Primary School enhance pupils understanding and respect for different faiths and beliefs are:
• Through Religious Education, and other lessons where we might develop awareness and appreciation of other cultures – in English through fiction and in Art by considering culture from other parts of the world.
• Enjoying a depth of study, where sometimes we will celebrate and enjoy learning about the differences in countries and cultures around the word (whilst at other times we might consider groups or individuals who might be vulnerable in some way, such as those with mental health issues/homeless)