Griffin Park British Values Policy
This policy sets out the four key areas within which the DfE has defined British values, and the ways in which our students learn and develop understanding of these areas, both through the curriculum, extracurricular and other opportunities.
The government set out its definition of British values in the 2011 Prevent Strategy, and these values have been reiterated. As of September 2014, the DfE;
‘requires all schools to promote the historical and current values that underpin the national identity known as being British.’
Within this, all schools are required to ensure that the curriculum actively promotes these fundamental British values. Griffin Park is a multicultural community within which we celebrate students and cultures from all over the world. Alongside this, the school is keen to support all students in learning about and deepening their understanding of British values, culture and systems.
What are British values?
Fundamental British values are defined by the DfE as:
(a) Democracy: Respect for democracy and support for participation in the democratic process
(b) The rule of law: Respect for the basis on which the law is made and applies in England
(c) Individual liberty: Support and respect for the liberties of all within the law
(d) Mutual respect and tolerance: Support for equality of opportunity for all and respect and tolerance of different faiths and religious and other beliefs
How do we actively promote British Values at Griffin Park?
Respect for democracy, democratic participation and active involvement of all pupils is evident across the school. We aim to provide pupils with a broad general knowledge of, and promote respect for, public institutions and services. Our aim is to teach pupils how they can influence decision-making through the democratic process. For example: Pupils have the opportunity to have their voices heard and are able to express their views freely through our Pupil questionnaires, pupil teacher conferencing and School Council. The elections of School Council representatives each year are based solely on pupil votes (which helps to highlight some of the advantages and disadvantages of democracy and how it works in Britain). This effective involvement of pupils in democratic procedures enables them to influence and make decisions in matters which affect their lives within school.
Our school behaviour policy involves rewards and sanctions which the pupils vote on and so can facilitate understanding of wider issues within the context of learning about the values on which our society is founded and our system of democratic government.
RULE OF LAW
The importance of Laws, whether they be those that govern the class, the school, or the country, are consistently reinforced throughout regular school days, as well as when dealing with behaviour and through school assemblies. Pupils are taught to have respect for the basis on which the law is made and how the law is applied in England. We aim to teach children the value and reasons behind laws, that they govern and protect all of us, the responsibilities that this involves and the consequences when laws are broken. Ofsted said of our pupils ‘Pupils are extremely polite and friendly, and their behaviour is excellent.
They take their many responsibilities such as school councillors very seriously. They contribute very well to the wider community, for example, as Eco warriors.’ Throughout the year we welcome visits from members of the wider community and from public institutions such as the Police, the Fire Service and the Mayor’s office to help reinforce the importance of the Rule of Law for our pupils. We ensure that school rules and expectations are clear and fair and our pupils understand that rules are there to protect us just as living under the rule of law protects all individuals.
We support pupils to develop their self-knowledge, self-esteem and self-confidence. Pupils are encouraged to know, understand and exercise their rights and personal freedoms and how to exercise these safely, for example through our E-Safety, Life Education lessons, Children’s University, Stay Safe Week and menu choices. Pupils are taught to respect the rights of others and to consider their responsibilities toward other people including taking responsibility for their behaviour. Within school, pupils are actively encouraged to make choices. As a school we educate and provide boundaries for pupils to make choices safely through provision of a safe and secure environment and empowering education.
Whether it is through choice of challenge, or of participation in our numerous extra-curricular clubs and opportunities, pupils are given the freedom to make choices. We welcome freedom of speech through pupil participation, while ensuring protection of vulnerable pupils and challenging stereotyping of others. We implement and actively promote a strong anti-bullying culture and invite visitors into school to support our anti-bullying policy.
We work with Amnesty International and support their Christmas Card campaign every year, sending messages of hope to Prisoners of Conscience and those wrongly imprisoned.
MUTUAL RESPECT AND TOLERANCE
Part of our school ethos and behaviour policy revolves around our Core Values of strong ethics, inclusive, teamwork, inspiring potential and continual enhancement Pupils are expected to show mutual respect towards everything and everyone, regardless of individual differences, at all times. All children, adults and visitors are expected to behave respectfully and we will challenge anybody who displays prejudicial or discriminatory behaviour. Pupils take part in assemblies and class discussions related to what this means and how it is shown.
We help pupils to acquire an understanding of, and respect for, their own and other cultures and ways of life. This is achieved through enhancing pupils understanding, through the curriculum, of their place in a culturally diverse society and by giving pupils opportunities to experience such diversity. Assemblies and discussions involving identifying and combating discrimination, prejudices and prejudice-based bullying have been followed and supported by learning in RE and Life Education PSHE.
Our school is part of a local network which enables children and leaders of different faiths, cultures and backgrounds to meet and socialise through a range of different learning opportunities. We encourage children to participate in a wide range of events and provide opportunities for pupils to serve the wider community in order to nurture tolerance and harmony, understanding and respect between all members of our society.
All staff and students at Griffin Park are expected to behave with integrity, tolerance and compassion in their dealings with one another. We provide opportunities for all pupils not only to explore their own cultures but also to understand how these align with British values and how we can work together as a community for the greater good. Every member of the community has a part to play in respecting the core values and beliefs so as to build a strong, united and democratic school. Where unfairness is found to exist it will be routed out, and democracy and the rights of individuals will take centre stage.
DfE, September 2014 School Inspection Handbook: Handbook for inspecting schools in England under section 5 of the Education Act 2005 (as amended by the Education Act 2011), No. 120101 Crown Copyright 2014
HM Government home office 07/06/2011 Policy paper: Prevent Strategy 2011 Ref: ISBN 9780101809221 Crown Copyright