Our promotion of British values in school
The government set out their definition of British values in the 2011 Prevent Strategy. These were reinforced in September 2014 due to recent events. These new regulations will sit alongside the requirements of the Equalities Act, which also applies to all types of school.
Schools will be expected to focus on, and be able to show, how our work with pupils is effective in embedding fundamental British values.
Promoting British values at Easthampstead Park Community School
We agree with the Department for Education’s five-part definition of British values:
- the rule of law
- individual liberty
- mutual respect
- tolerance of those of different faiths and beliefs
At EPCS students will encounter these principles throughout everyday school life. We have based our school values of “Respect and Pride” as key principles defining the way we work and learn in school. These were created by students in response to the school’s values and vision. As a community school we subscribe to the view that “It takes a whole village to raise a child” We try to engage in a positive way with our community in our ambition to be judged as an outstanding school for children in our local area. The curriculum is mapped in detail across the whole school. Listed below are some examples of how we promote these values in our school community:
Pupil voice is significant in regards to life at the EPCS. Our pupil elected school Parliament mirrors our UK democratic structure and is starting to play a strong role in developing our school. They are elected by their class peers and are involved in making the school a better place to learn and be. Pupils are being given opportunities to input in regards to what and how they learn, which promotes pupil voice. For example, in our new criss cross day programme the pupils decide as a class how they would like to learn certain skills through a choice of activities and this is used to inform the teacher’s planning.
Pupil questionnaires and interviews are also conducted throughout the year. We know that the formation of the school Parliament and councils and the active participation of our pupils will sow the seeds for a more sophisticated understanding of democracy in the future.
The Rule of Law
Our pupils will encounter rules and laws throughout their entire lives. We want our pupils to understand that whether these laws govern the class, the school, the neighbourhood or the country, they are set for good reasons and must be adhered to.
This understanding of the importance of rules will be consistently reinforced through assemblies and our curriculum. The involvement of our pupils in the creation of the school rules helps them to understand the reasons behind the rules and the consequences if they are broken. Through philosophical enquiry in our RS, PHSE and enrichment lessons, we allow opportunity to debate and discuss the reasons for laws so that children can recognise the importance of these for their own protection. Throughout the year we welcome visits from members of the wider community which have included the police, war veterans, the fire brigade and many more. We believe that clear explanations and real life stories emphasise the importance of the rule of law for our pupils.
We invest a great deal of time in creating a positive culture in our school, so that children are in a safe environment where choices and freedoms are encouraged This is only possible if staff and pupils consistently maintain our “Respect and Pride” expectations. In lessons, learning tasks are developing as part of our pedagogy so there is a greater opportunity for the child to decide upon the format. We have invested in something called real smart to promote equity, running on google so that our students can use different devices to access a wide range of resources to support their learning. We encourage children to choose the task that will challenge them, giving them more freedom to determine their own learning. We offer a range of clubs which pupils have the freedom to choose from, based on their interests. Through our ICT-E-Safety, PHSE, RS and science subjects, we educate children on their rights and personal freedoms as well as supporting them in recognising how to exercise these freedoms safely. At EPCS we believe that valuing choice and freedom in daily school life will foster a value for individual liberty as the children embark upon their adult lives.
Mutual respect is at the core of our school life. Students learn to treat each other and staff with great respect. This is evident when walking around the School and in the classrooms. Our staff work hard to engage children and foster an atmosphere of mutual respect and collaboration and it is our ambition to ensure this is in place for every student and every teacher, every day. Our School motto is “Respect and Pride” and this partnership is seen throughout the various relationships between students and staff.
Tolerance of those of different faiths and beliefs
At EPCS we offer a culturally rich and diverse curriculum in which all major religions are studied and respected. At the EPCS we strongly believe that tolerance is gained through knowledge and understanding. Through our curriculum and the routines of our daily school life, we strive to demonstrate tolerance and help children to become knowledgeable and understanding citizens who can build a better Britain for the future.