As part of a broad and balanced curriculum British Values – were identified by David Cameron in 2014 as playing an important role in the education of our children. In addition to this we also explore the role of Spiritual, Moral, Social and Cultural education in our children’s education. The promotion of such values is an aspect of Ofsted’s inspection process.
Here at Castle Carrock British Values are promoted in much of what we do – and always have been. The headteacher regularly reports to Governors regarding the Spiritual, Moral, Social and Cultural aspect of the curriculum and the role that the promotion of British Values can play in this. SMSC Report - March 2020
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
As a school we value and celebrate our heritage and work hard to ensure that a diverse range of experiences, voices and cultures are represented. In general terms this means that we celebrate traditions, such as Harvest Festival during Autumn Term, Shrove Tuesday and the very traditional Christmas Pantomime trip!
The 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 the value and reasons behind laws, that they govern and protect us, the responsibilities that this involves and the consequences when laws are broken. Visits from authorities such as the Police and Fire Service help reinforce this message.
Within school, pupils are actively encouraged to make choices, knowing that they are in a safe and supportive environment. As a school we educate and provide boundaries for young pupils to make choices safely, through provision of a safe environment and empowering education. Pupils are encouraged to know, understand and exercise their rights and personal freedoms and advised how to exercise these safely, for example through our E-Safety and PSHE lessons. Whether it be through choice of learning challenge, of how they record, of participation in our numerous extra-curricular clubs and opportunities, pupils are given the freedom to make choices.
We encourage mutual respect through:
- Weekly assemblies which focus on celebrating achievements and recognising the contribution of both pupils and staff to school life.
- Weekly assemblies which build around theme of values, or PSHE (personal, social, health education) designed to prompt thinking and the development of holistic education.
- The schools established rules, routines and expectations for behaviour and learning.
- The staff actions, modelling of behaviour and the use of vocabulary around school.
Democracy – Not only is it taught within the curriculum and when current events lead to it (e.g. around election times, or with the Key Stage 2 study of the Ancient Greeks) it is recognised through an incredibly practical School Council. This was set up in direct response to the children asking for it. The opportunity to elect Councillors, to take part in decision making and explore the consequences of these decisions is very valuable and one the children enjoy.
Tolerance of those of different faiths and beliefs is explored both in assemblies and whole school events but also planned for in the curriculum through RE lessons, in specific topics (such as Festivals around the World) and visits to other places of worship. Our RE curriculum is mapped to the Carlisle SACRE and plans for the studying of specific religions and comparing them.
British Values also permeate the school in many different areas, and contributes to the cultural experiences of the children. Whilst it has been a challenge to continue with these throughout the pandemic many have been managed via zoom, or within the school
- Festival Celebrations – e.g. Harvest, Christmas, Divali, Eid
- Newcastle Pantomime (including watching a Zoom live stream during the pandemic)
- Links with the local Vicar – including visits to other churches, taking part in religious – this has been managed well during the pandemic both in person and online.
- Sports competitions and team games (challenging this year, but we have maintained sports links within school, and children have taken part in individual challenges)
- Curriculum drivers – our locality and international links – including Zoom chats with scientists and people from other cultures, as well as taking part in, for example, online reading festivals and competitions.