In Britain (like lots of countries), we have a set of beliefs to help children be ready for life in Britain as they grow older. They also help people be kind and respectful to each other, and keep our communities safe.
They were first set out by the government in the ‘Prevent’ Strategy in 2011. In November 2014, schools were required to have a strategy for embedding these values and showing how their work with pupils has been effective in doing so.
These are the definitions of the British beliefs that we share with our children:
- Democracy – You have equal rights. You’re allowed to share your views (such as through voting) even if they are different to others.
- The rule of law - Laws are important to ensure that everyone's rights are respected. Try to do the right thing and understand the consequences of your actions.
- Individual liberty – You are free to make your own choices. Try to make wise decisions and talk about your own ideas and opinions.
- Mutual respect – Be kind to yourself, others and our world. Treat everyone equally, no matter their faiths and beliefs (including those without faith).
They are taught explicitly through Personal, Social and Health and Education (PSHE), and Religious Education (RE). We also teach these beliefs through our broad and balanced curriculum, and ensure they help develop the spiritual, moral, social and cultural aims for our children.
The school takes opportunities to actively promote these values through whole-school and class-based collective worship, and whole school systems and structures such as electing and running a successful School Council.
Children have many opportunities for their voices to be heard. We have a School Council which meets regularly to discuss issues raised in class council meetings. The Council has its own budget and is able to genuinely effect change within the school. The two School Council members for each year group are voted for by their class.
Children have an annual questionnaire with which they are able to share their views about the school.
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 and class Collective Worship. Children 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 (Personal, Social and Health Education) 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 place a great emphasis on promoting diversity with the children. Our curriculum aims to address this issue either directly or through the inclusion of stories and celebrations from a variety of faiths and cultures. Our RE and PSHE teaching reinforce this. Members of different faiths or religions are encouraged to share their knowledge to enhance learning within classes and the school. Children visit places of worship that are important to different faiths.
Mutual respect is at the heart of our beliefs. Children learn that their behaviours have an effect on their own rights and those of others. All members of the school community treat each other with respect and empathy.
At St Barnabas we will actively challenge children, staff, parents/carers or visitors expressing opinions contrary to these beliefs, including ‘extremist’ views.
St Barnabas Road, Leicester, Leicestershire LE5 4BD