The Department for Education state that there is a need “to create and enforce a clear and rigorous expectation on all schools to promote the fundamental British values of democracy, the rule of law, individual liberty and mutual respect and tolerance of those with different faiths and beliefs”. The government set out its definition of British values in the 2011 Prevent Strategy and these values are reiterated by the Prime Minister in2014. At Ermine Primary Academy these values are reinforced regularly and in the following ways.
The Key Values are:
Democracy is embedded at 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. Pupils also have the opportunity to air their opinions and ideas through our school council and regular questionnaires. The elections of the school ambassadors and school council are based solely on pupil votes, reflecting our British electoral system and demonstrating democracy in action.
The Rule of Law
The importance of laws whether they are those that govern the class, the school or the country, are consistently reinforced throughout our school day, through our school assemblies and also when dealing with relationships in school. We encourage our pupils to distinguish right from wrong and help pupils to understand that living under the rule of law protects individuals. Our 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 the Police, Fire Service etc. also help to reinforce our messages. In Year 5 and Year 6 pupils take on the roles of mini police officers and road safety officers. Our restorative justice approach helps us to resolve conflicts.
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 our pupils to make choices safely, through the provision of a safe environment and an empowering education. We support pupils to develop their self-knowledge, self-esteem and self-confidence. Our pupils are encouraged to know, understand and exercise their rights and personal freedoms and are advised how to exercise these safely; examples of this can be clearly seen in our e-safety and PSHE lessons. We implement a strong anti-bullying culture.
At the heart of our whole school ethos is a commitment to our School Values – a set of core attitudes that we believe contribute to individuals being able to live happy and successful lives within the communities to which they belong. Each term’s value is chosen to underpin the need for mutual respect between our pupils and their peers, staff, their families and their wider community. Our Values are taught through assemblies and PSHE sessions and form a key part of our daily dialogue across school. Respect is promoted across school and it is deeply embedded in all that we do at the school. The pupils know and understand that it is expected and imperative that respect is shown to everyone, whatever differences we may have and to everything, however big or small. The core value of Respect at Ermine Primary Academy underpins our work every day both in and out of the classroom. Our school frequently participates in learning activities which promote mutual respect including visits to local schools, a residential care home for the elderly and a local church. In addition to these activities our children are given regular opportunities to learn within their community and beyond, each time an emphasis is placed on respecting those with whom they come into contact and their surroundings. A very wide range of extra-curricular clubs are offered at Ermine Primary Academy both at lunchtime and after the school day. These clubs provide another opportunity for mutual respect to be secured in the attitudes of our pupils, both amongst those participating from their own setting, and any visiting staff or teams.
Tolerance of those with Different Faiths and Beliefs
Our core value of Respect ensures tolerance of those who have different faiths and beliefs. Ermine Primary Academy enhances pupils understanding of different faiths and beliefs through religious education studies; PSHE work; welcoming visitors from other schools that are not predominantly white British, and enjoying a depth of study about other cultures and belief systems during themed weeks. All year groups take part in a faith visit to a place of worship.