Promoting British Values at William Penn
The DfE have recently reinforced the 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 have been reiterated by the Prime Minister this year.
William Penn Primary School is committed to serving the community of Coolham and surrounding areas. It recognizes the multi-cultural, multi-faith and ever-changing nature of the United Kingdom, and therefore those it serves. It also understands the vital role it has in ensuring that groups or individuals within the school are not subjected to intimidation or radicalization by those wishing to unduly, or illegally, influence them.
The school, as a Quaker School, accepts admissions from all those entitled to an education under British law, including pupils of all faiths or none. It follows the policies outlined by its governing body regarding equal opportunities, which guarantee that there will be no discrimination against any individual or group, regardless of faith, ethnicity, gender, sexuality, political or financial status, or similar. It seeks to serve all in the community.
The Government emphasizes that schools are required to ensure that key ‘British Values’ are taught in all UK schools. These values are:-
- Democracy: Pupils have the opportunity to have their voices heard through our School Council and Pupil questionnaires. We actively encourage them to voice their opinions in all learning situations.
- 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 the school day, 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, are regular parts of our calendar and help reinforce this message.
- Individual Liberty: 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 are advised how to exercise these safely, for example through our E-Safety and PSHE lessons. Whether it is through choice of challenge, of how they record information, of participation in our numerous extra-curricular clubs and opportunities, pupils are given the freedom to make choices.
- Mutual Respect: Our school ethos and behaviour policy revolves around our Quaker Values which are Equality, Integrity, Friendship, Peace, Simplicity and Reflection. These Quaker Values embody the principal of respect for others. Pupils have been part of discussions and assemblies related to what these values mean and how they are shown. Displays around the school promote respect for others through our Quaker Values and this is reiterated through our class rules, as well as through our behaviour policy.
- Tolerance of those of different Faiths and Beliefs: This is achieved through enhancing pupils’ understanding of their place in a culturally diverse society and by giving them opportunities to experience such diversity. Assemblies and discussions involving prejudices and prejudice-based bullying have been followed and supported by learning in RE and PSHE.