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.
Robert Miles Junior School is committed to serving its community and surrounding areas. It recognises 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 radicalisation by those wishing to unduly, or illegally, influence them.
The 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.
Robert Miles Junior School has its own core values (REACH) which have been deeply embedded in the school for many years. We feel that promoting these values also serves to promote the values identified as fundamental British values.
The Government emphasises that schools are required to ensure that these key ‘British Values’ are taught in all UK schools. The government set out its definition of British values in the ‘Prevent Strategy’ – values of:
- The rule of law
- Individual liberty
- Mutual respect
- Tolerance of those of different faiths and beliefs
Examples of how we promote these values and how they relate to our school core values are as follows:
Democracy is ever present within Robert Miles Junior School. Children are involved in Democratic processes and have their voices heard through our School Council. The School Council run regular assemblies and report its actions to all groups in our school community including peers, staff and parents/carers through the website.
The school is a member of the Rushcliffe Learning Alliance Pupil Parliament (RLAPP) and two pupils represent our school at the termly meetings of the RLAPP, which is held in the Council Chambers at County Hall. These meetings have included question and answer sessions with people who have influence on children’s lives, for example members of the Council, Anna Soubry local MP, headteachers and local policymakers.
Through RE and the wider the curriculum, pupils discuss and debate fundamental questions about life. Our children are taught to consider and value different perspectives for the well being of others.
Core REACH value that underpins this: Responsibility
The Rule of Law
Our school underpins all learning with the fundamental value of knowing right from wrong. There is an emphasis on preparing children for life in modern Britain and developing an understanding and a respect for the laws of the land. These can include class rules, school rules, or the laws of this country. These are consistently reinforced throughout regular school days, as well as when dealing with behaviour and also through school assemblies.
We have a clearly structured Behaviour Policy which all stakeholders understand and follow. We regularly review behaviour incidents in school and share these with key stakeholders.
When children make inappropriate behaviour choices they are asked to reflect on their behaviour, consider its impact on others and to think about what they would do in the same situation in future.
Pupils are taught the value and reasons behind rules and laws, how they govern and protect us, the responsibilities that this involves and the consequences when rules and laws are broken.
Core REACH value that underpins this: Honesty
As a school we educate and provide boundaries for young pupils to make choices safely, through provision of a safe and supportive environment. Children are encouraged to take risks and develop the confidence to ‘have a go’ and so increase the chances of experiencing success. Our pupils thrive on challenge, and there is high participation in our numerous extra-curricular clubs and curriculum enrichment opportunities. All pupils are given the freedom to make choices.
Core REACH value that underpins this: Achievement
Through assemblies and class work, we believe that children here at Robert Miles Juniors have an excellent understanding as to what respect means and how it is shown. These ideas are reiterated through the curriculum, the school and classroom rules, as well as our behaviour policy. We also spent two years working towards the Stephen Lawrence Education Standard which helped to embed ideas of respect throughout the school. Additional support is provided for individual pupils where needed is provided by our SENCO, Carol Ward, who can offer support and guidance to pupils who find it difficult to show tolerance towards others. This support helps to develop self-esteem and to practise strategies pupils can employ to help improve their respect of others.
Core REACH value that underpins this: Consideration.
Understanding 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 experiences to learn about diversity, understanding and respect. Assemblies and discussions involving prejudices and prejudice based bullying have been reinforced and supported by learning in RE. Our R.E curriculum (Nottinghamshire Agreed Syllabus) provides a broad and balanced education on a range of religions and world views. We encourage visitors from other countries and from other faiths who share their language and culture with our pupils.
As mentioned above, our work towards the Stephen Lawrence Education Standard was particularly useful in promoting tolerance and understanding of other faiths and beliefs.
Core REACH value that underpins this: Equality