British Values at Gerrans School
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 this year (2014). At Gerrans School these values are reinforced regularly and in the following ways.
It is expected that the development of these values for life will be reinforced and further enhanced through each of the curriculum areas and the extra-curricular life of the school.
As well as actively promoting British values, the opposite also applies: we would actively challenge pupils, staff or parents expressing opinions contrary to fundamental British values, including ‘extremist’ views.
Being part of Britain
As a school, we value and celebrate the diverse heritages of everybody at Gerrans School and within the surrounding area of the Roseland. Alongside this, we value and celebrate being part of Cornwall and Britain. In general terms, this means that we celebrate traditions, such as customs in the course of the year; for example, Harvest festival during the Autumn term, and what could be more British than a visit from a magician, or trip to cinema or Pantomime around Christmas time! Furthermore, children learn about being part of Britain from different perspectives.
Children, parents and staff have many opportunities for their voices to be heard at Gerrans. Democracy is central to how we operate.
An obvious example is our School Council. The election of the School Council members reflects our British electoral system and demonstrates democracy in action: candidates make speeches, pupils consider characteristics important for an elected representative, pupils vote in secret etc. The School Council meets regularly to discuss issues raised by the different classes. On occasions non-school council members are invited to school council meetings, such as the catering manager from Aspens who provides the school meals.
Other examples of ‘pupil voice’ are:
- Children agree their learning behaviours which contribute towards a positive growth mind-set known at Gerrans as ‘Supersonic’ Learning.
- pupil surveys ask children to reflect on how they see their school
- Children nominate various charities to be supported throughout the year – Comic Relief/Children in Need…
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. We encourage pupils to take ownership of not only their school but also of their own learning and progress. This encourages a heightened sense of both personal and social responsibility and is demonstrated on a daily basis by our pupils.
Rules and laws
The importance of rules and laws, whether they be those that govern our school or our country, are referred to and reinforced often, such as in assemblies and when reflecting on 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. behaviour choices.
As a school we follow the Golden Rules which reinforce positive behaviour. Pupils are taught that all actions have consequences and they must take responsibility for the actions they choose to take.
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. These values are reinforced in different ways:
- visits from authorities such as the police , fire service and coastguards
- during Religious Education, when rules for particular faiths are thought about
- during other school subjects, where there is respect and appreciation for different rules – in a PE lesson, for example
- Rules which keep them safe such as water safety whether, sea, river or pool as well as rules of the road, whether crossing the road or the Highway Code whilst training for Cycle Wise.
Alongside rules and laws, we promote freedom of choice and the right to respectfully express views and beliefs. Through the provision of a safe, supportive environment and empowering education, we provide boundaries for our pupils to make choices safely and to take safe risks to explore their learning.
Our pupils are encouraged to know, understand and exercise their rights and personal freedoms and are taught how to exercise these safely for example through our E-Safety and PSHE lessons...
Mutual respect and tolerance of those with different faiths and beliefs
Gerrans School is in an area of minimal cultural diversity and we see it as exceedingly important to promote and celebrate different backgrounds and beliefs. Mutual respect is at the heart of our aims and ethos.
Our pupils know and understand that it is expected and imperative that respect is shown to everyone, whatever differences we may have, and to everything, whether it is a school resource, a religious belief or whatever. Children learn that their behaviour choices have an effect on their own rights and those of others. All members of the school community understand they should treat each other with respect.
Sadly, no school can guarantee that there will never be instances which are contrary to these values. At Gerrans School, such instances are extremely rare and are treated seriously in line with our Behaviour Management Policy.