Promoting British Values at Bowker Vale Primary School
The DfE have recently emphasised the need “to create and enforce clear and rigorous expectations 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.” At Bowker Vale these values are reinforced regularly in the following ways:
Each year the children decide upon their class contract and the rights associated with these. All the pupils contribute to the drawing up of the contract. We have a School Council which meets every month to discuss issues raised in class meetings. The council has its own budget and is genuinely able to effect change within the school. Every child on the School Council is voted in by their class. Children have an annual questionnaire where they are able to put forward 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 at Bowker Vale. Pupils are taught from an early age the rules of the school. These are our ‘Good To Be Green Rules’. Pupils are taught the value and reasons behind rules and 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. Rules are also covered in the work that the school does to promote fair play in sport and the value of sportsmanship. This is evident when sporting events are reported on. The attitude of the participants are celebrated and valued just as much as the result.
At Bowker Vale, 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 informed choices, through a safe environment and an 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 Human Values lessons.
Mutual respect is at the heart of our values. 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. One of our School Rules reads: Respect everyone and take pride in ourselves. Bowker Vale is a diverse school. We actively promote diversity through our celebrations of different faiths and cultures. This is evident in the themes for collective worship where the festivals of many religions are recognised and celebrated. Religious Education lessons and Human Values lessons also reinforce these messages of tolerance and respect for others. Members of different faiths and religions are encouraged to share their knowledge to enhance learning within classes and the school. The children visit places of worship that are important to different faiths.