Promoting British Values at Higher Openshaw Community School – Definition
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, individuals 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 were reiterated in 2014. At Higher Openshaw Community School these values are reinforced regularly and in the following ways:
Higher Openshaw Community School is a school that respects the rights of all pupils. Each year the children decide upon their own class charter and rules in line with respecting others whilst recognising their own responsibilities and their role in ensuring the rules are followed.
Children in our school have many opportunities to have their voice heard. We have a very active School Council and hold democratic elections each year to elect council members.
Members of the School Council are voted in by their class peers. Each child produces a speech and a personal manifesto so that other pupils can make an informed decision on who to vote for.
The council are consulted on a variety of issues such as; Healthy Lifestyles, Eco-School, Playground and Break-time organisation as well as pupil resources. Council members are encouraged to seek the views of other pupils. At Higher Openshaw we organise ‘Pupil Voice’ sessions so that the opinions of pupils other than those that are members of the School Council can be heard and acted upon.
The School Council meets regularly to discuss issues raised in class meetings and feedback from pupil voice sessions. The council has an allocated budget and is able to genuinely effect change within 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 throughout regular school days, as well as when dealing with behaviour and through school assemblies. Pupils are taught the value and reasons behind laws,that govern and protect us, the responsibilities that this involves and the consequences when laws are broken. Regular visits from authorities such as the Police and Fire Service help reinforce this message.
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 provision of a safe and secure environment and empowering education. Pupils are encouraged to know, understand and exercise their right and personal freedoms and advised how to exercise these safely, for example through our e-safety and PSHE lessons. Whether it is through choice of learning challenge, of how they record, or participation in our numerous extra-curricular clubs and opportunities pupils are given the freedom to make choices.
Respect of others 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.
Tolerance of those of Different Faiths and Beliefs
Higher Openshaw Community School is situated in a culturally diverse are and this is reflected in our pupil population. We place great emphasis on promoting diversity. Assemblies are regularly planned to address this issue. Our RE and PHSE teaching further reinforces this message. Members of different faiths or religions are encouraged to share their knowledge to enhance learning within classes and the school
Our Governing Board play a large part in promoting British values. We have a member of the local clergy and an elected Councillor as members of our Governing Board. They regularly visit school to help spread the message of tolerance and democracy to our pupils.