Promoting British Values at Westwood Farm Schools Federation
The Department for Education has reinforced the need for schools 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, mutual respect and the tolerance of those with different faith and beliefs’.
At Westwood Farm we value the diverse ethnic backgrounds of all pupils and families and undertake a variety of events and lessons to celebrate these. In addition to the themes developed through assemblies and in reaction to normal everyday events, our curriculum underpins and supports the promotion of traditional British values.
Children and families regularly support and often initiate school involvement in raising awareness and money for charitable causes showing their values for people different to themselves.
Democracy is demonstrated through various means. The pupils have the opportunity to have their voices heard through our School Council and Pupil questionnaires and interviews on a range of school related issues including the nature of the learning they receive. Children can choose to follow the electoral process to become a School Councillor - being elected to represent their peers.
The Rule of Law
The importance of laws underpins the daily life of the school. The children help to select class rules and fully understand and contribute to the behaviour sanctions and rewards used within the school. Pupils are taught the reasons behind laws, that they govern and protect us, the responsibilities that this involves and the consequences when laws are broken. This process is demonstrated through the systems used in school which are frequently revisited in class and assemblies where they are linked to life in general. Visits from authorities such as the Police serve to reinforce this.
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 pupils within which they can make choices. Pupils are encouraged to know, understand and exercise their rights and personal freedoms and advise how to exercise these safely, for example through our e-safety work and within the PSHE curriculum. Whether it is through the choice of challenge, how they record their work, participation in our numerous extra-curricular clubs and opportunities - pupils are given freedom to make choices.
Our school ethos and behaviour policy has developed through the concept of mutual respect, and pupils have been part of discussions and assemblies related to what this means and how it is demonstrated in daily life.
Tolerance of Others Faith 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 R.E and PSHE. Members of different faiths and religions are encouraged to share their knowledge to enhance the learning within classes.
Through many means, (some of which are firmly established within the life of the school and others which are as a reaction to events in the world) our pupils learn to understand what it means to be British within their ever changing multi-cultural world.