Promoting British Values

at Highters Heath Community School

 

The DfE have 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 by the Prime Minister in 2014.

At Highters Heath Community School, these values are reinforced regularly in the following ways:

 

DEMOCRACY:

 

Democracy is embedded within the school. Pupils have the opportunity to have their voices heard through the School Council, pupil interviews, and class conferences. The School Council meets on a regular basis. All pupils are able to raise issues with their class representative on the School Council. All School Councillors are voted for by the pupils in their class.

 

Our school behaviour policy has clear rewards and sanctions which are used through the whole school from Reception to Year 6. Our behaviour system in school is based on the Restorative Justice model.

 

Class codes of conduct, known as “Norms”, are drawn up and agreed with the pupils as are our Corridor Norms and Dinner Hall Norms.

 

Our approach to teaching using Philosophy for Children further supports children’s understanding of democracy, where children are able to share their opinions and ideas in a community where respectful debate of ideas and concepts is encouraged.

 

The PSHE curriculum in upper key stage 2 ensures that our older children understand: the difference between a democracy and dictatorship, and the benefits of living in a democratic country. Children learn about: The British Government and Parliament, The European Union and

The United Nations. A number of our Year 6 classes have benefited from a visit to the Houses of Parliament in London.

 

Curriculum Links/Specific Topics which support learning about this value:

 

The story of Guy Fawkes (Y1 Autumn)

 

Ancient Greece (Y4 Autumn)

 

Roman Empire and Impact on Britain (Y4 Summer)

 

Battle of Britain (Y6 Autumn)

 

The Rule of Law:

 

The importance of laws and rules in all aspects of life, including our school “Norms”, is constantly reinforced in school through dealing with behaviour, in assemblies, class conferences and in RE lessons.  Pupils are taught the value of, and the reasons behind, laws and rules, that they are there to protect us and make our society a better place to live. Our Restorative Justice system of behaviour management stresses individual responsibility and the fact that there are consequences when rules are broken.

 

Regular visits from the local police, where the police join the pupils with their work in the classes, help reinforce this message and as well as reinforcing the relationships between the police and the local community.

 

Our PSHE curriculum for Year 4 ensures that children learn about ‘rights and duties’, and in particular about children’s rights in our society. In Year 6 this learning is further developed when children explore and learn about Human Rights and Law in Britain.

 

Individual Liberty:

 

Within school, pupils are actively encouraged to make choices. As part of our behaviour policy, we regularly talk to the pupils about the choices they have made and the choices they could make next time as well as making them think about the people who have been affected by their choices.

 

Pupils are encouraged to make choices in school, within our safe and supportive environment.

 

Making good choices is also a regular part of our half termly SEAL days.

 

Through our PHSE, SEAL, E-safety and RE lessons, we teach children how to know and understand their rights and how to exercise these safely.

Highters Heath is working towards becoming a UNICEF Rights Respecting School as we feel it is important for the children to understand the rights they have as well as thinking about the rights of others.

 

Pupils are further empowered through the School Council, making choices about how to make their school an even better place, which charities the children want to support each year, etc.

Through our Philosophy lessons, the children learn about making individual choices and are encouraged to have their own opinions. Philosophy teaches children how to think for themselves about a variety of issues, how to ask relevant questions and how to express their opinion while still respecting the opinions of others.

 

Mutual Respect

We have a set of values which we refer to as “Treasure Words” e.g. Respect, Responsibility, Tolerance, Determination. These Treasure Words change every 2-3 weeks, they are discussed in assemblies every week and one child from every class wins a medal for showing good examples of the current Treasure Word.  These words are also discussed in class, particularly on SEAL days so that children have a good understanding of the meanings of these words and what these values look like in practice. These values are also reinforced through RE lessons and through the way people are expected to treat each other round school.

 

Curriculum Links/Specific Topics which support learning about this value:

 

Black History month (Y2 Autumn)

 

 

Tolerance of those with Different Faiths and Beliefs:

At Highters Heath Community School, we encourage the children to learn from each other by celebrating different faiths and cultures. We hold special assemblies for the main religious festivals and there is a structured programme of visits for all children to visit the places of worship of all the major faith groups.

 

Tolerance is one of our Treasure Words and is discussed in assemblies, RE lessons and Philosophy lessons as well as in PHSE and SEAL lessons.

 

Curriculum Links/Specific Topics which support learning about this value:

 

Islamic Civilisations, including Baghdad (Y6 Summer)

Highters Heath Community School

Kings Heath, Birmingham

B14 4LY

 

Head Teacher - Mrs Hazel Colgan

Tel 0121 464 2459

office@hightersheath. co.uk