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Promoting British Values

The DfE have recently reinforced the need to:-

‘Create and enforce a 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 faiths and beliefs’

The government set out this definition of ‘British Values’ in the 2011‘Prevent Strategy’ and these values have been reiterated by the Prime Minister in 2014.

We believe children need to understand that, while these are values the British have adopted, they are not solely British and are shared by and have originated from many nations around the world. At Downs Junior School these values are consistently reinforced and modelled by:-

Democracy

Pupil voice

School Council

The school council meet regularly to discuss issues arising in school.  The reps feedback to their class and find out any concerns they may have.

The Curriculum committee

The committee meet year group leaders termly and meet the Deputy Head weekly to research forthcoming topics.  They look at how they can make learning more exciting and engaging.

Pupil survey

These are given out twice a year.  Children are asked questions ranging from bullying and the curriculum to friendships. 

Pupil conferencing

Biannually each teacher will meet each child to discuss their learning and experience at school.

Pupil interviews.

Throughout the school year, children liaise with members of the senior leadership team to discuss their learning experience (as part of teacher observations).

Eco Rep Election

The whole school took part in the Eco-Rep elections on Election Day.  Candidates put together manifestos and party political broadcast.  All pupils had to register to vote and polling stations were set up around the school.  Each class also nominated and voted for their own eco-rep.

Stretching Learning Power

The children learn many learning skills linked to pupil voice and democracy such as questioning, collaboration and reasoning.

Assemblies

The children looked at how democracy came to this country and the importance of voting.

They have had several  assemblies on British values.

Within year groups

Year 3 learn about democracy as part of the ancient Roman topic

Year 5 study the origins of democracy in ancient Greece.

Year 6 have a UK topic and focus on democracy; they also look at the life of Nelson Mandela in their biography topic.

Discussion and debate is now more prominent in the new English curriculum.

Rule of Law

At the beginning of the academic school year, through our ‘Learning to Learn Week’ and PSHE, the children establish class rules.   We discuss the values and reasons behind these rules and how they help us.  The children compare these rules to rules we all have to follow in society.

In each year group, in PSHE, the children learn about responsibilities.

In year 5 and 6 the children receive visits from PC Kilroy to discuss internet safety and the law surrounding it.

In year 6 they have a topic called ‘Crime and Punishment’ they look at laws throughout history, current UK laws and punishment in the UK.

In school we use restorative justice when dealing with issues and behaviour; this is to encourage students to accept responsibility for their behaviour, show initiative, and to understand how they can contribute positively.

Individual Liberty

In every class the children have opportunities to and are encouraged to select levels of work they would like to work on.  They are actively encouraged to make choices, whilst knowing they are in a safe and supportive environment.

Making the right choices and being forgiven and allowed to try again when they make the wrong ones, underpins our behaviour management strategies.

The children study the Second World War and during assemblies we remembered the Holocaust and how both wars affected civil liberty.

Mutual Respect

One of our ‘Golden Words’ is respect.  It is part of our behaviour policy.

When dealing with behaviour, staff refer to our ‘Golden Rules’

Tolerance (Acceptance) of those of different faiths and beliefs

At their time at Downs the children will have visited a variety of religious institutions including the Buddhist centre and the Florence road church. 

The RE curriculum is well balanced and looks at the beliefs of all the major religions and the key figures within each religion.  They look at a variety of stories and what symbols and artefacts are important to different people.