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, 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 this year (2016). At The Pinetree School these values are reinforced regularly and in the following ways:
Democracy is richly embedded within the school. Students have the opportunity to have their voices heard through our Student Council, student questionnaires and meeting with the Headteacher. Our school behaviour and policy involve rewards and sanctions; this is shared through all aspects of school life and also shared with parents, carers and students.
The Rule of Law:
The importance of Laws, whether they be those that govern the class, the school, or the country, laws are consistently reinforced throughout regular school days, as well as when dealing with behaviour and through school assemblies and PHSE activities. Students are taught the value and reasons behind 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 are welcomed to help reinforce this message.
Within school, students 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 all students to make choices safely, through provision of a safe environment and an empowering approach through education. Students are further empowered through being part of the Student Council, and being able to take part in student forums which link directly to the senior leadership team or governors. Students are given the freedom to make a wide range of choices from attending extra-curricular clubs to supporting fund raising events.
As a school which holds values at the core of its ethos, our school values and behaviour policies have evolved around core values such as ‘respect’, and students have been part of discussions and assemblies related to what this means and how it is shown. Respect is one of our values taught explicitly within lessons, assemblies and within the ethos of being a ‘Rights Respecting School’. It is shared with home through newsletters and website information. Adults throughout the school, model, demonstrate and promote respect.