MEREFIELD SCHOOL AND BRITISH VALUES
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 Minster this year. At Merefield School these values – in line with the individual pupils’ capacity to understand the concepts and ideas of these values – are reinforced regularly and in the following ways:
Pupils have the opportunity to have their voices heard through our School Council and Person Centered Annual Review meetings. Children and young people are elected onto our school council by their peers. The school council holds full in-school meetings every term and sends representatives to regular local and regional school council meetings.
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 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 parts of our curriculum calendar and help reinforce this message.
Within school, pupils are actively encouraged to make choices, knowing they are in a safe and supportive environment. As a school we educate and provide boundaries for all our pupils to make choices safely, through the provision of a safe environment and empowering education.
Throughout the Merefield Curriculum Pathways pupils are encouraged to know, understand and exercise their rights and personal freedoms and receive appropriate advice of how to exercise these safely, for example through e-safety workshops and PSHE lessons. Whether it be through choice of challenge, of how they record or of participation in our extra-curricular clubs and opportunities, pupils are given the freedom to make choices.
Part of our school ethos and Positive Behaviour Management policy revolves around core values such as “respect” and pupils have been part of discussions and assemblies related to what this means and how it is shown. Displays around school promote all aspects of this alongside Merefields’ commitment to the UNICEF Rights Respecting School Award. We achieved the RRSA Recognition of Commitment in December 2014 and are currently working towards achieving Level 1 within a timeline of July 2016.
Tolerance of those of different faiths and beliefs
This is achieved through enhancing pupils understanding of their place within 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 within RE and PHSE lessons. Pupils also participate in cultural themed days e.g. Diwali and Chinese New Year