How do we develop British Values at Albany Junior School?
At Albany Junior School we have a robust curriculum which has a core set of values embedded within it. We are currently reviewing what these values look like and considering if we need to amend any areas to reflect our school now. You will have seen or heard about how the government is keen that schools have a focus on British values .The information below sets out how we currently teach each of these values. The provision for each value is based on a recent staff survey which has also allowed us to consider how we can add to our current provision. At the conclusion of the report is a summary of our plans which we hope will help us to move forward in developing our social, moral, spiritual and cultural curriculum provision further.
Introducing spiritual, moral, social and cultural development (SMSC)
- Spiritual development relates to that aspect of inner life through which pupils gain insights into their personal life. Spiritual is not just about with religion; all areas of the curriculum may contribute to pupils' spiritual development. It is about the development of a sense of identity, self-worth, personal insight, meaning and purpose.
- Moral development is about building a framework of moral values for pupils, which allows them to take control of their personal behaviour. It is the development of pupils' understanding of society’s shared and agreed values; including an understanding that there are difficult issues where there is disagreement, and that society’s values change. It is also about pupils gaining an understanding of the range of views and the reasons for the range; and developing an opinion about the different views.
- Social development is about helping young people to work effectively with each other and to participate successfully in the community as a whole. It is about the development of the skills and personal qualities necessary for living and working together; and functioning effectively in a multi-racial, multi-cultural society. It also involves the development of the inter-personal skills needed for successful relationships.
- Cultural development is about pupils understanding their own culture, other cultures in their town and region and in the country as a whole. It is about understanding cultures represented in Europe and elsewhere in the world; about understanding and feeling comfortable in a variety of cultures and being able to operate in the developing world culture of shared experiences provided by television, travel and the internet. Young people need to understand that cultures are always changing. It is also about educating pupils and preparing them to cope with the needs of these cultural changes.
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. At Albany Junior School these values are reinforced regularly and in the following ways:
At Albany we have five key messages which are introduced to the pupils as they begin their learning journey in school. These are ‘Sharing a Smile’, ‘Having Helping Hands’, ‘Promoting Peace’, ‘Be Thoughtful and Thankful’ and also Listening and Learning. The Albany Way is at the centre of everything we do, with pupils being encouraged to use it as a guide for how they behave and treat people.
Children are encouraged to work together effectively and treat each other with respect in a number of ways –
1. Paired and group work across the curriculum (This includes peer and group
assessment of work)
2. Sharing, valuing, discussing and acting on ideas through the School Council
3. We provide nurture interventions which support identified children with
Managing Their Emotions and Co-operative Play. These focus on being
respectful of the thoughts and feelings of others. We also run a group
called ‘Bio-Club’ (By invitation only) at lunchtimes to support children in
understanding how to play fairly and skills such as being able to lose
without it leading to conflict.
4. Our children all take part in a strong program of lunchtime and after
school activities which insist on this core value for successful
participation. We have teams which compete in a range of activities from
dance to tag rugby.
5. Regular assemblies focus on looking at your own needs but also considering
the needs of others.
Equality between boys and girls
At Albany Juniors we offer a wide range of activities and learning opportunities to all children. Through our PSHE curriculum, assemblies, extra-curricular activities and enrichment work we challenge stereotypes of all types. For example, our school council is open to all and we have 1 male and 1 female member elected from each class. We celebrate the difference in each person and the special qualities that each child brings to our school.
Our extra-curricular provision actively encourages all pupils, regardless of gender. For example, boys to play netball and girls to play football and cricket.
We celebrate the success of all learners in a number of ways and regularly stress the qualities of those which have led them to their success. We do this through Merit Assemblies and a range of other rewards which we report to parents through the weekly newsletter.
We assess the achievement of boys and girls in each subject, in each year group on a half-termly basis. Thus allowing us to track any discrepancies and put support in place where it is required.
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 young pupils to make choices safely. Pupils are encouraged to know, understand and exercise their rights and personal freedoms. We offer support and advice on how to exercise these safely, for example through our E-Safety and PSHE lessons. Whether it be through choice of challenge, of how they record, of participation in extra-curricular clubs and opportunities; pupils are given the freedom to make choices.
Democracy, Tolerance and Cultural Diversity
The school has a thriving and strong school council which is elected on a yearly basis from each class. The children are taught about how adults elect councils and members of parliament in order to represent their interests and give them a voice. In the same way, through assemblies and our PSHE curriculum we discuss the theme of pupil voice and what they would like to see in the school.
The children’s opinions are vital. We assess this through the pupil survey, which we undertake twice a year. The feedback from this and school council play an important part in school improvement planning.
Our Behaviour Policy is very clear on the need for each child to respect the needs of others and that they should ‘promote peace’ in everything they do.
We have a strong Global Learning thread to our curriculum, with links made in the curriculum to schools in Kenya, Uganda and France. This provides useful opportunities to develop the pupils writing and language. Additionally, allowing pupils the chance to learn about how different people live in different cultures. The aim is to develop tolerance and understanding of others and not to judge them by how they live, or by previous stereotypes held about them.
Our RE and PSHE curriculums supplement this with work on different religions and comparing them to the Christian religion. They look at how children and adults live and draw out similarities and differences to their own lives.
Current topics which have supported this are Amazonian Tribes in the Rainforest, taught in Years 5 and 6 and the Year 4 theme of modern Egyptians and how they live by the River Nile.
The Rule of Law
The school has a very clear Behaviour Policy which spells out the differences between acceptable and unacceptable behaviours. The policy has a very clear and structured approach to both rewards and sanctions. These are reviewed with children on a regular basis and a lot of the discussion between adults and children centres on the values of the Albany Way.
Regular assemblies link our expectations for behaviour to laws which apply to both adults and children. We talk about acceptable behaviours and what will happen to you in your life outside school if you choose not display acceptable behaviours and respect the rule of law. (Examples are drawn with current issues in the news. Children watch regular editions of Newsround to give them a better understanding of current issues). We welcome visitors from authorities within the community, such as the Police and Fire Service, are regular parts of our calendar and help reinforce this message.
Plans for 2016-17
As part of our curriculum review we have put in place training for all stakeholders which adds more detail in areas which we felt required further provision. For example, children will have a program delivered which tackles issues such as homophobic bullying and anti-racist education delivered by their class teacher and children will be learning about extremism and radicalisation for the first time.
Children in years 3 and 5 will be learning about Anti-Racist themes in Spring 2 2017 while years 4 and 6 will be learning how to keep themselves safe from extremist ideologies and possible radicalisation.
The Prevent Duty for School
The full Prevent Duty Guidance for England and Wales, which is the statutory guidance issued under section 29 of the Counter-Terrorism and Security Act 2015, provides detailed advice and guidance. This advice provides clear guidance to all early years’ settings and school leaders and supports them to develop an understanding of their duties to prevent children and teenagers being radicalised and potentially performing violent acts.
As a school we have ensured that all our staff and governors have undergone training in spotting any signs of radicalisation or extremism and so they understand what the Prevent Duty means in practise. As training and best practise are developed we are updating our policies and procedures.
School Leaders have recently undergone training with Notts LA and are going to roll this out to staff and governors in the coming weeks. We have also carried out an audit of our practises and policies. From this audit we have updated our Prevent Plan (which is attached below). This sets out where our planned actions for this term. This is in terms of safeguarding, curriculum and also training for all adult stakeholders.
What is the Prevent strategy?
Prevent is a government strategy designed to stop people becoming terrorists or supporting terrorist or extremist causes.
The Prevent strategy covers all types of terrorism and extremism, including the extreme right wing, violent Islamist groups and other causes.
How does the Prevent strategy apply to schools?
From July 2015 all schools (as well as other organisations) have a duty to safeguard children from radicalisation and extremism.
This means we have a responsibility to protect children from extremist and violent views the same way we protect them from drugs or gang violence.
Importantly, we can provide a safe place for pupils to discuss these issues so they better understand how to protect themselves.
What does this mean in practice?
Many of the things we already do in school to help children become positive, happy members of society also contribute to the Prevent strategy.
Exploring other cultures and religions and promoting diversity
Challenging prejudices and racist comments
Developing thinking skills and a strong, positive self-identity
Promoting the spiritual, moral, social and cultural development of pupils, as well as British values such as democracy
We will also protect children from the risk of radicalisation, for example by using filters on the internet to make sure they can’t access extremist and terrorist material, or by vetting visitors who come into school to work with pupils.
Different schools will carry out the Prevent duty in different ways, depending on the age of the children and the needs of the community.
Frequently Asked Questions
How does Prevent relate to British values?
Schools have been required to promote British values since 2014, and this will continue to be part of our response to the Prevent strategy.
British values include:
Isn’t my child too young to learn about extremism?
The Prevent strategy is not just about discussing extremism itself, which may not be appropriate for younger children. It is also about teaching children values such as tolerance and mutual respect.
The school will make sure any discussions are suitable for the age and maturity of the children involved.
Is extremism really a risk in our area?
Extremism can take many forms, including political, religious and misogynistic extremism. Some of these may be a bigger threat in our area than others.
We will give children the skills to protect them from any extremist views they may encounter, now or later in their lives.
Extremism – vocal or active opposition to fundamental British values such as democracy, the rule of law and tolerance of different faiths and beliefs
Ideology – a set of beliefs
Terrorism – a violent action against people or property, designed to create fear and advance a political, religious or ideological cause
Radicalisation – the process by which a person comes to support and be involved with extremist causes.