The Department for Education recently reinforced the need “for 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.”
At Cholsey School these values are reinforced regularly, for example in the following ways:
Democracy: Democracy is a core value within our school. Children at Cholsey have the opportunity to have their voices heard through our School Council, our Eco-Council and via pupil questionnaires. Two representatives from each class (Y1-6) are elected each year to the School Council and to the Eco-Council (Y3-6). Elections take place in the autumn term when hustings and a ballot are organised by the pupils themselves. Class councils send their views on a variety of subjects, through their elected school councillors, to fortnightly school council meetings which are held from 8:00-9:00 am. In addition, Year 6 House Captains are elected by their houses each year.
In meetings, lessons and assemblies, children are taught to voice their opinions in a respectful way, and an environment is fostered where children are safe to disagree with each other and, where appropriate, with adults.
The Rule of Law: The importance of rules and laws, whether these be those which govern the class, the school, or the country, are consistently reinforced. Pupils are taught the value and reasons behind rules and laws, that they govern and protect us, the responsibilities that this involves, and the consequences when laws are broken.
Individual Liberty: 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 them to make choices safely, through the provision of a safe environment and empowering education. Pupils are encouraged to know, understand and exercise their rights and responsibilities, and advised how to exercise these safely, for example through our e-safety and PSHE lessons. Whether through choice of challenge, of how they record their work, of participation in extra-curricular clubs and opportunities, pupils are given the freedom to make choices on a daily basis.
Mutual Respect: Our school ethos and behaviour policy reflect our values and are reinforced through our Family Links programme. Respect for others is actively modelled by adults in the school
Tolerance of those of Different Faiths and Beliefs: We prefer to talk about the ‘appreciation’ rather than the ‘tolerance’ of different faiths. We enhance pupils’ understanding of their place in a culturally diverse society through assemblies and lessons. Discussions about prejudice and prejudice-based bullying are supported by learning in RE and PSHE lessons.