Following recommendations from the DfE, discussions have taken place with staff and governors of Fairchildes and Rowdown Primary schools and Directors of the Trust, around the need to ensure that we are promoting fundamental British values within our schools.
The values identified are: democracy, the rule of law, individual liberty and mutual respect and tolerance of those with different faiths and beliefs. These will be reinforced regularly and evidenced within our schools in the following ways:
All pupils have the opportunity to make choices throughout the course of each school day. They are encouraged to consider their actions wisely and to voice their opinions appropriately, knowing that they are in a safe and supportive environment.
Our School councils are elected bodies with two representatives from each class. Fellow classmates choose and vote for the children they feel will best represent their own views. At Council level, the children discuss issues raised in class and suggest ideas for ways to improve aspects of their school experience. Pupils also have a voice when they complete the school surveys, sent out every other year.
At the beginning of each school year, the children in each class will collaboratively create the class rules they want to see upheld across the year.
The Rule of Law
The importance of laws, particularly those that govern each class and each school, is reinforced throughout the school day. All staff are aware of the school rules and expected standards of behaviour, and these are consistently upheld across both schools.
Within class lessons and assemblies, pupils are taught the importance of our school laws and the reasons for having them. They also learn about the laws that govern our country, the values behind these and how they, like our school laws, are created to protect us all.
Rights and responsibilities are also discussed along with the consequences that follow when laws are broken. Visitors to the school, such as the Fire and Police services, help reinforce these messages.
Reward systems are in place across both schools to encourage and promote positive behaviour. Also, and very importantly, regular communication takes place between home and school to ensure all parents/carers are aware of expectations.
Within our schools, we have created safe and supportive environments where children are able to voice opinions and make their own choices. They are taught about their rights and responsibilities, and how to exercise these safely. Many aspects of the Personal, Social and Health Education curriculum cover these matters, along with lessons on e-safety and our new Values versus Violence programme.
There are many occasions when pupils are encouraged and given the freedom to make choices within their lessons and in relation to their participation in extra-curricular activities.
Children learn the consequence of their actions and that their behaviours have an effect on their own rights and those of others. All members of the Trust are encouraged to treat each other with respect and to understand what this means.
Lessons and assemblies provide opportunities to model and discuss key values such as respect and what the schools expectations are of seeing this in practice.
Tolerance of those with different Faiths and Beliefs
Our schools are situated in an area of cultural diversity, and our school communities reflect this. We promote and celebrate diversity with the children, helping them to understand their place in our society.
Issues such as bullying, racism and prejudice are dealt with in lessons and assemblies. Classes visit places of worship that are important to different faiths. Special celebration events are held and parents and visitors from different cultures, faiths or religions share their beliefs, customs, food and knowledge; all greatly enhancing learning within the schools.
Within Fairchildes Academy Community Trust we actively challenge pupils, staff, parents, carers and other stakeholders who express opinions contrary to the fundamental British Values detailed here, including any “extremist” views.