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.”
Each year the children decide upon their class rules and expectations, after time to discuss the possibilities.
Children have many opportunities for their voices to be heard. We have a school council which meets regularly to discuss issues raised in class. We also have an Eco and Sports Council, which meet regularly. The children genuinely have an impact around the school, making decisions that are acted upon, for example, a recent push on reducing litter around the school has led to a letter to the Headteacher asking for some additional bins, which are now on order! A recent change to our councils sees the council members (2 children from each class) being voted in on a termly basis, which allows more children to experience being a council member.
Children have an annual questionnaire with which they are able to put forward their views about the school.
The children are always made aware of any voting that is happening in our country or even elsewhere in the world. We feel that by explaining and discussing these topics of the children will have a good understanding as the grow up.
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 help reinforce this message.
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, through provision of a safe environment and empowering education. Pupils are encouraged to know, understand and exercise their rights and personal freedoms and advised how to exercise these safely, for example through our E-Safety and PSHE lessons. Whether it be through choice of learning challenge in class, of how they record, of participation in our numerous extra-curricular clubs and opportunities, pupils are given the freedom to make choices.
Respect at Abbots is a very important part of what it is we try to do on a day to day basis. Children learn that their behaviours have an effect on their own rights and those of others. All members of the school community treat each other with respect. In our school adults will hold the door open for children and children will hold the door open for adults – we try to lead by example as a staff, ensuring that the children understand why respect is so important.
Tolerance of those of Different Faiths and Beliefs
Abbots Langley School is situated in an area which is not greatly culturally diverse, therefore we place a great emphasis on promoting diversity with the children. Assemblies are regularly planned to address this issue either directly or through the inclusion of stories and celebrations from a variety of faiths and cultures. Our Religious Education and Personal, Health and Safety Education teaching reinforce this. Members of different faiths or religions are encouraged to share their knowledge to enhance learning within classes and the school. Children visit places of worship that are important to different faiths.
At Abbots Langley School we will actively challenge pupils, staff or parents expressing opinions contrary to fundamental British Values, including ‘extremist’ views.