British Values as Key Values
As part of the Ofsted inspection process we are assessed as to how well we promote what are often termed ‘British values’ . Here at Cliffe VC these values are embedded firmly within our ethos and curriculum and we recognise what an important role they play in education and indeed the future lives of our pupils. These values are promoted in so much of what we do, not least during our school assemblies, Religious Education and Learning for Life sessions. The values are integral to our aims and ethos statement which you will also find here on our website.
We also teach our pupils that the term ‘British values’ might be slightly misleading, in that these values are integral to so many countries throughout the world – they differ in no way from the values of most western European countries, for example and indeed will be found throughout the world.
As well as actively promoting these values, the opposite also applies: we would actively challenge pupils, staff or parents expressing opinions contrary to what we believe are fundamental British values, including ‘extremist’ views*.
Below are just a few examples of how we promote key values. The first section ‘Being part of Britain’ is a general overview; the others are specific expectations set out by Ofsted.
Being part of Britain
As a school, we value and celebrate the diverse heritages of those in our immediately surrounding communities. This includes the village of Cliffe itself as well as neighbouring Selby and York. Alongside this, we value and celebrate being part of Britain. In general terms, this means that we celebrate traditions, such as customs in the course of the year, for example, Remembrance during the Autumn term, and a regular trip to a pantomime around Christmas time (what could be more British than that!). We also value and celebrate national events, a memorable example being Le Grand Depart in 2014.
Further, children learn about being part of Britain from different specific perspectives. Two specific examples of when we teach about being part of Britain are:
Geographically: throughout their time here with us our Geography curriculum ensures that children have a better understanding of what Britain is, learning more about:
- its capital cities and counties, its rivers and mountains
- how ‘Great Britain’ differs from ‘England’ and ‘the United Kingdom’
- where Britain is in relation to the rest of Europe and other countries in the world
Historically: throughout their time here with us our pupils also learn about the rich and varied history of our country. During this topic, children learn about an aspect of life and how this has developed and changed over time. The actual focus may depend on the interests of the children (and teacher!), but might include inventions and discoveries, or houses, or medicine. As well as both local and national aspects.
At Cliffe VC Primary we are committed to making the children a big part of the decision making processes within the school. Therefore, we provide many opportunities for children to have their voices heard. This happens through our school council, P.A.L.S. (Play and Lunch time Squad) and Eco Committees. Children are also regularly consulted through assemblies, circle time and general staff/pupil discussions. We ensure that children are taught the skills to voice their opinion in a constructive and respectful manner. Growing up mindful that holding one’s own opinion is essential but being respectful of those of others is just as important.
The Rule of Law:
At Cliffe VC Primary School we aim to reinforce the importance of laws in our cross curricular curriculum. Children are taught about the laws that govern the country, the school and the class. Pupils will often start the year by drawing up their own ‘class charter’ and establishing the ‘laws’ by which they will be ruled. These rules are consistently reinforced throughout the school day and pupils encouraged to take responsibility for their own behaviour. Children are also fully aware of the School Behaviour Policy and the sanctions that exist to ensure we maintain an harmonious environment.
Cliffe VC Primary School provides a safe, supportive and stimulating learning environment that provides, promotes and encourages all children to actively make choices. 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 teach pupils how to respectfully exercise these rights through our wider curriculum and Learning for Life lessons.
Mutual Respect and Tolerance of those of Different Faiths and Beliefs:
Through our ethos, Learning for Life lessons and cultural curriculum our school aims to teach the importance of respect. This is reiterated through our classroom and learning behaviours, as well as our Behaviour Policy. We have a robust Religious Education curriculum which teaches children to understand and appreciate our culturally diverse society and those within it. Assemblies and class often involve discussions around addressing prejudices and fostering respect. School Visits to different places of worship are actively encouraged and visitors from of different faiths or religions are welcomed within the school to enhance learning within classes and the school.
We have a policies and procedures to record and report ‘race, hate and bullying’ incidents should they occur and are pleased to report such measures are rarely needed.
* Schools are subject to a duty (Section 26, Counter-Terrorism and Security Act 2015) to have “due regard to the need to prevent people from being drawn into terrorism”. This duty is known as the Prevent duty. At the foot of this page there is some information to support parents in discussions about extremism and preventing radicalisation.