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British Values

The Department for Education 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.”

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Promoting British Values at John Burns 

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 John Burns these values are reinforced regularly and in the following ways:

Democracy: Democracy is rife within the school. Pupils have the opportunity to have their voices heard through our Pupil questionnaires and simply by having such strong pupil/adult relationships, pupils feel confident to approach staff regarding their views. Our school council comprises of all the children having their say and not just a committee of pupils. This is achieved through nine mixed teams of children meeting simultaneously with a set agenda. The results of each of these meetings are then combined to create an overall school view which is shared in assembly. Pupils can also nominate weekly a member of staff to receive a certificate in assembly. Our school behaviour policy involves rewards which the pupils vote on as a class group.

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; Fire Service; Magistrates etc. are regular parts of our calendar and help reinforce this message.

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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 young pupils to make choices safely, through of provision of a safe environment and empowering education. Pupils are encouraged to know, understand and exercise their rights and personal freedoms and advise how to exercise these safely, for example through our Rights Respecting Charters, E-Safety, P4C and PSHE lessons. Additionally, Y6 pupils spend one week of their curriculum undertaking work experience: they apply for roles within the school which are of interest to them and undertake interviews.

Mutual Respect: Part of our school ethos and behaviour policy has revolved around our six Core Values such as ‘Respect’, and pupils have been part of discussions and assemblies related to what this means and how it is shown. Posters around the school promote respect for others and this is reiterated through our classroom and learning expectations, as well as our behaviour policy and our tremendous work as a Rights Respecting school. One of our proudest links fostering mutual respect is with George Potter Nursing home which a group of pupils visits weekly.

Tolerance of those of Different Faiths and Beliefs:

This is achieved through enhancing pupils understanding of their place in a culturally diverse society and by giving them opportunities to experience such diversity. Assemblies and discussions involving prejudices and prejudice-based bullying have been followed and supported by learning in RE, RRS, P4C and PSHE. The school has a high-profile ‘Back to my Roots” week, linking to languages spoken by our EAL pupils. Members of different faiths or religions are encouraged to share their knowledge to enhance learning within classes and the school. Visits to different places of worship are also built into our curriculum e.g. Greek Orthodox church, Buddhist Temple.