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.”
The Government set out its definition of British values in the 2011 Prevent Strategy, and these values have been reiterated during 2014. At Jerry Clay Academy these values are reinforced regularly and in the following ways:
At Jerry Clay Academy children have many opportunities for their voices to be heard. We have a very active Junior Leadership team who are the strategic pupil voices for the academy. They oversee all of our committees; School Council, Playground Pals, Tidy School Ambassadors, Corridor Ambassadors, Librarians, Sports Leaders & Outdoor Warriors. All of the committees ensure that pupil voice is at the centre of our work. Leadership development is crucial to ensure that we have strong leadership at all levels.
The Committees meet regularly to discuss issues raised in class council meetings. The council has its own budget and is able to genuinely effect change within the school. Two of the three council members for each year group are voted in by their class.
Each term the children in years 2-6 are able to nominate and vote for children to achieve a ‘Jerry Clay Role Model’ certificate.
The school council hold an opinions clinic every week outside the lunch hall where children can share suggestions for improving our school. Children have an annual questionnaire with which they are able to put forward their views about the school. In addition, House Captains and Vice Captains are selected to represent the house teams across the school. Each year the House Captains decide upon a charity that they wish to support through Sports Day fund raising and the entire school makes a contribution to their chosen charity.
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. Every Tuesday we hold a visitor assembly where our children learn about the roles of important figures in our society. The school’s behaviour policy gives pupils the opportunity to reflect on appropriate behaviours and to change negative behaviours. Children are taught to manage their own behaviour in a variety of ways and to realise that there are consequences for unacceptable behaviour.
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, of how they record, of participation in our numerous extra-curricular clubs and opportunities, pupils are given the freedom to make choices.
As part of our positive ethos, 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.The school encourages pupils to raise monies to support local and national charities; it also supports emergency disasters that happen across the world.
Tolerance of those of Different Faiths and Beliefs
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 RE and PSHE 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. In addition, assemblies and discussions involving prejudices and prejudice-based bullying have been followed. The school staff are fully aware of the importance of being a role model for all pupils; demonstrating politeness, courtesy and respect for each other, visitors and children at all times.
At Jerry Clay Academy we will actively challenge pupils, staff or parents expressing opinions contrary to fundamental British Values, including ‘extremist’ views.