British Values – A Guide for Parents
What are British Values?
- The Rule of Law
- Individual liberty
- Mutual Respect and Tolerance of those with different faiths and beliefs
These are key aspects for our children’s spiritual, moral and social development so that they can become responsible citizens, taking part appropriately in today’s society and helping shape that of the future. These British Values are promoted throughout the curriculum, across the whole school. They are also reflected in our school ethos, policies, assemblies, special events and celebrations.
At St Teresa’s we help foster and develop Democracy by:
- Encouraging children to know their views count and their opinions are important - for example, following the children’s interests for topics and activities.
- Encouraging children to make decisions together, e.g. when working collaboratively in groups.
- Encouraging children to see their role in the ‘bigger picture’, e.g. linking to part of a family, class, group, school, community etc.
- Providing opportunities for the children to vote between choices of activity, for example, deciding on the rules for their Class Charter, choosing a theme for their role play area, choosing a book for story time.
An excellent example of Democracy at St. Teresa’s is our highly effective School Council. Each year children are given the opportunity to stand as a school councillor. They have to take part in a class election where they share with their class the reasons why they should be elected. Each class then votes to select one boy and one girl to represent their class. Our deputy-head, Mrs Atwill holds fortnightly meetings to discuss key topics and organise events to help improve our school. These have included; charity fund raising, Talent Show, school newspaper, new Attendance Certificates and behaviour rules in school.
The Rule of Law
At St Teresa’s we help foster and develop the Rule of Law by:
- Encouraging adults and children to work together to create group rules. Discussing the need for rules and how they should be administered fairly, e.g. the need for rules to keep everyone safe and happy.
- Teaching children to understand their own and others’ behaviour and feelings, and the consequences.
- Working together to create an environment where actions are consistently followed through, e.g. adherence to class rules, follow-ups on discussions and other choices explored after taking a group vote.
- Encouraging and supporting children to learn how to distinguish right from wrong.
Our whole school Behaviour Policy is based on our mission statement, shared Gospel values of forgiveness and reconciliation, the Rights Respecting Schools ethos and reflects these British Values.
At St Teresa’s we help foster and develop Individual Liberty by:
Providing opportunities for children to develop their self-esteem and confidence in their own abilities, e.g. by sharing achievements and successes and promoting independence.
Encouraging children to try a range of different activities and opportunities and to discuss and select their own preferences.
Providing activities for all children to engage in and actively challenge gender-specific tasks and activities.
Encouraging children to develop a positive sense of identity.
Actively encouraging children to make choices within a safe and supportive environment
Signing up to a ‘Class Charter’ that helps to protect and foster individual liberty.
Providing opportunities for children to make choices in their learning where teachers will use, as appropriate, strategies that enable and guide children to select the level of challenge in tasks.
Providing a wide variety of choices of clubs and activities outside of school hours to allow freedoms to explore their own interests.
Teaching children about E-safety and putting related agreements in place to help protect the school community beyond the classroom and outside of school hours.
Mutual Respect and Tolerance of Different Faiths and Beliefs
At St Teresa’s we help foster and develop Mutual Respect and Tolerance of Different Faiths and Beliefs by:
Teaching the importance of respecting other peoples’ faiths and beliefs through Religious Education, Collective Worship, and PSHE.
Working as a group to create an environment that includes values and promotes different faiths, cultures, views and races.
Providing opportunities for the children to make links with the wider community, for example outings to local places, inviting speakers to visit the school or making links with a local charity.
Encouraging children to learn about other faiths, cultures, traditions, families, communities and ways of life. For example, learning about festivals and special days, different types of family units, different occupations and places around the world.
- Encouraging children to learn about the world around them – both locally and further afield. For example, local trips, using books, stories, posters and videos, etc. to learn about places far away, themed days, local events and activities and national celebrations.
St. Teresa’s is an inclusive school and celebrates the richness and diversity of our community. Mutual respect and tolerance of other people’s views and actions are encouraged where there is no infringement of ‘individual liberty’ or at odds with ‘the rule of law’. We will actively challenge children, staff or parents expressing opinions contrary to fundamental British Values including ‘extremist’ views.