British Values at Edgar Sewter Primary
The promotion of British values is not something new to our curriculum at Edgar Sewter. Such values are at the core of all we do whether it be through our assemblies, our RE curriculum, our personal, social, health and citizenship lessons or through other areas of the curriculum. The term British values can be somewhat misleading as these values are integral to so many countries across the world.
Below are some examples of how British values are promoted in our school curriculum:
Being Part of Britain
Our curriculum reflects, celebrates and teaches children about diversity. For example, in RE children learn about Christianity, Islam, Judaism Hinduism and Sikhism and non-religious approaches e.g. Humanism. Within R.E. lessons the children explore these faiths and we discuss others to look for any similarities and differences. They compare and contrast marriage customs and naming ceremony customs, for example, and have opportunities to visit different places of worship.
Throughout the year we celebrate being part of Britain. In general terms this means we celebrate events such as Christmas, Harvest, Mothering Sunday, Remembrance Day. We have opportunities to see live performances during the school year. In addition, we take part in key British events such as the Olympics and Para Olympics and the VE Day celebrations in May 2020. For such events we do additional curriculum classroom work about how such events relate to being British.
In Geography children learn about London and Somalia comparing it with their own locality. They also learn about Britain's place in Europe as well as other aspects of its rich heritage.
In History children learn about key British figures such as Guy Fawkes, Samuel Wilderspin, Queen Elizabeth 1 and 11, Alfred the Great, Mary Anning, Mary Seacole, Sir Winston Churchill and William the Conqueror and Queen Victoria. One of our themes in History is a study of school days and childhood in different historical periods and how key historical events have impacted on British lives today.
The annual election and work of our school council reflects British democracy.
Our school council is very proactive in having its voice heard and meet fortnightly. Following the school council meeting the children report back to the headteacher and other senior leaders.
In addition, the school organises charity work throughout the year. This includes fun days such as dressing in pyjamas / spots or in yellow for Children In Need as well as our support of the local foodbank and nursing homes. This fostering of a commitment to charities is another way in which we teach a sense of Britishness.
Rules and Laws
Children are taught the importance of rules and laws and how the ones in school reflect those in our country. Children are taught the reasons behind rules and that they are there to keep us safe and happy. Positive behaviour reinforcements are operated throughout the school. Visits from authority figures in society such as the fire brigade, the local community police officers, nurses, MPs and governors demonstrate to children how rules and laws are an integral part of a safe and happy Britain.
Alongside rules and laws we promote freedom of choice and the right to respectfully express our views and beliefs as an integral part of what it is to be British. Children may choose to take part in our very wide range of extra-curricular activities. They have a very broad choice of lunchtime play areas and activities. They are involved in their own learning and respond to their learning by feedback systems and self-review of marking. They are taught how to use their choices and freedoms safely though our curriculum
in areas such as e-safety, anti-bullying, relationship and sex education and drugs awareness education.
Mutual Respect and Tolerance
Our children are taught and know how to show respect to everyone no matter what our differences may be. We celebrate this diversity in our curriculum. Examples include our celebrations of different religious festivals throughout the year, the participation of all our children, including those with disability, in all our curriculum activities and the regular staff training we undertake to ensure this inclusive practice remains outstanding.
Behaviours which are contrary to these British values are actively challenged, whether they come from children, parents or staff. Such instances are extremely rare in school and we are proud of the reputation we have in our local community.