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office@hilltop.medway.sch.uk
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British Values at Hilltop Primary Academy

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The Department for Education requires schools to actively 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. Promotion of these values, in addition to the Skills for Life that are taught at Hilltop Primary Academy, ensure that young people leave school prepared for life in modern Britain. At Hilltop these values are reinforced regularly and in the following ways:

Democracy

Each class at Hilltop Primary Academy has a ballot box and these are used frequently throughout the school year. Children vote on a range of different topics and are encouraged to express their views through debate. Prior to any debate the teacher reminds the children of the skills they will be using. These include reasoning, expression, speaking and listening. The children are also reminded that everyone is entitled to their own opinion and that we must listen carefully with concern for each other. Children enjoy sharing their views within the safety of their classroom.

Pupils also use their ballot boxes to vote for Recipe Ambassadors. It is the job of the Recipe Ambassadors to highlight any issues that their peers might have and to suggest ways in which the school could improve. Years 2 and 6 have 2 Recipe Ambassadors, and Years 3, 4 and 5 have one. Candidates must convince their voters why they would be suitable for the role and how they will work in the interests of their peers. Recipe Ambassadors meet fortnightly.

Parents’ opinions are welcomed at Hilltop Primary Academy through methods such as questionnaires and opportunities to comment on social media such as Facebook or Twitter. Parents are encouraged to come and talk to staff about any concerns that they have or to share any ideas that they feel will benefit the school.

The Rule of Law

At Hilltop the importance of laws, whether they be those that govern the class, the school or the country, are consistently reinforced throughout the school day, as well as when dealing with behaviour.

Each class has their own set of rules and many teachers encourage their class to sign the rules to say that they agree with them and will adhere to them. In addition to class rules there are also school rules that the children must follow. The children know that there are consequences for not doing so, much like in the ‘real’ world.

During PSHE lessons children discuss the laws of Britain and why these laws are important. These lessons often lead to some interesting debate but ultimately children realise that laws are important for keeping us safe. To go alongside these lessons we try to invite police officers and other appropriate visitors into school. 

Individual Liberty

As a school, we educate and provide boundaries for young pupils to make informed choices, through a safe environment and empowering education.  Pupils are encouraged to know, understand and exercise their rights and personal freedoms. They are advised how to exercise these safely through our PSHE and e-Safety lessons.

We encourage pupils to take ownership of not only their school but also of their own learning and progress. This encourages a heightened sense of both personal and social responsibility and is demonstrated on a daily basis.

Mutual Respect

Respect is very much at the heart of school life at Hilltop. All members of the school community treat each other with respect. The close, positive relationships at Hilltop are valued and pupils know that their opinions and beliefs are important. This shared respect is key to enabling all children to access their learning effectively. Children are praised constantly for their good behaviour and work that they complete and our weekly ‘celebration’ assemblies enable staff to really celebrate children’s achievements throughout the school.

Mutual respect is a key component of a healthy relationship and children are taught about this through our Relationship and Sex Education lessons. Children also have PSHE lessons on challenging stereotypes and being a good friend. The UN Convention on the Rights of the Child states that, ‘Every child has the right to express their views, feelings and wishes in all matters affecting them, and to have their views considered and taken seriously.’ (Article 12) Pupils are encouraged to consider this when debating different issues and dealing with disputes.

Tolerance of those of different faiths and beliefs

RE lessons focus upon a range of religions and children are encouraged to understand the beliefs and values of different faiths.  We also take into account the views of non-believers and children understand that this aspect of faith is as important. We try to visit different places of worship and will often have visitors from a range of faiths come in to talk about their religion with the children. Where possible we will ask parents to come and talk to the class so that pupils realise how culturally diverse our school community is.

At Hilltop Primary Academy, we will actively challenge pupils, staff or parents expressing opinions contrary to fundamental British Values, including ‘extremist’ views. Any views or behaviour that are considered ‘radical’ will be recorded, monitored and dealt with accordingly.

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