Skills for Life
In June 2014, the Prime Minister emphasised the important role that British values can play in education. Further, how well a school promotes such values is an aspect of Ofsted’s inspection process.
Although in 2018 this is something which is developing in its significance for schools, it is not something new at Warren Wood Primary Academy. British values are promoted in much of what we do, during school assemblies, Religious Education and Personal, Social and Health Education (PSHE) sessions. The values are also integral to our vision and values.
As well as actively promoting British values, the opposite also applies: we would actively challenge pupils, staff or parents expressing opinions contrary to fundamental British values, including ‘extremist’ views.
The British values we advocate are not unique to Britain. We acknowledge that they differ in no way from the values of the many countries and the cultural backgrounds represented by families at Warren Wood.
British Values are displayed in every classroom and are referred to during lessons. These include the fundamental principles of British Values, but also promote kindness, respect and helping others.
Below are just a few examples of how we promote British values. The first section is a general overview; the others are specific expectations set out by Ofsted.
Being part of Britain
As a school, we value and celebrate the diverse heritages of everybody at Warren Wood Primary Academy. Alongside this, we value and celebrate being part of Britain. In general terms, this means that we celebrate traditions and customs in the course of the year; for example, Harvest Festival during the autumn term and Nativity productions at Christmas. We also value and celebrate national events, a recent example being the 100th anniversary of the start of World War One.
Further, children learn about being part of Britain from different perspectives. Two specific examples of when we teach about being part of Britain are:
Geographically: our rivers, coasts and seaside holiday topics ensure that children have a better understanding of what Britain is, learning more about:
- its coasts, rivers and mountains.
- where Britain is in relation to the rest of Europe and other countries in the world.
Historically: key moments in British history are studied in the topics such as ‘London’s Burning’ and significant historical figures.
Children, parents and staff have many opportunities for their voices to be heard at Warren Wood Primary Academy. Democracy is central to how we operate.
An obvious example is our School Council. The election of the School Council members reflects our British electoral system and demonstrates democracy in action: candidates make speeches, pupils consider characteristics important for an elected representative, pupils vote in secret using ballot boxes etc. Made up of one representative from each class, the School Council meets regularly to discuss issues raised by the different classes.
Pupils are always listened to by adults and are taught to listen carefully and with concern to each other, respecting the right of every individual to have their opinions and voices heard. 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 by our pupils.
Parents’ opinions are welcomed at Warren Wood Primary Academy through methods such as questionnaires, surveys at parents’ evenings, and opportunities to comment on social media such as Facebook and Twitter.
Rules and Laws
The importance of rules and laws, whether they be those that govern our school or our country, are referred to and reinforced often, such as in assemblies and when reflecting on behaviour choices. At the start of the school year, each class discusses the school rules and class routines, principles that are clearly understood by all and seen to be necessary to ensure that every class member is able to learn in a safe and ordered environment.
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. These values are reinforced in different ways:
- visits from authorities such as the police and fire service.
- during Religious Education, when rules for particular faiths are thought about.
- during other school subjects, where there is respect and appreciation for different rules.
Alongside rules and laws, we promote freedom of choice and the right to respectfully express views and beliefs. Through the provision of a safe, supportive environment, we provide boundaries for our pupils to make choices safely; for example:
- choices about what learning challenge or activity.
- choices about how they record their learning.
- choices around the participation in extra-curricular activities.
Our pupils are encouraged to know, understand and exercise their rights and personal freedoms and are taught how to exercise these safely, such as in our PSHE lessons.
Mutual respect and tolerance of those with different faiths and beliefs
Warren Wood Primary Academy serves an area which is culturally diverse and we are proud to promote and celebrate our different backgrounds and beliefs. Tolerance, politeness and mutual respect are at the heart of our aims and ethos.
Our central aim of ‘Skills for Life’ in order to prepare children for the future drives us towards ensuring that our pupils are able to live and work alongside people from all backgrounds and cultures.
Our pupils know and understand that it is expected that respect is shown to everyone and to everything, whatever differences we may have. Children learn that their behaviour choices have an effect on their own rights and those of others. All members of the school community are encouraged to treat each other with respect.
Specific examples of how we at Warren Wood Primary Academy enhance pupils’ understanding and respect for different faiths and beliefs are:
- Through Religious Education, PSHE and other lessons where we develop awareness and appreciation of other cultures – in English through fiction and in art and music by considering cultures from other parts of the world.
- Celebrating cultural differences through assemblies, themed weeks, noticeboards and displays.