Lord Nash, at the launch of the government’s guidance on promoting British Values (Nov 2014), said:
‘A key part of our plan for education is to ensure children become valuable and fully rounded members of society who treat others with respect and tolerance, regardless of background. We want every school to promote the basic British values of democracy, the rule of law, individual liberty, and mutual respect and tolerance for those of different faiths and beliefs. This ensures young people understand the importance of respect and leave school fully prepared for life in modern Britain.’
At Courtney, we teach about British Values through a combination of their integration into our school Crown Values, through our assemblies and through the subjects in our curriculum. We have the five values of Democracy, Rule of Law, Tolerance, Mutual Respect and Individual Liberty displayed around school and make reference to them when relevant.
Our pupils have many opportunities to learn about Democracy in action and how citizens can influence decision-making through the democratic process. We have the hustings and election of School Council members and House Captains. The School Council plays a large part in our decision-making, including the appointment of new teachers. As well as this, Circle Time is used by classes to discuss issues and find resolutions.
Rules for Life:
Our Behaviour Policy is thoroughly reinforced at every level. Behaviour Books, Rewards and Sanctions are all used to help reinforce ‘good choices’ and the rules we need to live by day by day. Each class agrees a Code of Conduct at the beginning of each year which is agreed by children, staff and parents.
We hold this event annually, when we focus on similarities, differences and pride in being individuals. This encourages tolerance and respect.
At Courtney, we welcome families of all faiths and none. All the major faiths are studied as part of our Religious Education curriculum, together with visits to key places of worship. The school asks parents to share their personal understanding of particular faiths by speaking to classes as part of a topic on a particular religion. This reinforces the understanding that we are free to hold onto our own faiths and beliefs.
We try to maximise opportunities for children to realise that people from many cultures and many countries have made major contributions to the worlds of Science, Maths, Art, Exploration etc.
Our History and Geography curricula reflect on our cultural heritage and how past events have shaped our modern democracy. The children learn about selflessness and sacrifice in World War Two; working conditions and fairness in Victorian Britain; and styles of government in Ancient Greece.