The Department of Education have recently reinforced the need “to create and enforce a clear and rigorous expectation on all schools to 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.”The Government set out its definition of British values in the 2011 Prevent Strategy, and in June 2014, reiterated the role that British values play in education. The Prevent Strategy defines fundamental British values as “democracy, the rule of law, individual liberty and mutual respect and tolerance of those with different faiths and beliefs”. At the Queens’ Federation these values are reinforced regularly and in the following ways:
Children have many opportunities for their voices to be heard. The school council meets regularly to discuss issues raised in class council meetings. A boy and girl representative from each class are elected by their class from Years 2 to Year 6. Anyone wishing to be a School Council rep is encouraged to make a speech to the class about why they should be voted in. Each term new reps are elected apart from the Year 6 reps who commit to the School Council for the whole year.
The School Council aims to meet once a week and the reps have a notebook in which to record action points from the meetings and feedback to the rest of their class, who then give suggestions. The reps then take these suggestions to the meetings. Early on in the year, classes suggest charities or causes to support and the School Council have the final vote.
The School Council aims to have one fundraising event a term for the chosen charity and the reps ask their classes for ideas. As well as raising money for charity, reps have taken suggestions from their class for in-school events or community work.
In addition to this, every class from Year 1 to Year 6 have weekly class council meetings during an assembly session. The purpose of these class councils is to involve the children more actively in their learning and in school decision making, as well as to develop their skills of speaking, listening, negotiation and citizenship.
The main aims of class councils are:
- Community: pupils experience being part of a community in our classrooms, school and wider area, learning to respect people and places.
- Democracy: pupils have opportunities to give opinions about and make a difference to school life.
- Learning: pupils develop the ability to reflect on their learning and become more effective, more confident learners.
- Personal Development: pupils develop social & emotional understanding and speaking & listening skills.
- Responsibility: pupils learn to take responsibility for their actions and to solve problems for themselves.
Each half term, class council meetings focus on a whole-school theme. Teachers choose how to tackle that theme based on the age and needs of their class. They also give space to discuss issues of current interest or concern to the children. We hold termly class council sharing assemblies, where each class shares something they have been discussing in class council meetings that term.
The Rule of Law
At the start of every school year, each class teacher works with the children in their class to establish a set of class rules. The children are also aware of the general school and playground rules which are reinforced through work in assemblies, PSHCE lessons and class councils. We have a consistently applied behaviour policy which sets out school expectations of behaviour. Expectations are reinforced regularly and we praise positive choices that pupils make. Pupils are taught why we have laws, the responsibility we all have to keep the laws and that there can be consequences when laws are broken. At the Queens’ Federation we promote Restorative Approaches so that everyone is accountable for the impact of their actions and is given the chance to find ways forward together following conflict. In this way young people learn to take their place in the word as responsible, caring citizens. We are also developing Peer Mediators to operate on our playgrounds to support other children in resolving conflict.
|Restorative Questions Responding to Challenging Behaviour||Restorative Questions Responding to Those Harmed|
|What happened?||What happened?|
|What were you thinking about at the time?||What were you thinking about at the time?|
|What have your thoughts been since?||What have your thoughts been since?|
|Who has been affected by what you did?||How has this affected you and others?|
|In what ways have they been affected?||What has been the hardest thing for you?|
|What do you think needs to happen next?||What do you think needs to happen next?|
We follow the Cambridgeshire PSHCE Scheme of work and, through this, the children learn that they have the right to feel safe and what to do should they face a problem. Pupils are encouraged to know, understand and exercise their rights and personal freedoms and advised how to exercise these safely, for example through our E-Safety and PSHCE lessons. All adults work hard to build trusting, respectful and supportive relationships with the children in school. Children are given the freedom to make choices within their learning, play and extra-curricular activities.
Children are encouraged to take on more responsibility e.g. through our leadership awards and through running child initiated clubs during lunchtimes.
Mutual Respect and Tolerance of those of Different Faiths and Beliefs
In our Equality and Diversity Policy, we set out nine principles by which we are guided. We believe that all learners are of equal value, we recognise and respect difference, we foster positive attitudes and relationships and a shared sense of cohesion and belonging, we aim to reduce and remove inequalities and barriers which already exist and we believe that society as a whole should benefit. Children learn that their behaviours have an effect on their own rights and those of others. All members of the school community treat each other with respect.
The Queens’ Federation is situated in an area which is very culturally diverse, therefore we place a great emphasis on celebrating the fact that we are a global village with over 30 languages spoken within the schools. Assemblies are regularly planned to include stories and celebrations from a variety of faiths and cultures. Our RE and PSHCE teaching reinforces this.
Members of different faiths or religions are encouraged to share their knowledge to enhance learning within classes and the school. The PSFA organises an International Evening where families come together to share food representative of their culture.