Promotion of British Values at Britannia School
How do we prepare students for life in modern Britain?
The Government guidance on promoting British Values in school encourage the teaching of values which are ‘broad, balanced and compliant… preparing pupils for the opportunities, responsibilities and experiences of later life in modern Britain’ and which ‘actively promotes the fundamental British values of democracy, the rule of law, individual liberty and mutual respect and tolerance of those with different faiths and beliefs.’
We have been actively promoting British Values at Britannia for many years. Here are some examples of the wide-ranging activities:
Democracy is an important value at our school. Pupils have the opportunity to have their voices heard through a variety of opportunities.
We have an active School Council where children are encouraged to offer and share their opinions about school. Children regularly vote on issues and recently they chose to buy new playground toys and introduced a playground buddy system which was completely initiated by students – led by School Council. School Council representatives meet with the PTFA and discuss funding based on class decisions. Children learn about democratic values and how citizens’ opinions and actions influence decision making. Our pupils vote for House Captains who have to make a pitch about why they should be appointed in a speech to the children in their House. We have refined the Britannia Bee policy and development in response to the children’s suggestions.
Responsibility in school – children are encouraged to take responsibility for jobs throughout the school and librarians have had to apply for these jobs, such as the Britannia Buddies, Register Monitors, Team Captains, School Ambassador, Classroom Monitors, Librarians etc. Pupil go through a formal interview process. This engenders real pride and ownership of the school and strengthens our core values.
The children are given regular opportunities to debate ideas and reflect their thoughts about current events and news. Trips are also arranged to visit Parliament as well as occasional visits from local government representatives.
Rule of Law
The importance of laws and rules are consistently reinforced at Britannia. Our system for behaviour is aligned to an agreed set of codes and if children are given verbal warnings this is always set against the agreed school behaviour code. Children are asked to identify which aspect of the code they have broken to ensure that this connection is made and understood. Pupils are taught the value and reasons behind rules, that they govern and protect us, the responsibilities that this involves and the consequences when rules are broken. Visits from authorities such as the police help to reinforce this message.
To encourage and promote good behaviour, attitude and work, we have a reward system which is consistently followed throughout the school and we are committed to praising children’s efforts. We praise the children informally, individually, during group work, in front of the whole class and the whole school. Children are rewarded not only for achievement in curriculum areas but for positive behaviour such as kindness, helpfulness, team work and for demonstrating initiative. Children who always follow the Britannia Bee’s are awarded a ‘Bee Badge’ that they wear with pride as they always choose to do the right thing. Rewards are given in the form of stickers, gold starts, house points and certificates. Children’s achievements are also recognised during weekly assemblies as well as monthly Gold book assemblies that parents are invited to attend.
Britannia’s Behaviour Policy was written in collaboration with children who designed our behaviour and sanctions, which are paramount in the Britannia Bee badge development.
Local Community – Police Officers regularly attend school and have been used to aid the development and aspirations of children to ensure their good behaviour inside and outside of school is reinforced.
We had a visit from the Mayor and put on a special assembly for his visit. In classes the children came up with questions to pose to him during our celebration assembly.
Every week we have an special achievement assembly where we celebrate children’s achievements both in an out of school. On the last Friday of every month we have a special Gold Book Assembly where parents are also invited to share in the children’s achievements during that whole month.
Pupils are actively encouraged to make choices at our school, knowing that they are in a safe and supportive environment. As a school we provide boundaries for our children to make choices safely, through the provision of a safe environment and planned curriculum.
Pupils are encouraged to think independently and feel that they are able to express their ideas with confidence and that these are valued. Having a growth mindset is very important at Britannia. At the same time they are encouraged to be sensitive to the needs of others and be supportive of their peers and younger members of the school community.
Responsibility for own learning – pupils are now invited to join parents conferencing sessions and they are encouraged to have input. This has received positive comments from staff, pupils and parents. More independent learning across school is being developed.
E-Safety – regular workshops are held in school and our Year Six pupils have the opportunity to visit a local high school to watch a drama performance to ensure that key messages were developed prior to transition to high school. E-safety development for all students which highlights the dangers of misuse and how to keep themselves secure and safe online.
Visits from external agencies such as ChildLine and the Police to discuss right and wrong actions. Use of a local Family Support worker to work with groups of children on resolving conflict. This has had a positive impact upon our children displaying behavioural issues.
Work with Fire Service on fire safety – some children contacted fire service for smoke alarm tests following visits to school.
We have an active Eco-Council in school who recently helped school prepare and run an Eco Day. The Eco-Council has successfully moved the school to its Bronze Award.
Tolerance and Mutual Respect of those with Different Faiths and Beliefs
This is achieved through enhancing pupils’ understanding of their place in a culturally diverse society. We use opportunities to invite parents and others to visit and talk to the children about their celebrations (eg: Chinese New Year), their countries and their life and work experiences. We also have visitors from the Burnley Faith center from different religions, as well as going on trips to a range of different places of worship. We also have various RE days throughout the year that focus on a particular religion or aspect of a religion.
Religious Studies – opportunities are continuously sought to visit a broad range of places of worship and having visitors into school to discuss culture. Activities include Taste the World where some of our children had the opportunity to make and sample different foods alongside parents from different cultures, celebrating Burns Night, Chinese New Year, Hanukkah, with opportunities for students to ask questions. We study more than one faith at Britannia in our RS lessons where all children are taught about a variety of different faiths, as well as the two most prominent local faiths. RS is a core subject and is in place across the school, promoting discussion and questions.
Use of SEAL materials and taught PHSCE curriculum in school.
Respect for local community – Senior Citizens, school Remembrance Assemblies, visits from local faith leader where we discussed Peace in December.
Visits to multicultural performances – the school choir has the opportunity to sing at Young Voices along with other schools, Pen Pal links with an inner city school in Newcastle, Pantomime trip, opportunity to visit the BBC Philharmonic Orchestra at Media City, sports development in and outside of school though organised events and competitions.
Key learning days – this is an area we are hoping to move forward with in the future in terms of developing opportunities to celebrate other cultures. Chinese New Year Day was successful.
Community and Charity Group work – raising awareness and responsibility of local and national issues through fundraising and participating in community events such as the Outdoor Nativity.
Other recent events include:
British Values Themed days through the school calendar.
Enterprise project in Year 5 – based upon a Dragons Den/The Apprentice theme. Opportunities to share learning with other classes to value learning.
Assemblies are focused on specific British Values topics.
Extra-curricular activities – we try to include something for all students, many activities can be taken forward into adult life. For example: sport at all levels, not just competitive (e.g. Wake and Shake, cheerleading and fitness), music (links with local music groups, wider opportunities in Year 5, opportunities for music lessons), Mad Science Club – emphasis on enjoying practical elements of Science, ICT clubs, homework clubs within school, drama productions – there are opportunities for all infant and juniors children to participate.
Newspapers are accessible in Year Six classroom and children have the opportunity to learn about researching, writing and producing a school magazine with help from a local journalist.
News board in Year 5.
Celebrating British events such as the Royal Wedding garden party, Olympics (an Olympic athlete has visited school) and Olympic Torch was brought into school, World Cup Football displays, and displays round school represent key events.
Visits to local mines to discuss and local area topic in KS1 which finished with a garden party.
Farm to Fork visits with a local supermarket.
Year 4 Eco project involvement.
Year 3 is booked on poetry writing day in local textile mill.
Visits to local a mosque in Year 1.
Geography/History – focus on financial issues, eg. Bacup linked to local area.
Visits to the local library.
Visits from speakers in school (visitors protocol in place – all materials discussed with Head prior to completion).
If you would like to discuss British Values with school, or think you may have ideas about ways in which we can strengthen our opportunities, please contact Mrs Longstaff through the school office.