At Coten End Primary School we think it very important that our pupils develop a strong set of values and principles, and that they question and understand what it means to grow up in British society. Through a rich and challenging curriculum we invite pupils to reflect upon their role in a diverse, multicultural and multi faith society.
The British Values as set out by the Department for Education (DfE) are:
• the rule of law.
• individual liberty.
• mutual respect for and valuing* (tolerance of) those with different faiths and beliefs and for those without faith.
We facilitate a deeply embedded appreciation of the values of fairness and democracy through our Learning Themes curriculum and assemblies as well as through our school council, charity committee, eco committee and house captains’ elections. We encourage volunteerism with iPad monitors, office monitors, Play leaders and Singing Playgrounds Leaders. Children also access a PSHE curriculum that promotes democracy and rights and responsibilities.
High expectations of behaviour permeate all that is undertaken within our school. Children have a very clear understanding of the rule of law within our own school as represented in The Golden Rules. Indeed it was the children themselves who drew up this code of behaviour, as well as the Playground Rules. Through the curriculum children have opportunities to discuss the ‘UN Convention on the Rights of the Child’. There is a strong ethos in which children are supported to develop a sense of morality; knowing right from wrong and doing the right thing, linking it to the British laws. They see that laws and rules are there to protect citizens and ensure wellbeing and safety.
Children are very much encouraged to take opportunities and follow interests and are supported both in external and school extra-curricular activities. Their achievements are shared and celebrated. With a focus on individual liberty, pupils learn how to keep themselves safe and are encouraged to take personal responsibility, makes choices and have ambition and aspiration. They are exposed to positive role models.
Our fourth Golden Rule of ‘Respect and listen to each other’ embodies the British value of mutual respect. Children are expressly taught to have respect for themselves, and for all people, including those of a different faith, gender, age, sexuality or disability. All members of the school community have a duty to challenge discrimination wherever it is found.
The school’s RE curriculum provides a broad knowledge and understanding of major world faiths. Within this teaching pupils are taught to recognise commonality of all people, as well as contrasts in faith and belief, and to value these equally. Debate and discussion is positively encouraged to enable children to value and gain a fuller understanding of diversity.
*The DfE guidance refers to this is ‘tolerance’ of different faiths and beliefs. However, we wish to show that we value those of all faiths and none, rather than simply tolerating difference.