In 2014 Michael Gove set out plans for all schoolchildren to be taught ‘British values’. The then Education Secretary announced that from September 2014, England’s 20,000 primary and secondary schools would be required to actively promote tolerance, fairness, respect for other faiths, and the rule of law and democracy. Long before the government asked us to teach children about British Values, we worked as a community to adopt a set of values based on Christian Values that bind us together. We teach children to value and respect our differences, but to cherish what we have in common. Our values are what we share and work together to achieve in all we do.
We teach our children these values through our curriculum and varied daily interactions to ensure that they understand British Values and how they link to our Christian values.
Here are some examples of when British values are shared:
Curriculum Themes and Topics:
Our curriculum prepares children for life in British Society; this includes developing the understanding and use of money, effective reading and writing skills, collaboration and discussion to research ideas and concepts. Some of our curriculum topics include the context of the United Kingdom as well as national and international comparisons such as: World War II, The Vikings, Local Area study about Richard III, The Great Fire of London, Stone Age and Ancient Greeks which we introduce terms such as' democracy', 'monarchy' and 'Government'.
Daily acts of Collective Worship:
Our assemblies uphold our Christian values and we focus on one each half term. Children are awarded Star of the Week certificates each week who have consistently demonstrated our these values. Visitors are invited to lead assemblies including Water aid, NSPCC and our local PCSO. All of whom reinforce these core values. Each week we celebrate success both inside and outside school. A moment of reflection is held at the end of each act of worship.
British Values are also taught within our PSHE lessons through our JIGSAW PSHE program. 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 policy and PSHE work on keeping myself safe and celebrating differences. See how our JIGSAW PSHE program embeds British Values here!
Respect for all faiths and beliefs is promoted in the teaching of RE as children gain a greater understanding of religious diversity and practices for those religions represented in our school and the UK. Planning for RE is directed by the Leicestershire Schools RE Agreed Syllabus. We have strong links to our Christian community through our local Churches. As a predominantly white British community in Lutterworth, we understand the importance of learning about different faiths and visiting other places of worship. We welcome all faiths and cultures at Sherrier and we use a program called, 'We are all Welcome!' to ensure we embrace the protected characteristics.
Promotion of the concept of “fair play”, following and developing rules, celebrating and rewarding success, accepting defeat and participating in activities that promote cooperation with others and inclusion for all form an integral part of our PE curriculum, and our competition sporting calendar.
Sherrier CE Primary School promotes democratic processes through the election of school councillors, house captains, play leaders and sporting ang wellbeing ambassadors. This fosters the concept of freedom of speech and group action to address need and concerns. Children see how they are listened to and how their actions can produce results when the processes are followed. We write to local politicians and the Lord Mayor about relevant news and ideas so that the children can further understand the democratic process, and the part they could play in making a difference.
Through talking to our Sherrier community, we ensure that we move forward in a mutually respectful and friendly way. We invite parents, carers and other people from our local community in to talk to staff and children to give us greater understanding of different faiths and cultures, but we also work together to ensure we emphasise not what is different, but what we all have in common; our school values, and the values of modern Britain.