Promoting British Values
The school 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.
These values are exemplified in our curriculum, through collective worship and through our core values which determine how we lead our lives in school and how we prepare children for their role in society.
The Government set out its definition of British Values in the 2011 Prevent Strategy and these values have been reiterated in 2014. At Orchard Vale these values are reinforced in the following ways:
Children have many opportunities for their voices to be heard. We have a school council which is made up of democratically elected members from each class who meet regularly to discuss issues raised in class meetings.
The council has its own budget and is able to genuinely effect change within the school. E.g. providing play equipment trolleys for break times as requested by the children to make access and availability of equipment easier and storage more efficient, so enhancing the quality of provision play opportunities.
All of the children complete an annual questionnaire in which they can put forward their views about the school. Over the coming months, pupils will be following the build-up to the next General Election.
The Rule of Law
The importance of laws, whether they be those that govern the class/school (our Golden Rules), or the country, are consistently reinforced throughout the school day, as well as when dealing with behaviour and also through school assemblies.
Pupils are taught the value and reasons behind laws, that they govern and protect us, the responsibilities that this involves, and the consequences when laws are broken. Visits from the Police and magistrates help reinforce this message.
Within school, pupils are actively encouraged to make choices, knowing that they are in a safe and supportive environment. As a school we educate and provide boundaries for young pupils to make choices safely, through provision of a safe environment and empowering education.
Pupils are encouraged to voice their opinions through debate, but they are also able to reflect on their learning and the teaching in their classes during one-to-one and small group pupil conferencing sessions with the Senior Leadership Team. Children 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 PSHE lessons.
Training by CEOPS in internet safety is a key aspect of this. As the children move through the school, they are given more responsibilities and freedoms e.g. Play leaders work at lunch times to support the running and organisation of the activities on offer, this contributes to a leadership portfolio, for the young leaders award scheme of which they are all involved.
Whether it is through making good choices in responding to learning challenges or in participation in our numerous extra-curricular clubs and opportunities, our children are given the freedom to make choices.
Mutual respect is at the heart of our values. 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. Pupils are aware that there is no distinction in the level of respect that they should show to different people.
The children are confident when talking to visitors and visitors to the school often comment on the level of respect shown to them. Two examples of this; Senior Citizens who attend special lunches and the visits to those in need in our community at Christmas to give and receive hampers from the children, regularly write to thank the children and comment on their excellent manners.
Tolerance of Different Faiths and Beliefs
Orchard Vale is situated in an area which is not greatly culturally diverse; therefore we place a great emphasis on promoting diversity with the children. Assemblies are regularly planned to address this issue. Members of different faiths or religions are encouraged to share their knowledge to enhance learning both in assemblies and in classes.
Children visit places of worship that are important to different faiths. Assemblies will also include stories and celebrations from a variety of faiths and cultures. Our RE and PSHE teaching also reinforce this and the children and the school community support the long term education of specific children in Nepal and Sudan.