British Values

The Department for Education states that there is a 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”.

At Christ Church School, these British values underpin our culture and our ethos and are incorporated into our school aims. We work hard to foster in our young people a strong awareness of British values, as well as an understanding that the values we support are not unique to Britain, but are shared by many people in the world, represented by the diverse families at our school.

At Christ Church, we actively promote British values in the following ways:

Being part of Britain

As a school, we value and celebrate the diverse heritages of everybody at Christ Church School. Alongside this, we value and celebrate being part of Britain. In general terms, this means that we celebrate traditions and customs in the course of the year; for example, the Harvest Festival during the autumn term and Christmas and Easter celebrations. We also value and commemorate national events such as Remembrance Day, the Queen’s birthday etc.

Furthermore, children learn about being part of Britain from different perspectives:

  • Our annual, whole-school Inter-Faith and Inter-Cultural Week ensures that children have a better understanding of where Britain is in relation to the rest of Europe and other countries in the world.
  • Key moments in British history are studied in our topics, such as 'The Great Fire of London', 'The Tudors' and 'World War II'. We also take pride in studying our local area: being involved in Oral History projects help children engage and connect with their local history and acquire a sense of chronology. Children learn about aspects of life in Britain and how these have developed and changed over time. As our curriculum evolves, we specifically plan to include coverage of British inventions and discoveries, advances in medicine or our country’s scientific and technological contribution to the world.

Democracy

Each year, the children agree their class charter and the rights associated with it. This charter forms the pillar of expectations and individual rights for children in our classes. They also decide upon their class monitors who will be responsible for the jobs in the classroom. All the children contribute to the selecting of the monitors.

We also have a School Council which meets every month with the Headteacher to discuss issues raised in class council meetings, which take place every week. The council has its own budget and is genuinely able to effect change within the school. There are many examples of this which are outlined in our online SMSC Grid. The election of the Student Councillors reflects our British electoral system and demonstrates democracy in action: candidates submit an application outlining why they should be elected, make speeches, pupils consider characteristics important for an elected representative, pupils vote in secret using ballot boxes. Every child on the student council is voted in by their class depending on their application. This is a perfect opportunity for children’s voices to be heard.

Children also have an annual questionnaire, where they are able to put forward their views about the school.

The Rule of Law

The importance of laws, whether they are those that govern the class, the school, or the country, are consistently reinforced at Christ Church CE School.

At the start of the school year, each class discusses and sets its own Class Rules: a set of principles that are clearly understood by all, and are seen to be necessary to ensure that every class member is able to learn in a safe and ordered environment.

Pupils are taught from an early age the rules of the school. These are our Diamond Rules, Playground Rules and Safety Rules which are displayed all around the school to remind our children.

Through our consistent behaviour policy (based upon positive rewards and our ethos of forgiveness), pupils are taught the value and reasons behind rules and laws, the responsibilities that this involves and the consequences when laws are broken.

Children understand that there are people who do not keep the rules, and that they must take steps to keep themselves and others safe. They are taught the importance of this through national events such as ‘Anti-bullying Week’, 'E-Safety Week' and NSPCC assemblies. They are also encouraged to take an active part in promoting the rule of law, through the Junior PCSO programme, and by taking responsibility and monitoring a range of areas within and outside school at home time, alongside the Head Teacher and members of the SLT. Children understand that rules and laws apply equally to everyone, and they see this in action in school every day.

Visits from authorities such as the Police and Fire Service, which happen at least once a year, help reinforce this message.

Individual Liberty

At Christ Church 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 informed choices through a safe environment and an empowering curriculum. Pupils are encouraged to know, understand and exercise their rights and personal freedoms safely, for example through our E-Safety and PATHS lessons.

Children not only are encouraged to make decisions about their safety, but also through the curriculum, they are given opportunities to choose their own topics which they would like to explore. They can also make decisions about their next steps in their learning, with guidance. Furthermore, they can choose what extra- curricular activities they would like to take part in.

The student council for each class has time during the week, in which they listen to the children’s ideas in the class and what they need in school, and reiterate this information to the Headteacher.

Mutual Respect

Mutual respect is at the core of our school life. Children learn that their behaviours have an effect on their own rights and those of others. All members of the school community are taught to treat each other with respect.

Our school Diamond Rules reinforce this idea: Show good manners at all times and care for everything and everyone.

Our weekly 'Star Pupil' assemblies promote individual achievement, as well as developing respect for one another’s successes.

Being a Global Learning expert school has helped us to use global education themes to set pupils’ learning in a worldwide context, broaden their views of the world and develop an ethos of empathy, fairness and respect for their own and other cultures and ways of life.

Tolerance of those of Different Faiths and Beliefs

Christ Church School is a multi-cultural school. All children are accepted for who they are, and this is evident in the strong family atmosphere of our school. Bullying or abusive language is not tolerated. We actively promote diversity through our celebrations of different faiths and cultures: Christmas, Easter, Diwali and Eid Celebrations.

Religious Education and PATHS lessons reinforce messages of tolerance and respect for others. Children learn about some of the differences between faiths, and that it is acceptable to discuss these differences, and to disagree with one another, within a framework of friendship and mutual respect.

Members of different faiths and religions are regularly invited into our RE lessons, so that children can get a better understanding of each other’s faith. During the annual Inter-Faith week, all year groups visit places of worship to give them a better insight and develop an understanding that key elements, such as the need to care for others, to help those in need, to behave well, to seek the good of all, and promote the common good, are found in other world religions.

Each week our collective worship has a theme based on values from all faiths.

As well as actively promoting British Values, the opposite applies; we would actively challenge pupils, staff or parents expressing opinions contrary to fundamental British Values, including ‘extremist’ views.

Examples of Teaching British Values

In the Autumn term, Year 6 pupils have undertaken a fascinating topic about World War II and the impact that the military had in fighting for the United Kingdom. They also learnt about Life on the Home Front, from the bombs of the Blitz to the preparations for invasion. This coincided with the Remembrance Day celebrations, where children purchased poppies and a minute's silence was held in a specially created assembly for the school.

Year 5 thoroughly enjoyed their topic on the Ancient Greeks, looking at democracy and the impact that Greek architecture and philosophy has to this very day. It was amazing to discover the major influences that the Ancient Greek civilisation still has on the world today, and how it has affected Britain throughout the years.

Year 4 have been learning about the Vikings and the Anglo-Saxons, and how they played a part in British History. Children were given the opportunity to spend a whole day acting out what life was like as an Anglo-Saxon.

Year 3 have focussed on the Stone Age, Bronze Age and the Iron Age, and how they have helped to shape civilisation as it stands today.

Year 2’s topic included looking at the Great Fire of London. Children created their own houses and bakery on Pudding Lane. They then witnessed first-hand, how the fire spread rapidly and engulfed 13,000 homes!

As a whole school, we have also celebrated Inter-Faith and Cultural Week. The children displayed utmost respect and understanding for different faiths and cultures. The week consisted of visits to places of worship, as well as visitors coming in to speak to the children. The Grand Finale showcase on the final day proved it was a huge success.

Further British Values information can be seen in our curriculum overviews and our SMSC grid.