British Values and SMSC
In June, 2014 Michael Gove set out plans for all school children 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.
At Eyrescroft Primary School we value the diverse ethnic backgrounds of all pupils and families and undertake a variety of events and lessons to celebrate this. To date as a whole school we have held assemblies covering Rosh Hashanah, Yom Kippur, Harvest and marked Remembrance Day on the 11th November. The school donated all the food collected during Harvest to the Peterborough Food Bank and the pupils collected a substantial sum of money for local charity ‘Little Miracles’ when we held our annual Easter Bake Off competition. Michael Buckeridge of the Peterborough Gospel Church attends our assemblies once a term to deliver a bible story through the use of fuzzy felt characters.
Pupils have the opportunity to have their voices heard through Pupil questionnaires. As a group, each class has the responsibility for voting for our School Council and Eco Council representatives. School Council meetings are held on a regular monthly basis where they discuss topical issues in our school. Our local Councillor, Stewart Jackson met with the School Council to discuss what it is like to be a member of council in Peterborough, answering any questions they may have had.
As part of Democracy Week, we run an election campaign for children to be voted as Peace Ambassadors. These children write speeches and deliver them in assembly, create campaign posters with the help of a campaign manager and spread their message about the importance of Peace in the world. The rest of the school then vote for who they would like to be elected in a secret ballot.
The Rule of Law
The importance of Laws, whether they are those that govern the class, the school, or the country, are consistently reinforced throughout the school when dealing with behaviour. 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. Authorities such as the Police; Fire Service are invited in school to help reinforce this message. We have held assemblies that cover the rule of law for Eyrescroft Cares and setting out rules for lunchtime behaviour. Children follow a ‘Good To Be Green’ behaviour policy and understand that their chosen behaviour may have consequences, both negative and positive. As part of our P.S.H.E lessons, children are taught about rights and responsibilities as well as the right to learn. Children are taught that we follow laws in school which would be similar in the community. Children who fail to follow the Eyrescroft Cares rules are given a time out detention, and the P.S.H.E lead will carry out a lesson with them to explain how their behaviour was wrong. Equally, positive behaviour is praised in our Celebration Assemblies each week.
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 the provision of a safe environment and empowering education. Pupils are encouraged to know, understand and exercise their rights and personal freedoms and advise how to exercise these safely, for example through class assemblies and PSHE lessons.
Part of our school ethos and behaviour policy revolves around core values such as ‘Respect’, and pupils have been part of discussions and assemblies related to what this means and how it is shown. Pupils have taken part in anti – bullying week and carried out Anti Bullying Workshops with parents and children. We have created a friendship tree to write down all the things we like and respect about each other in class.
Tolerance of those of different faiths and beliefs
This is achieved through enhancing pupils understanding of their place in a culturally diverse society and by giving them opportunities to experience such diversity. Assemblies and discussions involving prejudices and prejudice-based bullying have been followed and supported by learning in RE and PSHE. In Autumn Term 2, the whole school has a ‘Celebrating Difference’ focus in PSHE, where children learn to accept that everyone is different, that nobody can be defined as ‘normal’ and that we have respect for and always include people of different backgrounds, faiths and abilities.