SMSC & British Values
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 Highlees 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 celebrated Diwali, Harvest and marked Remembrance Day on the 11th November. We held an assembly led by The Royal British Legion and an artist came into school from 12th - 17th November to work with the children to create a mosaic to mark the Centenary of WW1. The school donated all the food collected during Harvest to the Peterborough Food Bank and the pupils collected a substantial sum of money for BBC Children in Need and NSPCC Bobble Hat Day.
Pupils have the opportunity to have their voices heard through Pupil questionnaires. As a group, each class has the responsibility for setting class behaviour rules and as part of anti-bullying week all pupils agreed and signed, a whole school anti–bullying pledge. School Council meetings are represented by pupils and meetings are held on regular monthly basis. Our local Councillor, Cllr Murphy, presented an assembly on democracy. The assembly led by The Royal British Legion covered democracy and individual liberty.
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 School Priorities and setting out rules for lunchtime behaviour and Cambridgeshire Fire and Rescue Service have presented an assembly on firework safety.
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 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 our school promotes respect for others, no matter what the gender or beliefs.
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.
At Highlees we have a school council committee whereby pupils use their role to voice the opinions of others and their own. We encourage the use of talk. Our school council supports in fundraising for the school and the council puts forward ideas for school projects, to help enhance our learning environment and school. The school council has fortnightly meetings.