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British Values are defined as democracy, the rule of law, liberty, respect and tolerance of different faiths and beliefs. Schools are required to report on how they actively promote British Values among pupils. At Fairlawn Primary School, we have a clear set of school values which complement and overlap the values defined as British. We live our values and encourage our children and families to do likewise.
In a primary setting, we address British Values through the curriculum and in our 'day to day' interactions with children. The school has a strong SMSC (spiritual, moral, social and cultural) dimension to its curriculum which enables us to do so. The school also follows the 'Jigsaw' scheme of work for PSHE (personal, social and health education) which further supports this aim.
The School values; Respect, Responsibility, Resilience and Curiosity suffuse every aspect of what we do as a school community. We believe and feel that these are values that have informed and underpin British society and have led to the development of an outlook and institutions that are democratic, pluralist and tolerant. To embed these ideas we promote a curriculum with an emphasis on creativity and the arts, independent enquiry, reflective thinking and collaboration. Children gain understanding of History, both locally and globally and different and diverse cultures that we celebrate in our communities.
Assemblies are dynamic and engaging with regular pupil participation. The school comes together in communion to think, consider and reflect on current events and the meaning of the many faiths we share. Acknowledging the diversity of individuals, Fairlawn’s assemblies emphasise the universality of our shared human experience. Children are supported in exploring and understanding their own and other cultures. Pupils appreciate the ethnic diversity of the school, work well together, and show a high level of respect, tolerance and cooperation with one another.
The school promotes the spiritual, moral and cultural development of its pupils. This includes the encouragement and exercise of free speech, and the articulation and discussion of opinions. But with rights come responsibilities. If a pupil, staff member or any other visitor to the school were to express discriminatory or extremist opinions or behaviours, these would be challenged as a matter of course. Mutual respect is central to the ethos of the school, and is modelled by pupils, visitors and staff alike. The school promotes respect for others in the classroom and in all other activities. Pupils are encouraged to explore ideas and develop opinions, always understanding that disagreement does not entail loss of respect for and understanding of others’ opinions.
They are given the opportunity to explore and understand their place in the UK’s culturally diverse society, and they are given the opportunity to experience diversity within the school community through the school’s curriculum. There is no place at the school for the promotion of partisan political and religious views. There are occasions when it is appropriate to present pupils with different political or religious views and we will ensure a balanced presentation of those views. Teaching cannot involve the promotion of partisan political or religious views. In discussing these issues, pupils are offered a balanced presentation of opposing views.
The Jigsaw PSHE, which has mapped out the values across the curriculum (see below), gives opportunities to the children to enter into a community of enquiry and shared dialogue with both adults and their peers so that they think deeply- critically, caringly, creatively and collaboratively about their own experiences and can compare them to others in order to build their own set of personal values.
By the time pupils leave the school they will be able to discuss ethical values, Human Rights and Equality issues. We expect children to have a rational and reasonable basis for their opinions and the capacity to elucidate defend and promote an individual opinion and to respect the opinions of others. We expect all children pupils to show a commitment to the ideals of justice and fairness.
We provide children with opportunities to take on responsibilities. We create a school council using a democratic election process promoting the idea of democracy. The children also take responsibility for various areas around the school.
We believe that our values spring from a fundamental recognition of the common humanity that enjoins us all. Rather than explicit rules the school will have, arising from its values, developed a clear moral code which commands the consensus of the school community. Right and wrong, sanctions and rewards are seen in this context. We believe these are the principles that underpin the rule of Law and the principle of justice in Britain. We know that a fully grounded understanding of these values, the ability to articulate, challenge and unfound extremism will build resilience and resistance to intolerance, hatred and prejudice upon which radicalisation thrives.