At East Ruston Infant School we uphold and teach pupils about British Values which are defined as:
Rule of law
Mutual respect and tolerance of those of different faiths and beliefs
These values are taught through Personal, Social, Health and Emotional (PSHE), and Religious Education (RE) and a range of assemblies throughout the year. We also teach the British Values through planning and delivering a broad and balanced curriculum. Each year we have a whole school enrichment week which focuses on British Values.
These values are reinforced regularly and in the following ways:
Children develop their understanding of democracy through the process of the School Council. Children experience the process of voting and the responsibility of representing their peers at the Council forum. They also have the opportunity to do the same with the Eco-Committee and their weekly choice of 'Bees Knees' certificate winner. This furthers the children's understanding of democracy and the democratic process.
The Rule of Law
The importance of laws and rules, whether they are those that govern the class, the school or the country, are consistently reinforced. Each class has an agreed set of rules alongside the school rules which are prominently displayed. Children are taught that community cohesion and personal responsibility are secured through rules and laws in our society. Visits from authorities such as the police are a regular part of our calendar and help reinforce this message.
Children are actively encouraged to make choices at school, knowing that they are in a safe and supportive environment. Pupils are encouraged to know, understand and exercise their rights and personal freedoms and are advised how to exercise these safely, for example through our E-Safety teaching and PSHE lessons. Pupils are given the freedom to make choices such as signing up for extra-curricular clubs and choosing the level of challenge in some lessons.
Part of our school ethos and behaviour policy are based on core values such as 'respect' and 'responsibility'. Assemblies promote personal qualities and values for life and are central to how we expect everyone to conduct themselves at our school. Mutual respect is fostered in children through the increased use of collaborative learning techniques in class. Children are given the opportunity to work with different members of the class to share views, ideas and opinions. These are used across the curriculum and children demonstrate a mature level of cooperation towards each other.
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 are followed and supported by learning in RE and PSHE. Modern Foreign Language (MFL) lessons provide an excellent forum for intercultural discussion and celebration. Likewise, we use opportunities such as the Olympics to study and learn about life and culture in other countries. Examples of the British Values being taught in the curriculum this year at East Ruston Infant School.
In Reception, we aim to provide our children with a broad and balanced curriculum, in which all children feel valued, respected and are able to reach their full potential. Through a combination of adult led and independent choosing time, children are taught the value of individual liberty and the importance of making 'good choices'. We believe it is crucial all children feel confident to discuss how we are all individuals and mutual respect and tolerance of those with different faiths and beliefs is paramount. Our children respond brilliantly to our 'Bees Knees' initiative. They feel proud when they are awarded a 'Bees Knees' certificate and have their photograph taken to record the event in their Learning Journey. PSHE is important throughout the curriculum and we discuss issues as they arise. We also have weekly Jigsaw Jenni sessions where children share their thoughts and opinions. We discuss how to make things fair and how democracy is important and often vote for which book to read at the end of the day.
Year 1 children are taught the value of democracy through voting for the weeks 'Bees Knees' for Friday's celebration assembly and the star sitter in class. Children's ideas are heard and shared with others, during PSHE sessions each week. Children also vote for their class treat once they have reached all of their marbles in the jar. The schoolhouse point system recognises when their behaviours and attitudes show respect towards others. Children are learning about Christianity alongside a variety of other religions and faiths to encourage children to celebrate diversity and think about similarities and differences. The children participate in weekly RE lessons and once a week they listen to stories from the Bible from the 'Open the book' team who visit the school each week.
In year 2 children learn about different religious places of worship and the similarities between them. They look at the rules of different faiths and compare them to rules set down by society and the law. We also look at our own responsibilities in different situations. During the spring term, children are given the opportunity to understand different cultures through a variety of experiences and topics. For example, through the topic of Australia, children are introduced to the lives of others and thereby develop an appreciation of cultural diversity. During term 3, the children learn about animals and those that are endangered. The children learn about their responsibility towards the environment.
In year 2 children learn about different religious places of worship. In particular, the children look at the similarities of the creation story in different religions including Christianity and Hinduism. We also look at our own responsibilities in different situations. During term 2 in Eco week, the children learn about their responsibility towards the environment, especially the effect plastics have on the animals in the oceans. They also have a special focus on the 'Reduce, Re-use, Recycle' theme. Positive and competitive values are promoted in games and children learn the importance of team spirit along with the enjoyment of taking part rather than always winning.
Throughout our topic about the Normans, the children gain a good understanding of democracy. They take part in an election campaign between Harold Godwinson, Harald Hadrada and William, Duke of Normandy to elect the King of England. The children gain an understanding of the process of the electoral system by taking an active role to promote the candidates and by voting. Whilst learning about the Anglo-Saxons, the children explore the structure of Anglo-Saxon society and consider the individual liberty of the members of different levels of society. Through the Science topics, the children learn about changing environments and the impact that human actions can have on the world. This is also explored through our English text 'Where the Forest Meets the Sea'. The children learn about our responsibility towards our planet and in our electricity topic, we look at the importance of generating electricity using renewable resources. In RE, we promote respect and tolerance towards other faiths. We look at religious festivals from other faiths like Diwali and Hannukah. We also make comparisons between Creation stories from different faiths.
Children in year 5 are given the opportunity to understand different cultures through a variety of experiences and topics. For example, through the topic of South America, children are introduced to the lives of others and thereby develop an appreciation of cultural diversity. Through their RE topics, children are learning about the values which people like Nelson Mandela and Mahatma Gandhi conveyed in creating a far more tolerant society. They participate in discussions about what drives people to make a stand against injustice.
Children in year 6 are expected to act as role models to the rest of the school, as well as following the class and school rules; for that reason, we place very high expectations of behaviour. Many of the year 6 children are Senior Pupils or House Captains. These children carry out a range of duties which assist in the smooth running of the schools; they also work with the younger children during lunchtimes, organising activities and games, running a reading group and helping in the dining hall. These roles encourage the children to take on a range of responsibilities which develop their core values. Through curriculum studies, the children develop their understanding and recognise the importance of tolerance, respect, democracy, the rule of law and individual liberty. Topics such as South America encourage a greater cultural understanding and respect. All year 6 children are encouraged to attend a residential where they will face new challenges and learn to work as a team. Fro some children, they will be spending time away from home for the first time. The children will gain independence and learn the importance of social skills.