Promoting British Values at Mereside Primary Academy
Mereside Primary Academy is committed to contributing to the values and beliefs of the estate and the surrounding areas that it serves. It recognises the multi-cultural and ever changing nature of our local area and of the United Kingdom.
In accordance with The Department for Education we aim to actively promote British values to ensure that our young people leave school prepared for life in modern Britain. We already promote the core aspects of British Values through the SMSC (Spiritual, Moral, Social and Cultural) work that is integrated throughout every year group and through assemblies where there is a clear focus on the FCAT values of Resilience, Integrity, Ambition, Excellence, Respect and Pride. We recognise that such development is most successful when those values and attitudes are promoted by all the staff and provide a model of behaviour for pupils. These core values run through our schools ethos.
We actively promote British values through challenging pupils, staff or parents who express opinions contrary to British values. Pupil are encouraged to regard people of all faiths, races and cultures with respect and tolerance and understand that while different people may hold different views about what is ‘right’ and ‘wrong’, all people living in Britain are subject to its law.
The five key values are:
● Rule of law
● Individual liberty
● Mutual respect
● Tolerance of those of different faiths and beliefs.
How this is done at Mereside Primary:
At Mereside, we provide many opportunities for pupils to become involved in decision-making, democracy and how this works in Britain. Through all that we do children are taught the importance of listening to others and their viewpoint. Many opportunities are given to work together and collaborate.
What do we do?
● We hold ‘mock elections’ so pupils learn how to argue and defend a point of view. Elections held for headboy/girl etc
● Model how perceived injustice can be peacefully challenged (throughout school but especially though the work of our mentors)
● Representatives on our pupil parliament
● Presenting their views i.e. pupil interviews, sharing views with the safeguarding board / Academy Council
● Democracy is clear shown through the curriculum in History etc
● Circle time / discussions / Intervention groups
● Encourage pupils to express their views.
● Pupil council work (which is elected yearly) – to ensure pupils have a voice and can affect change.
● The use of Parliament boxes
● Behaviour for learning
Children are increasingly collaborating and working together to solve challenges, especially our blue Mereside challenge, whether this be with a partner, in a group or as a whole class. Our children learn how to be an effective team player, how to listen, speak and compromise. They have an increased knowledge of how to show someone respect and this are reinforced regularly. They understand how to take turns and when it is appropriate to speak and when they need to listen to someone else’s view. They share their views at all levels.
Rule of Law:
The importance of laws, whether they be those that govern the class, the school, or the country are consistently reinforced at Mereside. We help pupils to respect the law and understand that living under the rule of law protects individuals.
What do we do?
● School rules and expectations are clear and fair (made by the children)
● Classroom rules and charter
● Class rules and celebrations of following these rules (including celebration assembly) / negative behaviour and consequences also in place so that children understand
● Help pupils to distinguish between right and wrong; curriculum, PSHE, circle time, assemblies, discussions.
● Visitors into school e.g. police reinforces the messages.
● The role of our behaviour mentors
● Information shared with parents
● Pupil council work – to ensure pupils have a voice and can affect change.
● Parliament boxes
Through discussions and clear expectations our children are set clear boundaries and they show an increasing understanding of what is right and wrong. They can explain their actions to others and discuss how they might have done something differently. Children are aware of our local PSCO and often chat to her around school. They can say how they should behave around school and within the community.
At Mereside, we support pupils to develop their self-knowledge, self-esteem and self-confidence and take responsibility for their behaviour, as well as knowing their rights.
What do we do?
● Challenging stereotypes and implementing a strong anti-bullying culture.
● Model freedom of speech through pupil participation
● Every child has a class responsibility and year 6 have a whole school responsibility.
● Jigsaw Programme – helps children to understand their goals and how to achieve them
● E-safety programme through school
● Encouragement for children to make independent choices. Staff provide boundaries to make informed choices in a safe environment.
● Clear focus on behaviour for learning; displays in each class / dojos
● Ensuring responsibilities are given around school
● Independence in their work through our bronze/silver/gold approach and our Mereside challenges and in their behaviour.
● The use of personal targets.
Our children are increasingly taken greater responsibility around school and are thriving in the jobs and roles they have been trusted in. They are aware that they have a voice and that their opinion matters. They can discuss how to stay safe on line and know what to do if they are concerned about anything. Our children understand our schools focus on behaviour for learning and work hard to try and achieve this.
Respect and Tolerance:
Through all that we do, we continually promote respect for individual differences and help pupils acquire an understanding of, and respect for, their own and other cultures and ways of life.
What do we do?
● Organise visits and trips to experience diversity/ different places / cultural capital.
● Our six core values are displayed through school and are a specific focus in assemblies.
● Sports events / a range of visitors into school
● Rev. Linda / BSYW assemblies / other faiths
● Working alongside children and their families
● Debates / drama / class discussions / 1:1 discussions to learn to disagree in a respectful way.
● Links with Spanish school / international visitors
● Celebration of festivals throughout the year.
● Curriculum input through the likes of RE / PSHE / Jigsaw
● Listening to others and behaving, as we would want others to behave towards us.
● Themed weeks e.g. Rememberance
● School assemblies
Our children are exposed to as many opportunities as possible to show them the opportunities that are available to them in the future. They are excited and committed to helping establish our new forest school, are eager to represent our school in competitions, sports etc and have shown an interest in the festivals and visitors we have in school. They take an active involvement in assemblies and the regular visitors we have in school to lead these. With increased drama and debates around school, children are growing in confidence and are increasingly respecting the views of others. They listen well in curriculum time and can discuss their ideas with others. They know why it is important to respect somebody.
We encourage our pupils to participate in and support good causes and charities. This reinforces that there are large numbers of people, both at home and abroad, who deserve our support.
Mereside Primary Academy strives endlessly to ensure that its students leave with the strongest foundations of values upon which to build a successful life and a successful contribution to our society.