British Values at Ryarsh Primary School
The Department for Education states that there is a need
The government set out its definition of British values in the 2011 Prevent Strategy and these values were reiterated by the Prime Minister in 2014.
to create and enforce a clear and rigorous expectation on all schools to promote the fundamental British values of democracy, the rule of law, individual liberty and mutual respect.
At Ryarsh Primary School our school motto is ‘forward thinking for a brighter future’.
This means that while striving to provide the best possible primary education for our children, we also think further ahead to their teenage and adult lives in modern Britain. Their understanding of British Values is an important part of this preparation. We ensure that fundamental British Values are introduced, modelled and discussed through our ethos, assemblies daily school life and curriculum. This helps us promote the spiritual, moral, social and cultural development of our children.
Every child at Ryarsh Primary School is involved in democratic decision-making. This reflects the democratic and inclusive approach to decision making across the school community.
Pupil voice as well as parent/carer voice plays a central part in developing school improvement priorities. Children have many opportunities for their voices to be heard through avenues such as the School Council, Play Council and Reading Reps. The election of the School Council members and the House Captains are based solely on pupil vote, reflecting our British electoral system and demonstrating democracy in action. We openly encourage children to share their views respectfully, whether this is during a class discussion or more formally in committee meetings.
We also ensure that democracy is taught through our Ryarsh curriculum in subjects such as History.
As a school, we also engage with local representatives such as local parish councillors and our MP for Tonbridge and Malling.
As a result, our school is a community in which all voices are heard – children, parents, staff and governors. Children develop an understanding and appreciation of democracy both in and out of our school.
The Rule of Law
Children are taught to understand the value and need for laws; that they are there for individual protection, the responsibilities that this involves and the consequences when laws are broken. Children and staff follow the Behaviour Policy and clearly understand the rewards and sanctions that are used. Assemblies and discussions in class focus on recognising right from wrong. Children have to abide by rules on a daily basis through school rules and these are support by the home-school agreement. They play by rules when representing their house or school at sporting events and workshops that they attend out of school. The ‘House Point’ system, ‘Celebration Assembly’ and 'Excellence Awards' positively highlights those adhering to the school rules and values. Consequences, in line with the school’s Behaviour Policy, remind children that breaking the rules may impact on themselves and others. We encourage visits from our local team and magistrate to strengthen further understanding of the rule of law.
Children are actively encouraged to make choices as independent learners, knowing that they are in a safe and supportive environment. Children are taught to understand their personal freedoms and how to use these rights to best effect, for example E-safety, PSHE and RE education enable children to make choices in a safe manner. Through challenges in the classroom, participation in extra-curricular clubs and other opportunities to be on various school committees, pupils are given the freedom to make choices.
Our children are increasingly aware that everyone has the right to think, say and do what they want, but there needs to be an awareness of the rule of law and on the impact on mental health.
Our core value of respect permeates all areas of school life. Children learn that their behaviours have an effect on their own rights and those of others. As a core value of a school, respect is frequently discussed with the children through school assemblies and throughout our curriculum, as one of our the aims of our Ryarsh curriculum is to 'take children beyond their immediate world'.
All members of the school community treat each other with respect and our behaviour policy reflects caring for, respecting one another and valuing everyone as individuals. We are aware at Ryarsh Primary School School that it is important to teach children their place in a culturally diverse society by giving them opportunities to experience such diversity. During school assemblies we explore values that apply to all faiths and beliefs. A range of faiths, beliefs and festivals are explored in R.E lessons and assemblies.
A number of charities are supported by the school, both locally and globally, and these are chosen regardless of faith or belief.