British Values and SMSC
At Biggin Hill Primary School Academy, we understand the importance of encouraging pupils to regard people of all faiths, races and cultures with respect and tolerance. We provide an environment to allow pupils to understand that while different people may hold different views about what is ‘right and ‘wrong’, all people living in England are subject to its law. Through our school ethos and teaching, we emphasise the importance of supporting the rule of English civil and criminal law.
The government set out its definition of British values in 2011 in the document “Prevent Strategy” these values are:
- The rule of law
- Individual liberty
- Mutual respect
- Tolerance of those of different faiths and beliefs
A document published by the DfE in November 2014 called “Promoting Fundamental British Values as part of SMSC (Spiritual, moral, social and Cultural) education in Schools”, outlines how these key British values can be made explicit to children and young people. You can read the full document by clicking here.
We take every opportunity to promote and explore these five key values in a meaningful way that is fundamental to the British Values. These values lend themselves to being discussed and explored across the curriculum and school ethos.
We work hard to ensure that pupils have a voice in our school. On a whole school level this means we have an active School Council, which promotes a ‘Pupil Voice’, giving the children the opportunity to vote for their preferred member of the council and for all pupils to contribute and impact towards the school procedures and environment. In classes we encourage and support children to learn to listen to and respect the opinions of others even if they do not always agree. Through all their learning activities children are encouraged to discuss, listen, debate, question – all excellent life skills to learn and use when living and taking part in a democratic society. Moreover, through our termly Topics at Biggin Hill Primary School Academy, we explore a range of matters linked to democracy.
The Rule of Law
The children are taught about the importance of laws, they explore the rules that their class abides by and consider what would happen if there were no class rules. Rules around behaviour are discussed regularly in school assemblies and are embedded in our ‘Biggin is Best’ reward system. The children also learn through cross-curricular activities about laws, which govern our country. The children learn about “fair play” through taking part in sports events and PE lessons, they learn how to play within the rules of a particular sport, in addition to this they learn how to accept both winning and losing a match.
At Biggin Hill Primary School Academy children are actively encouraged to make choices, knowing they are in a safe and supportive environment. The children learn that every choice they make has a consequence; we support children in thinking through their actions and the consequences that follow from that choice. We accept that all children make mistakes and our role as educators is to guide the children in learning from their mistakes, in effect learning from the consequence their actions had led too.
Children learn about their rights as young people and how these can be lived out in their lives, with an emphasis on keeping themselves safe, for example through E-safety lessons and PSHE activities.
We teach our children about the core value of Respect through a variety of approaches. The children are taught to respect themselves and their peers. Through learning about their rights the children learn about their own responsibilities and the need to respect others and their environment.
Tolerance of those with Different Faiths and Beliefs
We help our children to show tolerance towards each other by teaching them about the culturally diverse society they live in. We have a broad and balanced RE curriculum, which explores key faiths, their religious practice and culture. Through cross-curricular work the children learn about other cultures exploring similarities and differences. Where possible we provide opportunities to invite representatives from different faith groups and cultures to share their knowledge with our children to enhance all of our children’s learning and understanding. We actively encourage our children to ask questions, debate and discuss.