All maintained schools must meet the requirements set out in section 78 of the Education Act 2002 and promote the spiritual, moral, social and cultural (SMSC) development of their pupils.
Through ensuring pupils’ SMSC development, schools can also demonstrate they are actively promoting fundamental British values. Meeting requirements for collective worship, establishing a strong school ethos supported by effective relationships throughout the school, and providing relevant activities beyond the classroom are all ways of ensuring pupils’ SMSC development.
Pupils must be encouraged to regard people of all faiths, races and cultures with respect and tolerance. It is expected that pupils should 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.
The school’s ethos and teaching, which school will make parents aware of, should support the rule of English civil and criminal law and school should not teach anything that undermines it.
If schools teach about religious law, particular care should be taken to explore the relationship between state and religious law. Pupils should be made aware of the difference between the law of the land and religious law.
Fundamental British Values
School should promote the fundamental British values of democracy, the rule of law, individual liberty, and mutual respect and tolerance of those with different faiths and beliefs. This can help schools to demonstrate how they are meeting the requirements of section 78 of the Education Act 2002, in their provision of SMSC.
Actively promoting the values means challenging opinions or behaviours in school that are contrary to fundamental British values. Attempts to promote systems that undermine fundamental British values would be completely at odds with schools’ duty to provide SMSC. The Teachers’ Standards expect teachers to uphold public trust in the profession and maintain high standards of ethics and behaviour, within and outside school. This includes not undermining fundamental British values.
Through our provision of SMSC, school should:
• enable students to develop their self-knowledge, self-esteem and self-confidence;
• enable students to distinguish right from wrong and to respect the civil and criminal law of England;
• encourage students to accept responsibility for their behaviour, show initiative, and to understand how they can contribute positively to the lives of those living and working in the locality of the school and to society more widely;
• enable students to acquire a broad general knowledge of and respect for public institutions and services in England;
• further tolerance and harmony between different cultural traditions by enabling students to acquire an appreciation of and respect for their own and other cultures;
• encourage respect for other people; and
• encourage respect for democracy and support for participation in the democratic processes, including respect for the basis on which the law is made and applied in England.
The list below describes the understanding and knowledge expected of pupils as a result of school promoting fundamental British values.
• an understanding of how citizens can influence decision-making through the democratic process;
• an appreciation that living under the rule of law protects individual citizens and is essential for their wellbeing and safety;
• an understanding that there is a separation of power between the executive and the judiciary, and that while some public bodies such as the police and the army can be held to account through Parliament, others such as the courts maintain independence;
• an understanding that the freedom to choose and hold other faiths and beliefs is protected in law;
• an acceptance that other people having different faiths or beliefs to oneself (or having none) should be accepted and tolerated, and should not be the cause of prejudicial or discriminatory behaviour; and
• an understanding of the importance of identifying and combatting discrimination.
It is not necessary for schools or individuals to ‘promote’ teachings, beliefs or opinions that conflict with their own, but nor is it acceptable for schools to promote discrimination against people or groups on the basis of their belief, opinion or background.
How we promote British Values at Peters Hill
Peters Hill Primary understand the importance of encouraging pupils to regard people of all races, cultures and faiths with respect and tolerance. Our environment encourages all pupils to understand that while we may all hold different views everybody living in England is subject to its law and must abide by these rules. Through our teaching and school ethos, we emphasise the importance of supporting the rule of English civil and criminal law. The Government set out its definition of British Values in the 2011 Prevent Strategy to which Peters Hill is committed. Staff are trained and understand this strategy.
Our school promotes the four fundamental British Values as set out for all.
2. The rule of law
3. Individual liberty
4. Mutual respect and tolerance
Through our curriculum children are taught about, and encouraged to respect, public institutions and services. Children complete annual questionnaire where they are able to put forward their views about the school. We are active by conducting pupil conferencing meetings with members of the senior leadership team seeking pupils views and opinions on a range of school and community issues. We also provide Y6 the opportunity to take part in local debating competitions as organised by the local authority for the children to experience democracy first hand. All parents, carers and children can read class/school blogs and make comments on learning at Peters Hill.
The Rule of Law
The importance of laws, whether they be those that govern the class, the school, or the country, are consistently reinforced at Peters Hill. Pupils are taught from an early age the rules of the school. They are taught the value and reasons behind rules and laws, that govern and protect us, the responsibilities that this involves and the consequences when laws are broken. Visits from authorities such as the Police and Fire Service help reinforce this message.
At Peters Hill, pupils are actively encouraged to make choices, knowing that they are in a safe and supportive environment. As a school, we educate and provide boundaries for young pupils to make informed choices, through providing a safe environment and an empowering education. Pupils are encouraged to know, understand, and exercise their rights and personal freedoms while being advised how to do this safely. Peters Hill is registered with UNICEF and are working towards achieving the Rights Respecting School Award. Our school has a robust anti bullying culture and behaviour and safety policies in place.
Mutual Respect and Tolerance
Mutual respect is at the heart of our school values. Children learn that their behaviours influence their own rights and those of others. All members of the school community treat each other with respect. At Peters Hill we provide opportunities for the children to visit places of significant cultural interest, places of worship and we actively encourage visitors from a range of communities and organisations into school. Each year group support a charity and plan fundraising and awareness raising activities to support their charity.