The government set out its definition of British values in the 2011 Prevent Strategy, encompassing values of:
- The rule of law
- Individual liberty
- Mutual respect
- Tolerance of those of different faiths and beliefs
Schools have always promoted British Values. Whilst the Prevent Strategy defined specific values, the following documents have always enabled schools to develop them for their communities:
- The Human Rights Act 1998
- The Data Protection Act 1998
- Freedom of Information Act 2000
- The Equality Act 2010
British Values at Ravenscote Junior School
At Ravenscote, we value democracy and believe that all members of our school community have a voice and contribute to the running of the school. Democracy is central to how we operate.
All adults listen to our pupils and each pupil listens carefully and with concern to each other, respecting the right of every individual to have their opinions and voices heard. We encourage pupils to take ownership of not only their school but also of their own learning and progress. This encourages an increased sense of both personal and social responsibility and helps create a family ethos.
At the beginning of every year, we hold school council and eco-school elections. Children have the opportunity to put forward their statement and all children are encouraged to vote for whom they feel would represent their voice. In years 4 and 6, there is an opportunity for children to elect a house captain who champions their house to collect house points and encourage their team in the annual sports day competition. Each year a class charter enables each class to take account of all pupils’ ideas and suggestions. Underpinning all of our PSHE sessions are our school values of honesty, responsibility, teamwork, excellence and happiness. Regular pupil conferencing occurs across all the curriculum subjects enables us to tailor the subjects taught to the pupils' needs. Governors also have the opportunity to meet with pupils to discuss their learning.
For our parent body, we have class representatives who meet on a regular basis with a member of the SLT to present the parent voice. Questionnaires and feedback forms allow parents the opportunity to express their ideas and opinions. These in turn directly affect any future strategic decisions made.
The Rule of Law
All adults at Ravenscote whether senior leaders, teachers, support staff or governors, have a duty to protect children from harm and promote British Law and British Values.
Ravenscote has a crucial part to play in providing a positive role model for all children and to build positive links with our local community. As a publicly funded school, Ravenscote must fulfil its duty to promote community cohesion, champion democratic values and human rights. Significant to this role is the specific focus needed to support our most vulnerable pupils and those at risk of isolation within our community.
The ‘rule of law’ is fundamental to our behaviour management, and as a school we have high expectations of all members of our school community. The rule of law is built on firm foundations where;
- Rules are created to provide a safe environment
- Rules are clearly defined
- Rules are applied equally, to all
- Rules ensure fairness for all
- We all have a responsibility to adhere to these rules and accept that there are consequences if they are broken
- Pupils contribute towards the rules which maintain a safe and fair school
At Ravenscote, pupils are given freedom and active encouragement to make choices, knowing that they are in a safe and supportive environment, which our school values underpin. There are many opportunities to make good choices, including choosing a balanced dinner at lunchtime, taking part in numerous extra-curricular clubs, taking on classroom and whole school responsibilities and choosing how to behave.
Pupils are encouraged to know, understand and exercise their rights, responsibilities and personal freedoms, which are taught through our empowering PSHE and philosophy curriculum. Children also participate in groups, such as School Council and Eco-School Council, which help to develop pupils as citizens and develop their understanding of their rights, responsibility and self-worth within the wider world.
Individual liberty has our school values at its heart. Our assemblies promote this. Furthermore, children’s achievements, ranging from sport to smaller personal goals, are celebrated in assemblies to instil in them a sense of worth and create ambitious pupils who believe in themselves.
Ravenscote is committed to helping the children and staff to understand what the key features of a healthy positive environment are and enable individual freedoms to be maintained and respected.
At Ravenscote, we encourage mutual respect between children, staff and parents. We practice ‘moral living’. We recognise that the way students treat each other as people is a firm foundation to a healthy life at school, at home and in the community.
By emphasising empathy, good character and other important life skills, we constantly strive to create well-rounded and thoughtful students. We value one another as unique and special individuals; we celebrate diversity and encourage our community to celebrate different cultures and beliefs.
We consistently use good manners, saying ‘please,’ ‘thank you’ and ‘excuse me’; we always allow others to go first. At Ravenscote, we do not use put downs, sarcasm or make fun of other people’s mistakes, we continue to embrace individuality.
We promote mutual respect by being a close community where we celebrate each other’s successes, acknowledging and supporting the accomplishments of others. We encourage our students to ‘look out’ for their peers, filling them with conscientiousness; creating helpful and generous characters.
Tolerance of Those of Different Faiths
Our school actively prepares all pupils for life in modern Britain. A broad and balanced curriculum is vital for this. We consider that diversity is a strength and actively promote diversity through our celebration of different faiths and cultures.
Religious Education and PSHE lessons reinforce messages of tolerance and respect for others. Members of different faiths and religions are encouraged to share their knowledge to enhance learning within classes and the school.
We ensure pupils understand that the freedom to choose to follow different faiths and beliefs is a fundamental human right. Having another faith should not be the cause of prejudicial or discriminatory treatment. The children become valuable and fully rounded members of society who treat others with respect and tolerance, regardless of background.