In accordance with The Department for Education we aim to actively promote British values in schools to ensure young people leave school prepared for life in modern Britain. Pupils 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 England are subject to its law.
The Key Values are:
Promoting British Values at Oaklands
The Department for Education have recently reinforced the need “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 and tolerance of those with different faiths and beliefs.”
The government set out its definition of British values in the 2011 Prevent Strategy, and these values have been reiterated by the Prime Minister this year. At Oaklands these values are reinforced regularly and in the following ways:
Democracy is prevalent in the school. The children have the opportunity to nominate and vote for Heads of Houses. Fortnightly house meetings play an important part in allowing pupils to express their views democratically and to lead decisions on issues such as fundraising. We even voted in houses as to whether we should have a school dog – the yes votes won.
Additionally, we run pupil questionnaires and subject leaders undertake pupil voice activities to ensure that pupils are a part of the development of the school. Our core values and behaviour system are understood and supported by the pupils who use them to understand rewards and sanctions.
The importance of laws are taught to children from as early as reception class. Our behaviour system both empowers pupils to make the right choices and shows them that there are consequences to acting against the accepted rules. Pupils are taught the value and reasons behind laws, that they govern and protect us. Reward systems are in place for pupils who demonstrate a commitment to following the school rules. Our school rules are taught consistently across the school and are fundamental to our behaviour policy, they are: honesty, kindness, respect, listening and politeness.
We teach children about the freedom of choices and pride ourselves on giving them a safe and supportive environment within which to do this. We present contextually relevant role-models to the children within our weekly Global Assemblies and encourage them to think about their role within a global society and how passion and motivation can support change. We also empower children within their learning through our traffic light assessment for learning system where pupils are able to participate in the decision relating to the level of challenge that they undertake in their learning. We present pupils with relevant information regarding E-Safety and personal freedoms through our computing and PSHE curriculum. We also offer pupils a wide range of extra-curricular opportunities that they can choose to participate in.
Part of our school ethos and behaviour policy has revolved around Core Values such as ‘Respect’, and pupils have been part of discussions and assemblies related to what this means and how it is shown. Posters around the school promote respect for others and this is reiterated through our classroom and learning rules, as well as our behaviour policy. The school works closely with the local Reverend to introduce and discuss our monthly school value, further work on this is undertaken within the fortnightly house group meetings.
We believe that our pupils need to see themselves as part of a global, diverse community. Global assemblies and special visitors to the school support the work that we continue in class through RE and topic work. We seek to allow every child in the school to identify with their own culture and readily invite visitors from different faiths and religions to talk to the children. In addition to teaching modern foreign languages as part of our whole school curriculum we also seek opportunities for the children to learn completely different languages as part of the Junior Language Challenge. We are proud to have achieved the Intermediate International Award for our commitment to international learning. Through our parental contacts and our links with the British Council we are always seeking new links with schools overseas to develop projects, share expertise and create cultural links for the pupils.