Promoting British Values at Harvey Road School
The DfE 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 in 2021. At Harvey Road School these values are regularly reinforced in the following ways:
Democracy is evident throughout the school. Pupils have the opportunity to have their voices heard through our School Council and Eco-Battler groups. These are both elected and run democratically.
We have regular pupil questionnaires where children are asked their views on important subjects ranging from ‘Do you like being at Harvey Road School?’ to ‘Does Harvey Road School treat boys and girls equally?’ and ‘Is Harvey Road School a fair and safe place for all children, of all abilities and disabilities?’
The Rule of Law
The importance of laws, whether they be those that govern the class, the school, or the country are consistently reinforced throughout normal school day, as well as when dealing with behaviour and through school assemblies. Pupils are taught the values and reasons behind laws that govern and protect us, the responsibilities that they involve and the consequences when laws are broken. Visits from authorities such as the Police, Fire and Ambulance services are regular parts of our open dialogue with children and help to reinforce this message.
Within school, pupils are actively encouraged to make choices, knowing that they are in a safe and supportive environment where personal, emotional or academic mistakes are seen as opportunities for future successes. As a school we educate and provide boundaries for young pupils so that they can make choices that are based on sound knowledge, understanding and increasing experience. All staff respect the rights and personal freedoms that children have and we advise them on how
to exercise these safely. Examples of this can be seen through our Drugs education and Relationships, Sex and Health education programmes, along with Internet Safety and other PSHE related subjects. Whether it be through differentiated challenges in class or selecting their extra-curricular clubs, pupils are given the freedom to make choices.
Harvey Road School’s motto is ‘Be Happy, Show Respect, Seek Success’. Children and staff constantly strive towards achieving these ambitions which underpin everything that takes place. Class-based work, displays and our Behaviour and Anti Bullying policies all focus on this as a key element to our thriving school.
Tolerance of those with Different Faiths and Beliefs
This is achieved through enhancing pupils’ understanding of their place in a culturally diverse society and by giving them opportunities to experience this. We organise visitors to Harvey Road School assemblies who discuss different faiths and religious practices so that children can independently develop their own core beliefs without prejudice or prejudice-based bullying taking place. This is also supplemented by the RE and PSHE curriculum.
We also hold a bi-annual ‘Thanks for Thinking’ day where speakers share their views and experiences from many different faith including humanist perspectives. Through this, children can consider views different to their own and develop a balanced awareness of how this can impact on their own lives as well as others.
The school also celebrates diversity through languages. We hold many events through the year that promote and develop languages, culminating in a Languages Festival involving both children and parents as well as visitors coming to the school.