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The Government set out its definition of British values in the 2011 Prevent Strategy, and these values have been reiterated in 2014. At Bowes Hutchinson’s these values are reinforced regularly and in the following ways.
Bowes Hutchinson’s is a UNICEF Rights Respecting school. Each year the children decide upon their class charter and the rights associated with these. All the children contribute to the drawing up of the charter. The rights of the child are embedded in our curriculum and are discussed along with Christian values in our weekly Family Group discussions , in RE lessons and where relevant across our diverse curriculum.
Children have many opportunities for their voices to be heard. We have a school council which meets regularly to discuss issues raised by groups and individuals. The council is able to genuinely effect change within the school and has budget at its disposal to provide resources for the children. In March 2015, we received The Investing In Children Award for the third consecutive time. This award is now valid for two years and recognises us as a school where every child and every opinion is valued. The children are interviewed by an external examiner about their experience of democracy and decision making within the school and their responses determine the allocation of the award.
We also have a SNAG committee – a school nutrition action group which allows children to express their views about school food, school meals and their lunchtime experience; we have received the Gold Food For Life Award for raising awareness about healthy food and nutrition in our school and community and for our democratic processes which allow children to take part in decision making in this area of school life.
Children complete an annual questionnaire through which they are able to put forward their views about the school. The results of the questionnaire are discussed with children and parents and influence strategic decisions within the school.
The importance of Laws, whether they be those that govern the class, the school, or the country, are consistently reinforced throughout regular school days, as well as when dealing with behaviour and through school assemblies. Pupils are taught the value and reasons behind laws, that they 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 and the Key Stage Two children participate in a services Carousel day where they visit a local fire station to find out about all the emergency services and their provision. In Key Stage Two the children visit London and spend a morning in parliament, learning about our country’s legislature. This is supported by learning about governance back at school.
We operate a positive Green Card behaviour system with collective and individual awards; we reward good attendance with an attendance cup and group awards; we encourage the children to plan and participate in Collective worship and Celebration Assembly and the children are able to issue Good Behaviour certificates and Kindness Hearts in recognition of exemplary behaviour.
Within school, 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 choices safely, through provision of a safe environment and empowering education. Pupils are encouraged to know, understand and exercise their rights and personal freedoms and advised how to exercise these safely, for example through our E-Safety and PSHE lessons. Whether it be through choice of learning challenge, of how they record, of participation in our numerous extra-curricular clubs and opportunities, pupils are given the freedom to make choices.
As a Rights Respecting School, mutual respect is at the heart of our values. Children learn that their behaviours have an effect on their own rights and those of others. All members of the school community treat each other with respect. Because we are a small village school with high staffing levels, we have the flexibility to allow for individual learning styles and to cater for children’s educational provision in a highly individualised fashion. We have high levels of SEND and children develop levels of mutual respect and the ability to appreciate differences and support each other in an admirable way.
Children are encouraged through a variety of fundraising events to support national, local and international charities and to consider the differing circumstances and needs of our diverse society.
Bowes Hutchinson’s is situated in an area which is not greatly culturally diverse; we place a great emphasis on promoting diversity with the children. Assemblies are regularly planned that include stories and celebrations from a variety of faiths and cultures. We are an International School having received the International Award in 2012 for Outstanding Development of the International Dimension in the Curriculum; our action plan has been validated and on completion of this year’s Connecting Classrooms Project and the cross curricular ongoing work about diverse people and cultures, we should receive this award for the next three years. We have links with Tanzania and Sri Lanka and use these links as opportunities to learn about and celebrate diversity.
As a Church of England School, our values about rights and respect are embedded throughout our curriculum. Members of different faiths or religions are encouraged to share their knowledge to enhance learning within classes and the school. Children visit places of worship that are important to different faiths. In May 2014, our status as an outstanding school was reinforced by an outstanding rating by SIAMS (National Society Statutory Inspection of Anglican and Methodist Schools) who stated:
The distinctiveness and effectiveness of Bowes Hutchinson’s Church of England Primary School as a Church of England School are outstanding
At Bowes Hutchinson’s we will continue to actively challenge pupils, staff, parents and community to reflect upon British Values.
Our fundamental belief is that everyone has worth and we aim to foster this by concentrating on strengths rather than weaknesses so that each child will come to value him/herself and others, and will grow up to be a useful member of British society.