The Government set out its definition of British Values in the 2011 Prevent Strategy, values which have subsequently been reiterated by the Prime Minister. The Department for Education has reinforced the need “to create and enforce a clear and rigorous expectation on all schools to promote the fundamental British values.” The values established are:
- The rule of law
- Individual liberty
- Mutual respect
- Tolerance of those of different faiths and beliefs
At Ickford School we are committed to serving our community and local area and in preparing our children to be good citizens in the wider world. In so doing we reinforce British values regularly and make considerable efforts to ensure that the children gain exposure to a wide selection of experiences and people that will enrich their development as members of a democratic society. An ethos of respect, care and kindness pervades our school and we expect every member of our community to demonstrate behaviour conducive to living in harmony with others and we actively challenge any antipathy towards such an ethos. The children have opportunities to learn about British values through the curriculum, school organisations, outings and residential trips, visitors and the role models provided within the community.
The children experience democracy borne out in a variety of ways. They learn about the concept in History lessons and they experience it through such things as the elected School Council, the House system, sports teams and within classrooms. They learn that democracy necessitates fairness and respect for others and this impacts on how they work and play together manifesting in such things as taking turns, making collective choices and respecting the opinions of others during discussions and debates.
The rule of law
Children at Ickford recognise that in order to live and work harmoniously and safely there must be guidelines and boundaries. Children learn about the concept of law and order in subjects such as History, PSHE and RE and they develop the ability to apply this learning to their own lives and their understanding of society. In RE lessons, children learn that different religions have guiding principles and they learn the importance of tolerance and understanding. The school is structured so that children become aware of rules and recognise that rules help to keep the community safe and equitable. They have the opportunity to discuss rules and to have a say in those that exist such as playground and classroom rules. Children are able to articulate why we need to have boundaries and rules and they demonstrate that they can abide by them.
The school has four fundamental ‘values’ that every child knows and are central to our daily lives. These are: Kindness, Respect, Honesty and Determination. Through collective assemblies, children come to know that these values begin with the self and help to determine our individual behaviours and attitudes. The right to be an individual is reinforced in all areas of teaching and learning and children feel safe to express their own opinions, talents and interests without fear of ridicule or contempt. At Ickford Combined School, the concept of ‘thinking classrooms’ encourages children to become independent thinkers and learners and they are actively encouraged to pursue individual interests, activities, sports and pastimes both inside and outside of school. Individual success and team success is celebrated on a weekly basis with the whole school community at celebration assembly and in our newsletter.
Children recognise that the school has high expectations and promotes a culture of hard work and determination to succeed. Nonetheless, they also understand that all effort is valued and that success is subjective. Through our curriculum and through the modelling of behaviour by adults, children learn the importance of having a respect for the opinions of others even though they may differ from their own.
Tolerance of those of different faiths and beliefs
As a non-denominational school, Ickford Combined welcomes children from all faiths and backgrounds. Nevertheless, as a state funded school in the United Kingdom, we have a Christian ethos and unless parents specifically request abstention, all children take part in a daily collective worship which includes a school prayer and grace before lunch. It is imperative that, through the curriculum, children are taught about other faiths, religions and cultures and we do all that we can to ensure that our children meet with other schools and people from different faith groups so that they can learn about and enjoy living in a multi-cultural society.
If you are interested in the many different religions in our country and would like to know more below is a link to a good site: