At Newcomen Primary School we strive to promote and secure British values throughout our curriculum and ethos. This statement demonstrates our commitment to not only promoting British Values, but also celebrating and embracing them. 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.
How this is achieved at Newcomen Primary School?
We recognise the importance of embedding an understanding of valuing everyones opinion. The opinions and decisions of the school council and its elected members have had a direct impact on the teaching and learning within our community. School Council is given extremely high profile here at Newcomen Primary School and members are involved in many decision making processes. The elections of Head Boy and Girl, House and Form Captains and School Council are based solely on votes cast by our children. We trust them implicitly to make informed judgments. In addition to this, pupils also have the opportunity to provide invaluable feedback via our annual pupil questionnaire this runs alongside our successful parental questionnaire.
The curriculum also reflects a desire to educate our learners about the various systems of democracy around the world both past and present. For instance, history topics study the ways in which other civilisations have been ruled and contrast these to our current British system of democracy. Our school behaviour policy involves rewards which the pupils vote on as a class group.
Rule of Law
We encourage learners to understand and respect the laws of our country and compare these with similar sanctions imposed around the world. Through our curriculum, we explore the principles behind setting such rules for society and enable learners to think about the suitability and appropriateness of such rules. We also recognise the importance of educating children about how to work within the boundaries of the law and abiding by rules to ensure fairness and safety of all. We regularly invite law enforcement agencies to speak in assemblies and visit all classes. This enables our pupils to gain a better understanding of the ways in which they can work within the laws remit but also how the law can protect them. Across all school phases, we encourage children to make responsible choices whether in relation to their behaviour or teaching and learning. Classes are governed by the rules which are set out in the Newcomen Courtesy Code of Conduct Ten Commandments (agreed and written by School Council). This allows the children to determine the conditions for learning that will best benefit them.
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. These are carried out in a safe environment and empowering curriculum. This is demonstrated through teaching questioning skills which allow children to pose questions about topics they are learning. Teaching is then tailored to answer these questions and thereby engage all. Pupils are encouraged to know, understand and exercise their rights and personal freedoms, and advised how to exercise these, for example through our E-Safety and PSHE lessons. Whether it be through choice of challenge, of how they record, of participation in our numerous extra-curricular clubs and opportunities, pupils are given the freedom to make choices.
Newcomen is a caring family school where diversity and tolerance are celebrated. We hold regular talent shows or competitions in which children are given the opportunity to shine. The concept of mutual respect is addressed through our curriculum topics, RE lessons and PSHE assemblies and sessions. Mutual respect underpins all we do together at Newcomen Primary School as a caring family school. In PSHE promoting self-esteem for all and team work are fundamental to learning. All classrooms are proud of their self-esteem display board which celebrates mutual togetherness.
Tolerance of Different Faiths and Beliefs
Our aim to teach and educate about diversity is reflected in our curriculum and events throughout our school calendar. Children are encouraged to share their life experiences of their own cultures and ask questions regarding the faiths and beliefs of others, whilst, given opportunities to reflect. We encourage children to question the world around them in a respectful way. Our RE curriculum enables children to do this by exploring the various religions of the world and considering their own views in relation to these. We promote awareness and tolerance of others and celebrate diversity promoting real reflection in a meaningful manner.
At Newcomen Primary School we will actively challenge children, staff or parents who express opinions that are contrary to fundamental British values including extremists views. Staff regularly review the curriculum to ensure that it promotes the areas above. It also ensures that pupils are taught about key events and figures in history. Events during the year celebrate culturally diverse occasions and memorable events taking place in the country.