At Petham School we aim to create a happy, secure and creative learning environment for all members of our school community. We believe that British Values are integral to achieving our school’s aims.
The Government defines British Values as:
- The rule of law
- Individual liberty
- Mutual respect
- Tolerance for those of different faiths and beliefs.
At Petham, British Values are promoted in so much of what we do - during our daily assemblies, through the teaching of Personal, Social, Health and Emotional (PSHE) and Religious Education (RE) and through the delivery of a broad and balanced curriculum.
We value and celebrate the heritages of everybody at our school. Alongside this, we value and celebrate being part of Britain. In general terms, this means that we celebrate traditions, for example, Harvest festival during the Autumn term. We also value and celebrate national events, such as World Book day, Comic Relief, Children in Need, the Olympics and so on.
British values are reinforced regularly and in the following ways:
Pupils have the opportunity to have their voices heard through our active School Council and through annual pupil questionnaires. The elections of School Council members are based solely on pupil votes. These children then have the opportunity to make positive changes to the school – for example, setting up a healthy tuck shop for Friday break times.
The Rule of Law
The importance of laws and rules, whether they are those that govern the class, the school or the country, are consistently reinforced every day. Children are involved in drawing up individual class rule each year and our school rules are clearly displayed in each class. If children are given warnings, they are helped to identify which rule they have broken to ensure that this connection is made and understood. They are also given an opportunity to reflect upon their behaviour and are always encouraged to make amends through restorative justice. Headteacher’s certificates, house points and golden tickets are designed to reward children for exemplary behaviour and living their life by the chosen set of rules. 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, fire service, lifeguards etc. are regular parts of our calendar and help reinforce this message.
Pupils are actively encouraged to make choices at our school, knowing that they are in a safe and supportive environment. As a school, Petham provides boundaries for our children to make choices safely, through the provision of a safe environment and planned curriculum. Pupils are encouraged to know, understand and exercise their rights and personal freedoms and are advised how to exercise these safely, for example through our e-Safety teaching, PSHE, and RE lessons. Pupils are given the freedom to make choices, e.g. signing up for extra-curricular clubs, choosing the level of challenge in some lessons. Our aim is for our children to become more involved and confident with self-led learning.
Having respect for each other (as well as our belongings) is seen as extremely important at Petham. The children take part in discussions and assemblies related to what this means and how it is shown. When dealing with issues between pupils, we take a “restorative” approach where pupils are asked to consider the feelings of the other people involved. Posters around the school promote respect for others and this is reiterated through our classroom and learning rules, as well as our behaviour policy.
Tolerance of Those of Different Faiths and Beliefs
One of our aims is to offer a broad and balanced curriculum, which is culturally rich, and in which major religions are studied and respected. We believe that tolerance is gained through knowledge and understanding. We are proud to promote and celebrate different backgrounds and beliefs and mutual respect is at the heart of our ethos. One way we do this is through studying our “Language of the Term.” This is often chosen to help us explore the backgrounds of children attending Petham School. Discussions involving prejudices and prejudice-based bullying are supported by learning in RE and PSHE, as well as our yearly Anti-Bullying Week.
Other lessons where we might develop awareness and appreciation of other cultures are English (through the books and themes studied) art and history. During themed weeks, we may consider, celebrate and enjoy learning about the differences between people, groups, countries or cultures around the world.
If you would like to read more about the reasoning behind the focus by the Government on British values please see the link below: