In June 2014, David Cameron (former Prime Minister) emphasised the important role British values can play in education. Furthermore, how well a school promotes such values is now an important aspect of Ofsted's inspection process. During the last academic year this was a key aspect which many schools were developing but it is not something new at Gascoigne Primary.
British values are promoted in so much of what we do, for example, school assemblies, Religious Education and through our pupils' social and emotional learning. The values are integral to our long-standing school ethos/statement which compliments British values and always has done.
As well as actively promoting British values, the opposite also applies: we would actively challenge pupils, staff or parents expressing opinions contrary to fundamental British values, including 'extremist' views.
The term 'British values' might be slightly misleading in that these values are integral to so many countries throughout the world; they differ in no way from the values of most western European countries.
Below are just a few examples of how we promote British values. The first section is a general overview; the others are specific expectations set out by Ofsted.
Schools are subject to a duty( Section 26, Counter-Terrorism and Security Act 2015) to have ' due regard to the need to prevent people from being drawn into terrorism'. This duty is known as the PREVENT DUTY. Please see the foot of this page for additional information to support parents in discussions about extremism and preventing radicalisation.
As a school, we value and celebrate the diverse heritages of everyone at Gascoigne. Alongside this, we value and celebrate being part of Britain. We celebrate traditions, such as customs over the course of an academic year. For example, Remembrance Day during the Autumn term, and what could be more British than a trip to the pantomime around Christmas time. We also value and celebrate national events across the school year.
Pupils, parents, staff and Governors have many opportunities for their voices to be heard at Gascoigne. Democracy is central to how we operate and we always adopt an 'open-door' policy.
An obvious example is our School Council. The election of the School Council members reflects our British electoral system and demonstrates democracy in action; candidates make speeches, pupils consider characteristics important for an elected representative etc. The School Council is made up of two representatives from each class, meeting regularly to discuss a range of issues. Members of this council have even been involved in the recruitment process of staff asking very pertinent questions ! Pupils are also asked to provide feedback on a range of subjects, including pupil surveys/ questionnaires.
Our pupils are always listened to by adults and are taught to listen carefully and with concern to each other, respecting the right of every individual to have their opinions and voices heard. We encourage pupils to take ownership of not only their school but also of their learning and progress. This encourages a hightened sense of both personal and social responsibility and is demonstrated on a daily basis by pupils.
The importance of rules and laws, whether they be those that govern our school or our country, are referred to and reinforced regularly, such as in assemblies and when reflecting on behaviour choices. We have a whole school behaviour system (Stay On Green) which ensures consistency across the school in terms of expectations and on a practical day-to -day use.
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. These values are reinforced in different ways; for example, visits from the police and fire service; during Religious Education when rules for particular faiths are focused upon; during other school subjects, where there is respect and appreciation for different rules, for example,in P.E lessons.
Alongside rules and laws, we promote freedom of choice and the right to respectfully express views and beliefs. Through the provision of a safe, supportive environment, we provide boundaries for our pupils to make choices safely; for example, lunchtime activities; participation in extra-curricular clubs.
Our pupils are encouraged to know, understand and exercise their rights and personal freedoms and are taught how to exercise these safely; for example E-safety / SEAL/ SRE/ PSHE lessons.
Gascoigne Primary is in an area which is culturally diverse and we are immensely proud to promote and celebrate our different backgrounds and beliefs. Mutual respect is at the heart of our aims and ethos of the school. Our pupils know and understand that it is expected and imperative that respect is shown to EVERYONE, regardless of the differences we may have, and to EVERYTHING, whether it is, for example, a school resource, or a religious belief. Pupils learn that their behaviour choices have an effect on their own rights and those of others. ALL members of the school community should treat each other with respect.
We, at Gascoigne, aim to enhance pupils' understanding and respect for different faiths and beliefs through, for example, Religious Education, SEAL and other lessons where we develop awareness and appreciation of other cultures. We also consider other cultures through English (studying a variety of texts), Art and through themed weeks, for example, Black History Week.
This is clearly not part of any British or European value. It is important to remember that whilst threat from so-called Islamic State has been the focus in the Counter Terrorism and Security Act, the PREVENT DUTY is clear that extremism of all kinds should be tackled too. In England, far right groups such as Britain First and the English Defence League need to be tackled too. Extremism is not a new topic in education, but schools have a relatively new statutory duty to pay 'due regard to the need to prevent people from being drawn into terrorism'.
Please open the document below which provides you with further important information. Many thanks.