At Richard Atkins we value and celebrate the rich and diverse heritages of everybody in our school community and beyond.
We understand that, as a school, we have a duty to 'actively 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 in order to ensure that our young people leave school prepared for life in modern Britain.
Democracy is central to how we operate at Richard Atkins Primary School and children, parents and staff have many opportunities for their voices to be heard. 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. Pupils also have the opportunity to air their opinions and ideas through our Children’s Committee and Young Leadership programme. In particular, the election of the Children’s Committee members reflects our British electoral system and demonstrates democracy in action: candidates make speeches, pupils consider characteristics important for an elected representative, pupils vote in secret using ballot boxes etc. Made up of two representatives from each class, the Children’s Committee meet regularly to discuss issues raised by the different classes.
Rule of Law
The importance of rules and laws, whether they are those that govern the class, the school or the country, are referred to and reinforced often for example through assemblies, PSHE lessons and when reflecting on behaviour choices.
Pupils are taught the value and reasons behind rules and laws; that they govern and protect us, the responsibilities that this involves, and the consequences when rules and laws are broken.
These values are reinforced in different ways:
- Visits from authorities such as the police and fire service
- During Religious Education, when rules for particular faiths are thought about
- During other school subjects, where there is respect and appreciation for different rules
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 and pupils are encouraged to know, understand and exercise their rights and personal freedoms safely.
These values are reinforced in different ways, for example through:
- Choices about what learning challenge or activity
- Choices about how they record their learning
- Choices around the participation in extra-curricular activities
Our pupils are encouraged to know, understand and exercise their rights and personal freedoms and are taught how to exercise these safely, such as in our PSHE lessons.
Mutual respect and tolerance of those with different faiths and beliefs
Richard Atkins Primary School serves an area which is culturally diverse and we are proud to promote and celebrate our different backgrounds and beliefs. Tolerance, politeness and mutual respect are at the heart of our aims and ethos.
Our pupils know and understand that it is expected that respect is shown to everyone and to everything, whatever differences we may have. Children learn that their behaviour choices have an effect on their own rights and those of others. All members of the school community are encouraged to treat each other with respect.
Specific examples of how we enhance pupils’ understanding and respect for different faiths and beliefs are:
- Through Religious Education, PSHE and other lessons where we develop awareness and appreciation of other cultures
- In English through fiction
- In art and music by considering cultures from other parts of the world
- Celebrating cultural differences through assemblies, cultural celebrations, themed weeks, noticeboards and displays
As well as promoting British values we also actively challenge pupils, staff or parents expressing opinions contrary to fundamental British values, including ‘extremist’ views; each such occasion, although rare, is treated seriously and in line with our policies and expectations.
The government set out its definition of British values in the 2011 Prevent Strategy; if you would like to know more about the issues of radicalisation and extremism in line with the new ‘Prevent’ Duty for schools please visit the Government website; Educate Against the Hate.