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.”
At Hartwell these values are closely aligned to our own Christian values and, as such, they are already embedded into school life and regularly reinforced.
Each year the children decide upon their class rules and the rights associated with these. All the children contribute to the drawing up of the class charter. The charters are then used to re-affirm the whole school rules/charter.
Our children have many opportunities for their voices to be heard. School council elections are held on an annual basis and the children experience voting procedures as in a “real” election. Once elected Class councillors represent the views of their class on the School council. Views are gathered through regular class council sessions where every child is given the chance to share their views. The council has its own budget and is able to genuinely effect change within the school.
The voting system is also used for the election of our Eco councillors on an annual basis.
Pupil voice is also gathered through questionnaires and discussion with subject leaders.
The Rule of Law
The importance of laws/rules, whether they be those that govern the class, the school, or the country, are reinforced on a daily basis, as well as when dealing with behaviour and through school assemblies. Pupils are very aware of the school values and rules and the reasons behind them. They know that they govern and protect us and that there are consequences when laws/rules are broken. Visits from authorities such as the Police help to reinforce this message.
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, through provision of a safe environment and empowering education. Pupils are encouraged to know, understand and exercise their rights and personal freedoms and advised how to exercise these safely, for example through our E-Safety and PSHE lessons. Whether it be through choice of learning challenge, of how they record, of participation in our numerous extra-curricular clubs and opportunities, pupils are given the freedom to make choices.
As a Church of England school mutual respect is at the heart of our values. Children learn that their behaviour has an effect on their own rights and those of others. All members of the school community treat each other with respect.
Respect is one of our schools core values. Listening to each other with kindness and care is another of our core values and children understand that everyone has a right to have their say and to be listened to.
Tolerance of those of Different Faiths and Beliefs
Hartwell is situated in an area which is not greatly culturally diverse, therefore we place an emphasis on promoting diversity with the children. Assemblies are regularly planned to address this either directly or through the inclusion of stories and celebrations from a variety of faiths and cultures. Our RE and PSHE teaching reinforce this. Members of different faiths/religions are encouraged to share their knowledge to enhance learning within classes and the school. Children visit places of worship that are important to different faiths.
At Hartwell we actively challenge pupils, staff or parents expressing opinions contrary to fundamental British Values, including ‘extremist’ views.