Promoting British Values at St Dennis Primary Academy
At St Dennis Primary Academy we whole-heartedly believe that children learn best when they are happy, feel safe and are engaged. We pride ourselves on nurturing every child and recognising them as an individual with special strengths and talents. We aim to give our pupils the confidence to speak out, to develop resilience and not give up!
We promote fundamental ‘British Values’ in relevant and meaningful ways. We expose our children to a range of current issues including political, religious, cultural, environmental, social, moral and spiritual through weekly Picture News assemblies and circle times.
We allow our children to demonstrate respect and tolerance through our ethos and core values, the curriculum and our spiritual, moral, social and cultural development.
“Everyone matters, everyone succeeds, every moment counts”
What are the Key British Values and how do they fit with our school’s core values?
Rule of Law
Tolerance of Those of Different Faiths and Beliefs
We promote an understanding of democracy by giving children access to Article 12 UNCRC; 'Every child has the right to express their opinion'.
Children at St Dennis Primary Academy have many opportunities for their voices to be heard. Our children are often encouraged to discuss their viewpoints in lessons and to make decisions as a group, giving them additional choice and autonomy.
They experience democracy when electing our School Council Representatives, Team Captains and Eco Club members. Our pupil-elected ambassadors play a strong role in our school. They are elected by their class peers and are involved in making St Dennis Primary Academy a better place to learn. The School Council meets regularly to discuss issues raised by pupils. Curriculum leaders meet with pupils as part of their monitoring. Pupil questionnaires and interviews are also conducted throughout the year. We know that the formation of the School Council and Eco Club and the active participation of our pupils will sow the seeds for a more sophisticated understanding of democracy in the future.
The curriculum at St Dennis Primary Academy allows pupils to explore democracy within whole class topics. From Reception, where children vote for their preferred continuous provision, to Year 5’s exploration of Ancient Greece in the topic, ‘Where can we see the influence of Ancient Greece today?’ and the establishment of their politicians, pupils are exposed to democracy in real life contexts. Year 6’s annual visit to the Houses of Parliament is often cited as being a highlight to their academic year.
The Rule of Law
The importance of laws is consistently reinforced throughout the school day.
Children 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. The rule of law is adopted when classes create their own class Golden Time behaviour rules that are linked to our school's core values. We use praise and reward to promote positive consequences and have clear sanctions to encourage pupils to take ownership of their own behaviour to distinguish right from wrong.
Circle time rules are established and followed. All members of the school community sign our Acceptable Use Policy and pledge to use the internet safely.
St Dennis Primary Academy has good links with authorities such as the Police and Fire Service, who visit throughout the year and help to reinforce the Rule of Law and educate children on ways to keep themselves safe. We believe that clear explanations and real-life stories emphasise the importance of the Rule of Law for our children.
Our PSHE curriculum ensures that the concept of actions and consequences is woven into learning across the school. Children explore this theme during Circle Time and whole school events, such as Stay Safe Week. Year 4’s topic, ‘Should all crimes be punished?’ focuses specifically on the justice system and Year 3 explore the law when learning about, ‘What makes Great Britain great?’.
Within school, pupils are actively encouraged to make choices, knowing that they are in a safe and supportive environment.
St Dennis Primary Academy children are given the freedom to make many choices based on their interests and passions. As a school we educate and provide boundaries for pupils to make choices, through provision of a safe environment and an empowering education. We support pupils to develop their self-knowledge, self-esteem and self-confidence. Pupils are encouraged to know, understand, and exercise their rights and personal freedoms and are advised how to use these safely.
World Children’s day is a whole school event at St Dennis Primary Academy, during which children learn about the basic human rights that protect all people and societies. They also learn that children have their own special rights which are set out in the United Nations Declaration of the Rights of the Child. At our school it is everyone's responsibility to protect individual liberty. Individual liberty can be observed at St Dennis Primary Academy through our individual class behaviour systems, Golden Time and Anti-Bullying Week.
Our topics are carefully chosen to include debates about individual liberty, such as in Year 6 with a focus on, ‘How was the Battle of Britain a turning point in WWII?’ through a World War II topic and in Reception’s topic, ‘What happens at school?’ which starts the conversation about rights and individual liberty with the youngest members of our school.
Respect is at the heart of our ethos.
At St Dennis Primary Academy mutual respect is underpinned by our core value of friendship. Children learn that their behaviour has an impact on their rights and those of others. Children are encouraged to work in collaboration as much as possible either in their class, with other year groups, as mediators, as ambassadors and sometimes with other schools in sport or at music and dance festivals.
All members of the school community treat each other with respect. We publish all our behaviour policies on the website and parents, pupils and staff sign a Home-School Agreement setting out our expectations. Assemblies on inspirational people reflect this ethos. We hold regular events where members of the school community are able to celebrate our diversity.
There are many opportunities to develop SMSC (Social, Emotional, Spiritual and Cultural Education) across the curriculum for example through RE, PSHE, PE, art, music, history, geography, science and English. Pupils are invited to debate with each other respectfully and they answer challenging questions during Circle Times that can often divide opinion, therefore teaching the need to respect the views of others.
St Dennis Primary Academy is an inclusive school.
Within our school we constantly promote tolerance towards others from different backgrounds, cultures, languages, faiths and beliefs, preparing our children for life in modern Britain and contemporary society.
Our Religious Education syllabus, school assemblies, Personal, Social, Health and Emotional curriculum and wider school ethos reinforce our commitment towards a tolerant society. Major religions are studied and respected and we strongly believe that tolerance is gained through knowledge and understanding. Members of different faiths or religions are encouraged to share their knowledge to enhance learning within classes and the school through visitors and visiting places of worship where possible. At every opportunity, we explore the similarities between religions and cultures.
At St Dennis, our curriculum and the routines of our daily school life help us strive to demonstrate tolerance and support children to become knowledgeable and understanding citizens who can build a better Britain for the future. We will actively challenge pupils, staff, parents or anyone in the school community expressing opinions contrary to fundamental British Values, including 'extremist' views.
Tolerance is evident at our school in various ways. Adults in our school consistently model tolerance of others through positive relationships, respectful interactions and a welcoming nature to all visitors. Children are taught about the cultural similarities and differences of people around the globe during topics specifically tailored to the study of other countries and communities, such as, ‘Where in the world would you like to live?’ and, ‘When and why did the Maya disappear?’.
Our British Values display in the school foyer