Promoting British Values at Percy Shurmer Academy
The Department for Education state that there is a 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.”
The government set out its definition of British values in the 2011 Prevent Strategy and these values were reiterated by the Prime Minister in 2014. At Percy Shurmer Academy these values are reinforced regularly and in the following ways.
Democracy is embedded at the school. 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 School Council and regular questionnaires. The elections of the School Council members and School General Elections are based solely on pupil votes, reflecting our British electoral system and demonstrating democracy in action.
Percy Shurmer Academy’s School Council is led by our Year 6 Councilors and the Councilors are in charge of the year budget.
The Rule of Law
The importance of laws whether they are those that govern the class, the school or the country, are consistently reinforced. Our school has ‘Percy Rules’, which are deeply embedded in our work every day. Each class also discusses and sets its own rules that are clearly understood by all and seen to be necessary to ensure that every class member is able to learn in a safe and ordered environment. Each year group has the responsibility to write rules for the playground, Library and E-Safety. Our pupils also enjoy the experience of visiting the House of Commons.
Our 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. This includes classroom visits from the Police force and the Fire Service.
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 our pupils to make choices safely, through the provision of a safe environment and an empowering education. Our pupils are encouraged to know, understand and exercise their rights and personal freedoms and are advised how to exercise these safely; examples of this can be clearly seen in our clubs, over night residential visits, e-safety and SRE, P.S.H.E. lessons. Whether it is through choice of challenge; of how they record; of participation in our numerous extra- curricular activities; all our pupils are given the freedom to make choices.
Respect is one of the core values of our school and it is deeply embedded in our class rules and all that we do at the school. The pupils know and understand that it is expected and imperative that respect is shown to everyone, whatever differences we may have. The core value of Respect at Percy Shurmer Academy underpins our work every day both in and out of the classroom.
Tolerance Of Those With Different Faiths And Beliefs
Our core value of Respect ensures tolerance of those who have different faiths and beliefs. Percy Shurmer Academy enhances pupils understanding of different faiths and beliefs through religious education studies; P.S.H.E. work; visits to Churches, Mosques and Temples settings. Beliefs, traditions and customs will be studied in depth, with visitors being invited in to our school to enrich and extend understanding. Through this our pupils gain an enhanced understanding of their place in a culturally diverse society.