Promoting British Values at Laleham Gap School
The DfE has 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.”
The promotion of British values is at the core of all we do whether it be through our assemblies, ‘Learning for Life’ lessons (which incorporates PSHE, RE and Citizenship), Personal Development lessons or through other areas of the curriculum. The term British values can be somewhat misleading as these values are integral to so many countries across the world. We also hold whole-school ‘Culture and Community Days’ where staff and pupils explore and celebrate Inclusivity and Diversity on local, national and international scales.
At Laleham Gap School 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 are based solely on pupil votes, reflecting our British electoral system and demonstrating democracy in action. School council works not only to solve issues that the children raise but also have input into their curriculum and the standards of the school.
Through the year primary pupils raise money for a variety of charities and in Personal Development lessons each year group in secondary organises a charity day looking at helping people both in the wider world and closer to home. This fostering of a commitment to charities is another way in which we teach a sense of Britishness.
The Rule of Law
The importance of laws, whether they are those that govern the class, the school, or the country, is consistently reinforced throughout the school day. 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. Positive behaviour management strategies are implemented throughout the school and rules and expectations are reinforced through school assemblies and class circle times.
The school charter which all pupils and staff have had an input to reflects how we all can demonstrate positive behaviour and attitudes towards others.
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 all 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 curriculum in areas such as e-safety, anti-bullying, sex and relationship education and drugs awareness education. Whether it is 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.
Mutual respect is at the heart of our values. Laleham Gap School is located in Ramsgate, which is a culturally diverse area. We celebrate this diversity in our curriculum. Examples include our celebrations of different religious festivals throughout the year, the participation of all our pupils, in all our curriculum activities and the regular staff training we undertake to ensure this inclusive practice remains outstanding. Pupils learn that their actions have an effect on their own rights and those of others. All members of the school community are expected to treat each other with respect. The whole school community knows and understands that respect is shown to everyone, whatever differences we may have.
Tolerance of Different Faiths and Beliefs
Laleham Gap School is situated in an area of cultural diversity; therefore we place a great emphasis on promoting diversity with the pupils. Assemblies are planned to address this issue either directly or through the inclusion of stories and celebrations from a variety of faiths and cultures. Members of different faiths or religions are encouraged to share their knowledge to enhance learning within classes and the school. Pupils have opportunities to visit different places of worship. Through this our pupils gain an enhanced understanding of their place in a culturally diverse society.