BRITISH VALUES AT BARLEY LANE PRIMARY SCHOOL
How do we promote British Values and prepare our pupils for life in Modern Britain?
The Department for Education has published guidance to schools on promoting British values to prepare young people for life in modern Britain. At Barley Lane Primary School we take this responsibility very seriously and we actively promote the fundamental British values of democracy, the rule of law, individual liberty, and mutual respect and tolerance of those of different faiths and beliefs. These concepts are explored through our curriculum and in all subjects but in Religious Education and PSHE and Citizenship, in particular, where children can deepen their understanding.
We strive to ensure our children are exposed to a wide range of experiences beyond their own community. We do this through regular school visits in Essex and London. In the past years we have held video conferences with partner schools in Redbridge on the theme of Black History Month, environment, sport, internet safety, literature and many more. Our choir have performed to the Manhattan School of Music via video conference. These experiences enable children to embrace difference and celebrate commonality between people across the world.
We subscribe to a weekly 'Picture News' resource, linked to a topical issue and particular British value. The children have the opportunity to discuss and respond to the pictures.
At Barley Lane Primary School we listen to the views of children through a variety of means including:
- Class discussions and assemblies based on our core values and British Values
- Weekly circle time
- School Councils (KS1 and KS2), elected by children
- Year 5 Young Leaders
- Year 6 Pupil Advocates
- Pupil surveys
- Student Alliance members who attend termly meetings at Seven Kings High School
The Rule of Law
Our Barley Lane Golden Rules promote the well-being of the individual and the school as a whole. Each term we have assembly focus on the rule of law and justice across all year groups. Each class reinforces our three golden rules and they are a central part of the school ethos. These are: Be Kind, Be Respectful, Be Ready to Learn. The school has a positive behaviour policy that sets out rewards and sanctions. Children are divided into houses, with house points being awarded for good behaviour. Our children in year 6 study 'Crime and Punishment' in autumn term. We encourage children to recognise rights and how these go hand in hand with responsibility. Our houses are: Buckingham Palace, London Eye, Houses of Parliament and the Shard.
One of our key values is respect and we encourage children to develop self-respect and value themselves as individuals. Our Children’s Mental Health and Wellbeing 2019 week covered topics such as wellbeing, anxiety and we had a range of visitors including a local hip hop artist who discussed his struggles as a pupil and how he overcame them through perseverance and resilience. At Barley Lane Primary School we explore those who have struggled for liberty, through curriculum topics, assembly themes and enrichment activities. Black History Month is celebrated in 2019 with a number of events, including a visit from Iroko Theatre company, and our school is represented at the Holocaust Memorial Day commemoration each January in Valentine’s Park.
Respect is a core value of our school and underpins our ethos. Both adults and children alike are respectful towards each other and towards our community. Our wide and broad curriculum supports this and helps children to articulate what respect means in practice. Children can talk about their own faith and beliefs as well as the faiths and beliefs of others. Our emphasis is one of unity around what unites us as human beings. We celebrated ‘Go Green for Dyslexia’ week in October 2019 with special assemblies led by our SENco, and discussions in class. Autism Awareness Week is also marked each year with activites, discussion and assemblies. Team work and debating are encouraged to allow children to express clearly their view point and listen to the views of others respectfully. Children take the initiative and lead in aspects of the school such as charitable appeals and fund raising e.g. our KS2 children run our daily ‘Munchies’ enterprise.
Tolerance of those with Different Faiths and Beliefs
At Barley Lane Primary School we are committed to deepening children’s understanding of faith and belief. We do this through Religious Education, PSHE, circle time. Our permanent ‘festivals’ display celebrates both religious and secular events and we participate in a wide range of celebrations such as Chinese New Year, Diwali, Eid, Christmas and Guru Nanak’s birthday, etc. We are constantly building on our programme of visitors from the local community and have themed weeks to enrich understanding of culture. Links with local mosques, gurdwaras, mandir and churches are established and children visit them regularly. This year, we have worked closely with St Paul’s Church Goodmayes on an intergenerational World War II project which culminated in a re-dedication ceremony attended by the Bishop of Barking and Mayor of Redbridge in autumn 2019.
We have an emphasis on British culture and celebrate St George’s day and Shakespeare’s birthday, which this year will be celebrated at Barley Lane. Year 5 children visit Shakespeare's Globe Theatre in autumn term as part of their Tudor's topic. On St George's Day, children learn and explore life in Britain and what life is like as a British Citizen. Each year group will takes a different aspect of Britain and have the opportunity to feed back and share with other classes.
At Barley Lane Primary School we view these fundamental British values as universal moral beliefs that are commonly held across the world. We teach these through a curriculum that recognises the unique culture of Britain. We successfully develop in our pupils a pride in being part of the British nation.