"We are kind and friendly to everyone because God made us and loves us all."
From football and fish & chips to queueing and talking about the weather, there are many ways to define Britishness. Our children have lived through historical times for our country, including Diamond Jubilee celebrations, the WW1 centenary, and hugely successful British Olympic and Paralympic Games. However, they are also growing up in a diverse multicultural society that continues to be troubled by the threat of terrorism.
It is therefore vital that we give our children a sense of belonging to the wider community, and to the country in which they live, by promoting British values, helping them to develop and demonstrate skills and attitudes that will allow them to participate fully in and contribute positively to life in modern Britain. It is important too for them to understand they live in a global society, since "British" values are also shared by many other countries and cultures.
Education regulations state that to meet the standard for the Spiritual, Moral, Social and Cultural development of pupils, schools must actively 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.
We must also ensure that principles are actively promoted which:
- Enable pupils to develop their self-knowledge, self-esteem and self-confidence
- Enable pupils to distinguish right from wrong and to respect the civil and criminal law of England
- Encourage pupils to accept responsibility for their behaviour, show initiative and to understand how they can contribute positively to the lives of those living and working in the locality in which the school is situated and to society more widely
- Enable pupils to acquire a broad general knowledge of and respect for public institutions and services in England
- Further tolerance and harmony between different cultural traditions by enabling pupils to acquire an appreciation of and respect for their own and other cultures
- Encourage respect for other people,
- Encourage respect for democracy and support for participation in the democratic process, including respect for the basis on which the law is made and applied in England.
Additionally we must prevent the promotion of partisan political views in the teaching of any subject in the school; and take such steps as are reasonably practicable to ensure that where political issues are brought to the attention of pupils they are offered a balanced presentation of opposing views.
British values in our school
Our collective worship, strong school ethos, good relationships throughout the school and the activities we provide outside the classroom are all ways we ensure pupils’ spiritual, moral, social and cultural development.
From enabling children in the EYFS to develop from playing alongside to playing together, to visits to the House of Parliament in KS2, the promotion of British values is differentiated throughout the school and across the curriculum, particularly in RE and PSHE. Our Building Learning Power Skills also teach children to think critically and become independent learners.
The School council is one of the ways children can have a say in what happens in our school, and demonstrates how democracy works by actively promoting democratic processes such as voting.
Children vote for their two class representatives at the start of each school year, who then attend regular meetings with staff and governors. Below is an example of the work they have done and how they have communicated with Governors.
Our school council also recently reflected on what it means to be a Church of England school:
"It’s good to be in Coleshill Church of England School because we get to concentrate on learning about religions.”
“We’re thankful for the things that we have.”
“In this school we never feel left out.”
Our Ethos committee, made up of staff, governors and pupils, formed in 2014 to focus on ensuring the clarity of the school's ethos. At our first meeting we brainstormed what it means to be British and we meet regularly to hear our pupils' opinions and share ideas.
School rules - STARS
Our system of school rules and rewards enable students to understand right from wrong and to accept responsibility for their behaviour.
- We keep each other safe.
- We trust each other.
- We aim to do our best.
- We respect everyone and everything.
- We share and cooperate.
During our 2014 SIAMS church school inspection, parents commented that:
"In this multicultural society the school has helped my son to understand others and respect different cultures and beliefs."
"You have helped my son to be a better person and prepare him for his life ahead."