The Department for Education have reinforced the need for schools to ‘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. This ensures young people understand the importance of respect and leave school fully prepared for life in modern Britain.
The children voted for the election of the school councillors, and they act as the ‘voice’ of Avondale Primary School. This is used as an opportunity to promote and teach about democracy and the electoral process. The school council have a suggestion box for children to place their ideas and opinions about their school. Pupils have the opportunity to have their voices heard through discussion and open forums within their classes; through brainstorming their ideas about what they would like to learn about a given topic and through pupil conferencing. Our school behaviour system involves rewards (including house points and platinum awards) which the pupils are encouraged to nominate others for. Pupils are given leadership roles throughout the school and are encouraged and enabled to lead teaching activities, fund raising events and monitoring duties. We encourage volunteerism in and out of school. This includes things like the Eco-Council, sports leaders, digital leaders, lunch helpers, and also raising money for local and national charities. The beginnings of democracy are taught through historical research of the Ancient Greece civilisation. Democracy is also promoted through additional PSHE lessons and assemblies.
The Rule of Law
The importance of Laws, whether they be those that govern the class, the school, or the country, are consistently reinforced throughout regular school days, as well as in school assemblies. 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. There are various rules at Avondale that the children are made aware of; the anti-bullying and behaviour rules are firmly enforced by the staff at Avondale and the children adhere to these rules. Visits from authorities such as the Police, Fire Service, Leaders from Secondary Schools and road safety, are regular parts of our calendar and help reinforce this message. The children in Y6 complete a day’s workshop each year to learn the importance the law and safety in readiness for transition to secondary school and more independence.
Part of our school ethos and behaviour policy has revolved around our Core Values; ‘Community and belonging’ is one of these values, and pupils have been part of discussions and assemblies to show what this means and how it is shown. Pupils are given opportunities for choice through: choice of challenge within a lesson; choice of how they record; or choice of participation in our numerous extra-curricular clubs. In our school we believe it important to give pupils the freedom to make choices as part of their education and preparation for life. Children learn that their behaviours have an effect on their own rights and those of others. Displays around the school promote respect for others and this is reiterated through our classroom and learning rules, our daily conversations, expectations and through our behaviour policy. All members of the school community treat each other with respect.
Tolerance of those with different faith
We actively promote diversity through our celebrations of different faiths and cultures, religious education lessons, curriculum and choice of texts within the curriculum. Members of different faiths and religions are encouraged to share their knowledge to enhance learning within classes and the school. This is achieved through enhancing pupils understanding of their place in a culturally diverse society and by giving them opportunities to experience such diversity. School assemblies and discussions involving prejudices and prejudice-based bullying have been followed and supported by learning in RE and PSHE. The schools core values remain at the heart of all we do and how we behave so pupils understand their responsibility in respecting others. Members of different faiths or religions are encouraged to share their knowledge to enhance learning within classes and the school. The children visit places of worship that are important to different faiths. Visitors from different faiths and cultures are invited into our school to share facts and beliefs with our pupils.
Within Avondale, children 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 young pupils to make informed choices, through a safe environment and an empowering education. The strong foundations that allow this to happen come from the schools core values of: Aiming high and being an effective learner; Communicate to be great and Community and belonging. Children are encouraged to know, understand and exercise their rights and personal freedoms and advised how to exercise these safely, for example through e-Safety and the school council.