How We Promote British Values
At St William’s, we equip pupils for the diverse and exciting context of life in modern Britain. These British Values are embedded in all we do and are promoted by activities across the school as well as being part of our taught curriculum.
Democracy and democratic processes are embedded in both the actions we take in school and what we learn in the curriculum. Some examples are:
- Our Teams (Air, Water, Earth and Fire) elect their team captains every half term. Year 6 children choose to stand for this post and explain why they will be good at it.
- KS2 classes elect a class councillor to represent them in the School Council. Year 6 also elect the chair and secretary of the School Council. Decisions by the School Council are taken with a vote.
- Year 5 children have been appointed as Advocates to support Key Stage 1 class councils and ensure their voice is heard at School Council meetings.
- During the General Election in 2019, Key Stage 2 learnt in detail about the process of choosing our government.
- In Year 5, the curriculum includes learning about our democratic systems, how our parliament came in to being, how it operates and how laws are made. In 2015 we introduced a day visit for year 5 to the Palace of Westminster and a tour of the Houses of Parliament. As part of the visit the children take part in workshops about the process of making laws. In October 2015, the visit also included interviewing our MP, Chloe Smith, about her role and how we can increase people’s participation in politics. Year 5 has visited each year since 2015, the last visit was in February 2020.
- Having seen Emiline Pankhurst outside parliament, Year 5 learn about the suffragettes' campaign to have the right to vote.
- To build on their understanding about suffrage, Year 6 learn about the American Civil Rights movement and their campaign for the right to vote.
- The whole school took part in a project on the Ancient Greeks to tie in with the 2016 Olympic Games and will do so again in July 2020. This involved the legacy of the Greeks, including democracy.
The Rule of Law
Our school is run with systems and processes that reinforce respect for authority and the rule of law. These are implicit in all we do as well as taught explicitly at certain points in our curriculum.
- 'The St William’s Way' gives a structure with underlying values,to support all we do and ensure our school runs smoothly for the benefit of everyone.
- In Year 5, the curriculum includes learning about our democratic systems, how our parliament came in to being, how it operates and how laws are made. Since January 2015, Year 5 have visited the Palace of Westminster and toured the Houses of Parliament. They took part in workshops about the process of making laws.
- Year 5 learn about the Magna Carta and the part it played in our present system of government and law making.
- The school staff support children and their families when there are issues in the local community or on social media, including involving the police if deemed necessary. There have been four examples of supporting families in this way since Easter 2015.
- Our school is very successful at inter school sport, including being county champions at girls’ football, korfball, cricket and cross country running.
Throughout our school, children are taught about the importance of rights and responsibility. Through class discussion, assemblies and cross school circle times, children’s voices are heard and respected. Children have many opportunities to express their opinions and to make choices for themselves. Some examples of this are:
- Children are encouraged to express their opinions through circle times, class councils and other class discussions.
- Children have a wide range of opportunities to make choices, from what they are eating for their dinner to which after school clubs they would like to attend.
- Through our curriculum and through working with individual children, our school makes sure children keep themselves safe including having the right to say if others are behaving in a way they do not like.
- Children can choose which adult they want to talk to if they are upset or wanting to share information.
- Children are encouraged to formulate and justify their own views and opinions on many key issues as they move through the school including the pros and cons of tourism, the issues around fox hunting and the impact of different farming methods on communities, the environment and livestock.
Mutual Respect and Tolerance
including for those with different faiths and beliefs and for those without faith
Mutual respect is embedded in the ethos of our school. Children’s views are heard and respected even if different from others. Honesty and Kindness are two of our school values. Children are taught about people and cultures that differ from ours and about the diversity that exists within our own community and country. Some examples are:
- This year's whole school Festival Days are the Hindu festival of Diwalhi (28/10/19), the Jewish festival of Purim (10/3/20) and the Muslim festival of Eid al-Fitr (22/5/20).
- We regularly have whole school RE days to learn about other people’s faiths. We had a Diwali day (November 2015) and learnt about Hanukkah (December 2015), Sukkoth (2016 and 2017), Holi Day (March 2017) and Rosh Hashana (September 2017).
- Our cross school circle times give children of all ages the chance to listen to each other and understand each other’s views and opinions.
- The school respects families beliefs and accommodates any timetable changes needed e.g. if they do not want their child to celebrate Christmas.
- Inspirational people are held up as examples across the school, both in classes and in assemblies. This includes people from a range of cultural and religious backgrounds, e.g. Nelson Mandela, Malala Yousafzai.
- During our staff and parent consultation around the new Relationship, Sex and Health Education curriculum, the importance of respecting Protected Characteristics was emphasised.