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Promoting British Values


All maintained schools must meet the requirements set out in section 78 of the Education Act 2002 and promote the spiritual, moral, social and cultural (SMSC) development of their pupils. Through ensuring pupils’ SMSC development, schools can also demonstrate they are actively promoting fundamental British values. (Nov 2014)

 

At Westdene Primary School, we engage with the different strands in the following ways:

Democracy 

Each year, pupils vote for two school councillors. This is achieved through a democratic voting policy and includes pupils being given the opportunity to say or write down why they want to apply for this role. The councillors play an important part in school improvement, choosing their own projects, being set challenges by different staff members and acting as the voice of their classmates. They regularly ask their class for feedback and report back to the council. The democratic process is also used to vote for eco councillors and arts ambassadors.

Our Arts Ambassadors and Junior Friends of Westdene make a key contribution to the democratic decision making process in school. The Arts Ambassadors help to evaluate arts provision and have a steer on community arts projects. Our Junior Friends of Westdene work with the adult committee members and have a direct influence on the fundraising activities of our school’s PTA.

Pupils from years 3 to 6 are able to access the Westdene School Bank. This is a savings bank and is run by appointed Year 5 children. In order to understand money management, the pupils also participate in different enterprise activities. During Finance Fortnight, the children in each year group are given budgets and raise profits together, deciding as a team what they will produce. The profits raised are spent on items chosen by the pupils and to support further enterprise initiatives. The pupils at Westdene have a strong and powerful voice. They are given many opportunities to express their views, such as reflection times, and through PSHE lessons they understand their rights and responsibilities in the world.

 

The Rule of Law 

The importance of laws, whether they be those that govern the class, the school or the country, are consistently reinforced at Westdene Primary School. Each classroom and shared area has clearly displayed rules that remain the same across the school. The pupils are explicitly taught these rules and the responsibilities associated with them. These are then reinforced with consistent rewards and sanctions. In the classrooms of younger children, there are also photos displayed to make the rules more explicit. In this way, children understand the difference between right and wrong. Through our PSHE curriculum, pupils are taught the value and reasons behind rules and laws, and recognise that they govern and protect us. For pupils who may find this more difficult, a learning mentor is used to support individuals. We also use older pupils to model and praise younger pupils, such as our use of playground buddies. There are also visits from the fire service and police service booked every year to help pupils respect the law.

 

Individual Liberty 

At Westdene Primary school, we develop self-esteem, self-confidence and self-knowledge through the use of our learning animals. These promote different learning characteristics such as perseverance, imagination, courage and making links. This makes learning visible and explicit and promotes the traits needed to be confident, independent learners. The language of Growth Mindset goes through everything we do with children encouraged not to say ‘I can’t do it’ but instead ‘I can’t do it yet!’ We also promote individual choice when learning, often offering self-selected challenges and open-ended group challenges. Through e-safety and PSHE lessons, pupils are consistently encouraged to know, understand and exercise their rights and  personal freedoms and advised how to exercise these safely. These sessions are also used to challenge stereotypes and discuss bullying. All pupils have a “helping hand” which reminds them of trusted adults to talk to and we commission experts to lead workshops to promote an anti-bullying culture. Children take responsibility for their actions and behaviour and act as ambassadors for the school, showing around visitors and choosing to stay after school to show their classrooms and learning to prospective parents.

 

Mutual Respect and Tolerance of those of Different Faiths and Beliefs 

Mutual respect is evident through the atmosphere of the school. Pupils and staff care for and support each other and model respectful behaviours. This reflects our school motto TEAM: together everyone achieves more. We actively promote diversity through our understanding and celebration of different faiths and cultures. Religious Education lessons, PSHE lessons and assemblies reinforce messages of tolerance, understanding and respect for others. This includes visiting different places of worship and welcoming visitors of different faiths. There are also connections with the local community church, and the Reverend Andy Bousfield is invited to contribute to key assemblies throughout the year. Our literacy curriculum includes stories from different countries and cultures as well as linking to important issues such as refugees. These are used as opportunities to celebrate diversity and challenge prejudiced or discriminatory behaviour. We have a rigorous reporting system which records and deals sensitively with any isolated but prejudiced comments made by children to others.

 

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