British Values are central to our school and link to our passion for Equality and Diversity. At Bushmead School, we ensure that everyone is valued and can develop and learn as individuals, understanding their own and other people's rights and responsibilities. We ensure everyone is treated with respect and that they respect others.
In 2011, the government defined British Values in their Prevent Strategy as having an understanding of:
- The Rule of Law
- Individual liberty
- Mutual respect
- Tolerance of different faiths and beliefs
The British Values defined by the government link to other documents that have shaped our approach to equality, in particular, The Equality Act 2010.
At the start of every year, the children elect members to our school council. We believe it is crucial that the children have a voice to help make decisions within school. Each representative relays the ideas, concerns and feedback from their class. Alongside the school council, the children elect their peers for other roles such as ECO reps and House Captains. These processes help the children to understand how democracy works.
Class rules are decided by democratic procedures. British Values are also promoted in the PSHE curriculum and through school assemblies and visits. We value our parents' contribution to our school democracy and listen to our parents' views through Parent questionnaires.
The Rule of Law:
At Bushmead, we teach that that our school rules and THRIVE values keep us and others safe. We have high expectations of pupils' conduct and this is reflected in our behaviour policy. We believe it is important for children to understand why we have rules and that these rules ensure that: everyone is treated fairly and consistently; that rules are clearly defined; and that rules apply to everyone at school.
Through our school assemblies, circle time and PSHE, children are taught how to earn trust and respect and are supported to develop a strong sense of morality; knowing right from wrong and doing the right thing even when it’s difficult.
To give the children a wider understanding of the Rule of Law, we welcome visits from our local PCSOs who have delighted the children with their approachable manner and friendly introduction to the Police Force.
By providing a safe and supportive environment, pupils feel confident to express their own individuality and to make their own choices. These may be simple choices such as extracurricular activities or choices that lead to more responsibilities such as class council representative or House Captain. Through our school THRIVE values and PSHE program, children are taught about personal responsibility, choices, ambition and aspiration. They are encouraged to take opportunities to follow their interests in art, music, sport etc. The children develop an understanding of how to make their choices safely for example through our online safety and PSHE lessons.
Being able to build good relationships is a crucial life skill that affects everyone's well being. Through our school’s THRIVE values, PSHE and circle time, children are taught to respect each other, to be cooperative and collaborative, to be supportive and to look for similarities while being understanding of differences.
The children are encouraged to develop empathy and understanding of other's points of view. Staff model good relationships and help children to overcome disagreements by modelling problem solving. They praise positive behaviour and challenge disrespectful behaviour. Our children are encouraged to have good manners, saying “please” and “thank you.” They are helpful and thoughtful and enjoy opportunities to make friends and build new relationships such as welcoming and supporting new arrivals to our school.
Tolerance of Different faiths and Beliefs:
Within our school community, we have different beliefs. This diversity reflects Britain today and we value the opportunity we have to celebrate the faiths and beliefs of our pupils. Religious education, PSHE lessons and assembly visitors help the children to learn about other’s different faiths and religions. The children visit places of worship and special theme days in school celebrate different religious events.