British Values and SMSC (Social, Moral, Spriritual and Cultural) curriculum statement
The DfE have reinforced the need “to create and enforce a clear and rigorous expectation on all schools to 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.”
The Government set out its definition of British values in the 2011 Prevent Strategy, and these values were reiterated in 2014 in ‘Promoting fundamental British Values as part of SMSC (Social, Moral, Spiritual and Cultural [education]) in schools’.
At Grove Academy we promote the basic British values of democracy, the rule of law, individual liberty, and mutual respect and tolerance for those with different faiths and beliefs in the following ways:
Children have many opportunities for their voices to be heard.
We have a school who meet regularly with members from Year three to Year six; these children are elected by their class. In the meetings they discuss issues and ideas raised in class council, helping to make decisions, for example how children will be rewarded (attendance celebrations, parties related to our behaviour policy, what they would like playtime activities to look like, equipment). They share class views which they bring to their meetings and are involved in fund raising for the academy. They are instrumental in planning for democratic decision making when voting for playground leaders in our academy
On an annual basis, members of the Council are taken to the Town Hall to further develop their understanding and experience of living in a democracy during the city wide ‘Local Democracy’ week. This event links very nicely to our annual ‘World Teachers day’ and ‘Stars in Our School’ events which involve a whole school ballot, where the children are involved in voting for individual staff members to be nominated as a star in our school. When at the event, the Council debate topics with other school councilors from local schools.
In the summer term, our School Council short-lists books for our One Book One School project.
There is then a vote involving all of the children in our academy from Years 3 to 6. During a General Election year children are taught about the voting process through assemblies and current affairs teaching. We also teach children about special votes, for example The European Referendum.
The Rule of Law
As part of their moral development we teach the importance of Laws, whether they be the class, the school, or the country. These are consistently reinforced throughout regular school days, as well as when dealing with behaviour and through school assemblies. Pupils are taught the value and reasons behind laws - they are there to protect us, the responsibilities that this involves and the consequences when laws are broken. Visits from authorities such as the Police and Fire Service help reinforce this message through initiatives such as the Police Cadets. Individual Liberty within school - pupils 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 choices safely, through provision of a safe environment and empowering education. Pupils in Years 5 and 6 participate in the ‘Dot.com keeping Children Safe’ programme. Pupils are encouraged to know, understand and exercise their rights and these are promoted consistently through all aspects of the academy through our E-Safety and PSHE lessons. We reward expressions of moral insight and good behaviour through our academy behaviour policy and reward system. We also reinforce our academy’s values through images, posters and classroom displays.
Through PSHE and SMSC (Social, Moral, Spiritual and Cultural) experiences, children are taught about the law in the wider community. We have strong links with the local PCSO (Police Community Support Officer), who comes to the academy to talk to the children.
Individual Liberty & Mutual Respect
Children are actively encouraged to make choices, knowing that they are in a safe and supportive environment. Through our work we discuss different choices that the children can make and encourage them to make the right choices. Whether it is through choice of learning challenge, of how they record, of participation in our extra-curricular clubs and opportunities, pupils are given the freedom to make choices. We promote a growth mind-set in our children to develop their ability to look for positive ways to tackle challenges in work and in life. We learn about E-safety as a key part of the computing curriculum and the importance of making safe choices when online.
Mutual respect is at the heart of our values. Children learn that their behaviour has an effect on their own rights and those of others. All members of the school community treat each other with respect. Assemblies are regularly planned to address this either directly or through the inclusion of stories and celebrations from a variety of faiths and cultures. Our RE (Religious education), PSHE (Personal, Social, Health Education) and SMSC (Social, Moral, Spiritual and Cultural) teaching reinforces this. Members of different faiths or religions are encouraged to share their knowledge to enhance learning within classes and the school. Children visit places of worship that are important to different faiths. At our academy we will actively challenge pupils, staff or parents expressing opinions contrary to fundamental British Values, including ‘extremist’ views.
Tolerance of those of different faiths and beliefs
Grove is situated in an area which is culturally diverse, therefore we place a great emphasis on promoting this through our curriculum, day to day school life and during our ‘Good to be me’ celebration; this teaches our pupils about equality, diversity, tolerance and understanding.
On line Safety
Through the teaching of fundamental British Values, we actively promote children’s social development. We foster a sense of community through involvement in sports events, partnerships with the local church and supporting local charities and events.
This is also taught through:
- Encouraging children to work co-operatively; for example, paired and group work, the use of ‘chatty partners’ to promote discussion, play-ground leaders and school council.
- Providing positive cooperative experiences; for example, sporting events, Christmas and summer performances, and ‘Song bird’ and ‘Dance Extravaganza’ performances.
- Providing children with role models from their community; for example, visits from Firemen and Police Officers.
- Helping pupils to develop personal qualities which are valued in society; for example, thoughtfulness, honesty, respect, moral principles, independence and self-respect.
- Encouraging children to challenge appropriately using debate.
- Helping children to resolve tensions between themselves and others through adult support, PSHE, circle time discussions and assemblies.