These are the Values our pupils felt represented our school the best. We chose our most popular to be our Moss Park Infant School Values (September 2017).
In 2014, the DfE produced guidance for maintained schools on actively promoting British values as part of the requirement to provide for the Social, Moral, Spiritual and Cultural development of their pupils. The guidance says that schools should 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. At Moss Park Infant School we believe that the work done across the school to promote those values in all aspects of school life shows our commitment to:
“Equip pupils with the skills and values they need to form positive relationships based on equality and mutual respect.”
Children, parents and staff have many opportunities for their voices to be heard at Moss Park Infant School. Democracy is central to how we operate. We solicit the views of parents via our parent questionnaire, termly Feedback sheets and informally via termly parent partnership meetings. The election of the School Council members reflects our British electoral system and demonstrates democracy in action: candidates make speeches, pupils consider characteristics important for an elected representative, pupils vote in secret using ballot boxes. Made up of two representatives from each class, the School Council meets regularly to discuss issues raised by the different classes. The council has a huge part in deciding the direction of the school and ensuring that we operate a true and reflective rights respecting ethos. The school council is able to genuinely effect change within the school.
The School Council are actively involved in providing teachers with feedback, such as when they conduct Learning Environment Walks. They meet with local councillors and organise for our local MP, Kate Green, to visit school. Other examples of learning about democracy are:
- Children agree their Class Code of Conduct and the rights associated with these
- The curriculum in History discusses how democracy evolved in different cultures such as Women at War and Children's rights.
- The School leaders and curriculum leaders uses their feedback to improve the school - examples of this are with the shaping and development of curriculum intent and future planning.
Rules and Laws
The importance of rules and laws, whether they be those that govern our school or our country, are referred to and reinforced often, such as in assemblies and when reflecting on behaviour choices. At the start of the school year, each class discusses and sets its own Code of Conduct, a set of principles that are clearly understood by all and seen to be necessary to ensure that every class member is able to learn in a safe and ordered environment. 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. These values are reinforced in different ways:
- Visits from authorities such as the police and fire service
- During Religious Education, when rules for particular faiths are thought about
- During other school subjects, where there is respect and appreciation for different rules – in a sports lesson, for example
- Our pupils have visits to school where children participate in the different cultures, beliefs and traditions taking part in celebration days that reflect on the values we can learn from many different faiths
Alongside rules and laws, we promote freedom of choice and the right to respectfully express views and beliefs. Through the provision of a safe, supportive environment and empowering education, we provide boundaries for our young pupils to make choices safely; for example:
- Choices about their topic for a half term per year
- Choices around the participation in extra-curricular activities
- Our pupils are encouraged to know, understand and exercise their rights and personal freedoms and are taught how to exercise these safely, such as in our e-safety and RSHE lessons
Mutual Respect and Tolerance of different beliefs and faiths
Moss Park Infant School is in culturally diverse and we are proud to promote and celebrate our different backgrounds and beliefs – “All Different, All Equal”. Our pupils know and understand that it is expected and imperative that respect is shown to everyone, whatever differences we may have, and to everything, whether it is a school resource, a religious belief or tradition. This is part of our Behaviour, rights respecting and SMSC policies. Children learn that their behaviour choices have an effect on their own rights and those of others. All members of the school community should treat each other with respect. "We are a rights respecting school"
Specific examples of how we enhance pupils understanding and respect for different faiths and beliefs are:
- Through Religious Education, RSHE and other lessons where we develop awareness and appreciation of other cultures
- In other subjects such as English through exploring stories from other cultures and in Art by considering cultural traditions from other parts of the world
- Through our special themed weeks such as Diwali, Chinese New Year and Diversity
- Discussing discrimination during Anti- Bullying Week and via our schools "Rights respecting ethos and values"
- Through our programme of collective worship and assemblies where we celebrate the values that unite us and enjoy learning about the similarities and differences in countries and cultures around the word
Sadly, no school can guarantee that there will never be instances which are contrary to this value. At Moss Park Infants School, such instances are extremely rare. They are treated seriously in line with our Behaviour and Anti-Bullying Policies.
The Prevent Duty
Schools are subject to a duty (Section 26, Counter-Terrorism and Security Act 2015) to have “due regard to the need to prevent people from being drawn into terrorism”. This duty is known as the Prevent duty. Every single member of our staff has undergone the PREVENT online training and we have included the reporting of potential extreme behaviour within our safeguarding procedures. The Acting Deputy Headteachers Mrs Russell and Mr Carver ensure that all staff and adults working with the school and it's supporting community have up to date and relevant PREVENT training. The link Governor for PREVENT is Laura Byrne.
Something which is clearly not part of any British or European value is extremism. It is important to remember that whilst the threat from so-called Islamic State has been a focus in the Counter Terrorism and Security Act, the Prevent Duty is clear that extremism of all kinds should be tackled too. In England, far right groups such as Britain First and the English Defence League need to be tackled, too. Extremism is not a new topic in education, but schools have a relatively new statutory duty to pay “due regard to the need to prevent people from being drawn into terrorism”.