Promoting British Values
The school actively promotes the fundamental values of democracy, the rule of law, individual liberty, mutual respect and tolerance with those of different faiths and beliefs. This goes beyond the “natural” areas of the curriculum and school life (R.E., instances of P.S.H.E., Collective Worship) and is visible and promoted throughout our systems and approaches.
Hearing children’s voices, encouraging them to share and reason their ways through ideas, is central to the school’s philosophy, guiding those voices to be confident without being dominant. This features in every lesson where children’s ideas and thoughts are valued and considered, correcting misunderstandings being a democratic element of teaching and learning. We have a School Council, whose members are elected by the children, which meets regularly to discuss issues raised by members of our community. The council has its own budget, is able to effect change within the school and even award prizes for valuable contributions to the well-being of children. Subject monitoring throughout the year regularly includes the collecting of the thoughts and views of the children. Changes directly affecting the children (for example the use of outside space for different activities, the selection process for a new headteacher for the school) are regular points for consultation with and the involvement of pupils.
Children have regular opportunities to select activities and efforts to individualise teaching and learning are driven by the democratic process of acknowledging each child’s entitlement to quality education.
Attention is invariably paid to the process of national elections when they occur.
The Rule of Law
The importance of laws, whether they be those that govern the class or school (our Golden Rules) or the country, are consistently re-enforced throughout the school day via the re-iteration of their benefits for the many via the creation of a positive, work-friendly, care-friendly environment. Pupils are taught the values of and reasons behind laws, that they govern and protect us, and that rights go hand-in-hand with responsibilities, consequences varying depending on whether good or poor choices are made. Restorative Justice is used throughout the school resulting in an increased awareness of others amongst the children. Visits by members of the police, fire service, ambulance/paramedic service and magistrates help children to view the importance of the wider rules of law within society beyond the school gates and see how they relate to those within them. The rules of fair play and team play are repeatedly emphasised throughout sports and play-based activities.
Within school, pupils are actively encouraged to make good, positive 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 the provision of an empowering education. Pupils are encouraged to voice their opinions in an organised manner in class and around the school and they are enabled to reflect on their learning, during lessons and pupil conferencing, on many occasions on a daily basis. Pupils are encouraged to know, understand and exercise their rights and personal freedoms and are advised as to how to articulate and express these safely: this includes online safety. As pupils move through the school, so their responsibilities and freedoms increase but we are careful to establish this balance right from a child’s first day in the school. Whether it be through making good choices in responding to learning challenges or through participation in one or more of our numerous extra-curricular opportunities, pupils are given the freedom to make choices.
Mutual respect is at the heart of both our British and our Christian values and informs our Restorative Justice system and our emphasis on good choices. Children learn that their behaviours and their good manners have an effect on their own rights, those of others and how they are treated and viewed by others. It is a constant aim that all members of the school community treat each other with respect and thoughtfulness and we promote the thought of putting others before ourselves. Pupils are aware that there is no distinction in the level of respect that they should show to different people. Visitors to the school, including those served by children at our regular Community Lunches, often comment on the level of respect shown to them, as do members of the public who encounter our children outside of the school premises: we take great pride in the children showing excellent manners to each other and to staff, parents, governors and (to the children) unknown adults and children.
Tolerance of Different Faiths and Beliefs
Tunstall is situated in an area which is not especially culturally diverse and, consequently, we place great emphasis on promoting diversity. Members of different faiths and cultures are encouraged to share their knowledge and skills in order further to enhance learning and children visit places of worship which are important to different faiths. Prejudice and prejudice-based bullying are actively discouraged.