In June 2014, The Prime Minister emphasised the important role that British values can play in education.
Cardwell School has always recognised the duty to promote pupils’ spiritual, moral, social and cultural (SMSC) development through values and ethos and as part of a broad and balanced curriculum. We act upon our duty to ‘actively promote’ the fundamental British values of democracy, the rule of law, individual liberty and mutual respect and tolerance.
We have embedded the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child (UNCRC) as part of our core values and children’s rights are integral to all aspects of school life.
British values are promoted in everything that we do, not least during our assemblies, Religious Education and PSHCE sessions. These values are integral to our long-standing ethos which reflects British values.
As well as actively promoting British values we actively challenge pupils, staff or parents expressing opinions contrary to fundamental British values, including ‘extremist’ views. This is in line with our Behaviour policy and the child protection policy.
The term ‘British values’ might be slightly misleading in that these values are integral to so many countries throughout the world – they differ in no way from the values of most western European countries, for example. Therefore we also refer to these values as ‘Universal and British Values’.
Being part of Britain
At Cardwell School, we value and celebrate our diverse heritage. We are proud to have been awarded with the Heritage award from Historic England in recognition of our 'commitment to embedding local heritage into the curriculum and encouraging young people to step into the story of where they live'.
We continue to encourage and teach children to 'develop a sense of pride in where they live', 'understand their local heritage and how it relates to the national story'.
Alongside this, we value and celebrate being part of Britain. In general terms, this means that we celebrate traditions, festivals, history and other relevant events and times.
Furthermore, children learn about being part of Britain from different specific perspectives.
Two specific examples of when we teach about being part of Britain are:
Our topics ensure that children have a better understanding of what Britain is, learning more about:
its capital cities and counties, its rivers and mountains
how ‘Great Britain’ differs from ‘England’ and ‘the United Kingdom’
where Britain is in relation to the rest of Europe and other countries in the world
Also, our topics look at different historic events in the history of Britain and how they have impacted our world view today.
The way we promote and follow British Values at school are outlined below.
Children, parents and staff have many opportunities for their voices to be heard at Cardwell. Democracy is central to how we operate.
- School Parliament
- Team London Young Leaders
- Anti-bullying Ambassadors
- Playground Buddies
- Sports Leaders
- School Nutrition Action Group
- Children agree their ‘Class Charter’ and the rights associated with these; all children contribute to the drawing up of the charter.
- Children have the opportunity to nominate and vote for others to receive a certificate for great learning or choices, children are also asked to respond and reflect on the teaching and learning.
- Children nominate various charities, then within their own class, select two to go forward to the School Council, who then vote to decide which charities to support.
Pupils are always listened to by adults and are taught to listen carefully and with concern to each other, respecting the right of every individual to have their opinions and voices heard. All Cardwell pupils feel listened to and we ensure their views and opinions are given equal importance.
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.
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 PSHCE lessons.
We also hold regular weeks that promote and ensure an understanding of rights, individual liberty and individual responsibility e.g NSPCC course, Anti-Bullying week, Cyber-Safety for children and adults and others.
Mutual respect and tolerance of those with different faiths and beliefs
Cardwell School is located in an area which is greatly culturally diverse and we are proud to promote and celebrate our different backgrounds and beliefs. Mutual respect is at the heart of our ethos.
Our pupils know and understand that it is expected and imperative that respect is shown to everyone and everything, whatever differences we may have, whether it is a school resource or a religious belief. 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.
Specific examples of how we at Cardwell School enhance pupil's understanding and respect for different faiths and beliefs include:
Religious Education, PSHCE and other lessons where we might develop awareness and appreciation of other cultures - in English through fiction and in Art by considering culture from other parts of the world
Anti-Bullying Week - standing up to bullying and empowering themselves
Enjoying a depth of study during 'Community Themed Weeks', where sometimes we will celebrate and enjoy learning about the differences in countries and cultures around the word (whilst at other times we might consider groups or individuals who might be vulnerable in some way, such as those with mental health issues).
Belief in the ‘Rule of Law’
From the youngest age pupils are taught about consistent, fair rules and boundaries that guide our behaviour and choices. This is then furthered through a restorative approach to sanctions. Cardwell pupils are taught the responsibility that goes with the rule of law and their equality under it in the following ways:
Visits from authorities such as the police and fire service
Through our work on UNICEF’s Rights Respecting School – the right to and education etc.
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
During school visits to places of interests where other rules operate – e.g. on public transport etc.