The DfE recently 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’’
At Mytham we understand the importance of such values. They are integral to the curriculum experience, are core life skills and are embedded in our daily practice. These values are not unique to Britain and are the values of different countries and cultures represented by all our families at Mytham.
Below are just a few examples of how we promote British values.
We plan opportunities for children, parents and staff to contribute to and express their views ensuring their opinions are heard.
We have a Parent Forum which meets one per half term at Friday Coffee Mornings. We consult with parents about new initiative and listen to their views around issues that are concerning them.
We have a Governor in attendance and they make sure that any issues are relayed to the Governing body to be addressed.
Our most important Democratic process however is Young Leaders. We have 2 representatives from each year group. They attend a weekly meeting with a member of the Senior Leadership Team. They discuss all sort of topics and give the adults very useful feedback about how we run the school!
The Young Leaders apply for the post, have to prepare a speech for their fellow pupils and are voted for by their peers. They are in post for 9 months. The key aspect in terms of democracy is that they are the voice of their peers. They are very often asked to go back to classes and discuss issues such as homework, uniform, Snacks, Sports day and the curriculum. They bring a balanced viewpoint from their peers back to the Young leader meeting and hence the democratic process evolves. We are very proud of our Young Leaders and they are well respected amongst their peers.
Bi-annually the entire staff, representatives from governing Board, young leaders and parents meet to revisit our schools Vision, Values and key developments. The next day will revisit our core values linked with British Values and we will then ensure that these underpin all our work going forward,
In addition we ask parents annually to complete a questionnaire and we values their feedback about how we run the school and their thoughts on initiatives that have run during the year. Last year this was the Spelling Bee competition, Sports Day and new Behaviour procedures. The results are collated and shared with parents via the school newsletter.
We constantly strive to maintain an open door approachable policy with members of the SLT carrying out gate duty daily, strengthening positive relationships and encouraging discussion with our parents and carers.
The importance of Laws, whether they be those that govern the class, the school or the country, are consistently reinforced throughout the school day, following our behaviour policy.
Our behaviour policy is based on positivity and conforming to the school rules. Pupils are rewarded for doing the right thing in many ways. Of course there are also sanctions in place for not following the rules just as there are in wider society.
In addition there are many ways that children are rewarded for demonstrating a positive attitude and supporting the schools values.
Our experienced team support our most vulnerable of children in making the right choices, providing care, nurture, boundaries and extra- curricular activities. Visits from authorities such as the Police and Fire service help reinforce this message. We are particularly keen to reduce anti-social behaviour in the local community as this is an on-going issue. We are currently engaged in an arts project with other Little lever schools to promote the message of ’Little Lever Children Love Little Lever’ .We want our children to understand the impact that anti-social behaviour can have on the lives of residents.
Children are actively encouraged to make choices, knowing that they are in a safe and supportive environment. As a school we educate and provide clear boundaries for our children to make choices safely, through provision of a safe environment and an enriched curriculum. Children are encouraged to know, understand and exercise their rights and personal freedoms and advised on how to exercise these safely, for example through our Online -Safety and PSHE/SMSC lessons. Our Forest School (Y2 pupils) goes from strength to strength and is a perfect opportunity for encouraging team work, problem solving, resilience and many more values. Whether it be through choice of a learning challenge, choice of learning style or how they record, of participation in our wide range of extra-curricular clubs and opportunities, or pupil organized and run charity events such as the Mytham markets we hold, pupils are given the freedom to make choices.
Mutual respect is at the heart of our values and we are proud to promote and celebrate our different backgrounds and beliefs.
We have a termly RESPECT week and in the past have had many themes; Disability, faith, culture, adults and children’s rights.
All are underpinned by our values work and have a strong link to ‘Rights and Responsibilities’
Children learn that their behaviours have an effect on their own rights and those of others; they know and understand that everyone is expected to demonstrate tolerance and mutual respect. Again there is a strong link with our behaviour policy and school values.
At Mytham we strive to enhance our children’s tolerance of their place in a culturally diverse and ever changing society and plan opportunities through PSHE/SMSC, RE and assemblies.
The whole school including parents, staff and pupils sign an annual ‘home school agreement ‘. Amongst other thing everyone commits to supporting our values.
Our school badge, designed by pupils, reflects our diverse community. It is worn proudly on every child’s uniform and is emblazoned over the school entrance
Our motto.. ‘Mytham, more than just a school’ celebrates the fact that everyone who works and learns here knows that the school is far more than a place of learning. We also strive to enable our children to be a good British citizen and develop strong life skills which enable them to have a full and rounded life.
We are proud to have an outstanding link with a school in Zambia and have had 3 successful Reciprocal visits. We have a blossoming link with a local school with a very different ethnic background and children from both schools are experiencing joint activities and learning a great deal about their respective culture and faith.
Actively promoting British Values also means challenging children, staff or parents expressing opinions contrary to fundamental British Values. Any such incident is treated seriously in line with our expectations and policies.