The Department for Education has 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 have been reiterated annually since.
At Belmont we promote these values in the following ways:
At the beginning of each year pupils affirm the school’s expectations outlined in our code of conduct. This also informs the creation of a class code of conduct which is negotiated in every classroom on the first day of the academic year and revisited each new term. Pupils are encouraged to think about their rights and responsibilities associated with these agreements.
The Belmont Parliament is made up of elected members from each class in KS1 and KS2. Members are voted in each year by their peers. Pupils write a statement to support their proposal to be their class representative and an election is held to select the preferred candidate. Pupils have the opportunity to cast their votes at the school polling station and this is staffed by the pupils. It is widely understood that a place on Belmont Parliament comes with the responsibility of representing their peers’ needs and interests.
We encourage children to be leaders throughout the school and the roles of House Captains and Vice Captains, Sports Captain and Music Captain are roles to which pupils can aspire. Captains play an important role in promoting positive behaviour and contributing to the organisation of school events and activities. Pupils from Key Stage 2 can apply to be play leaders at lunch and play times in Key Stage 1. They have specific timeslots during which they are on duty and are responsible for encouraging all children to take part at playtime, for example by inviting them into games. Year 6 pupils also undertake a number of monitor duties before and during the school day.
Democracy is taught during assemblies and during class-based PSHE sessions. Pupils also have the opportunity to express their views in school through an annual pupil questionnaire.
The Rule of Law
Positive behaviour and pupil safety at Belmont is a core priority. Pupils clearly understand the rules of the school, why these are so important, and what the consequences are if they do not follow them. We also have a Playground Charter that all pupils have signed to show their commitment to playing cooperatively and safely. At Belmont, we encourage our pupils to see the school as a ‘min-version of society.’ This prepares them for life in the wider world.
At Belmont we ensure pupils recognise the importance of rights and responsibilities. Pupils are encouraged to manage their own relationships and use taught strategies to do so. We want all children in our school to be resilient and independent. Through whole school approaches to conflict resolution such as the use of TAG and restorative approaches, we enable pupils to develop the language and strategies to solve conflict and right wrongs.
We also have a close working relationship with the local community police who attend assemblies and deliver sessions to classes. Our Junior Road Safety Officers also work closely with the LA to encourage families to adhere to the rules of the road around our school.
At Belmont, 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 informed choices, through a safe environment and an empowering education. Pupils are encouraged to know, understand and exercise their rights and personal freedoms and advised how to exercise these safely, for example through our eSafety and PSHE lessons.
Respect is one of our school’s core values and a learning goal linked to our International Primary Curriculum. The core values and eight learning goals are actively taught and permeate all we do. Assemblies teach the importance of respect for self and others. Pupils demonstrate their respect for each other and their respective achievements through our weekly celebration and half term achiever awards.
Tolerance of those of Different Faiths and Beliefs
Belmont reflects our culturally diverse society. As such, we provide opportunities for pupils to experience such diversity. We use London as a powerful resource to enrich pupils’ learning experiences whenever possible. Our whole-school assemblies are used to celebrate and learn about the numerous religious festivals that happen throughout the school year. Through our International Primary Curriculum, pupils experience influences from all over the world in their classrooms. Every class is named after a different country and each class studies the country they are named after on the first few weeks of term. Our core values ensure children develop respect for the person; developing strong and lasting relationships that enable the community to be strong and cohesive