Promoting Values at WJA
The DfE have 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 WJA, our ethos revolves around Core Values, the Core Values of all communities; such as Passion, Urgency, Positivity, Aspiration, Commitment, Respect, Responsibility, Love, Unity, Humility, Happiness, Co-operation, Tolerance, Honesty, Peace and Freedom. These are taught through all we do at school and particularly during assemblies and times when we are all together and can learn from each other.
The Core Values determined by the DfE are:
Democracy: Democracy is rife within our school. Pupils have the opportunity to have their voices heard through our Pupil Council, Pupil Advocates, in the classroom (particularly in debates) and Pupil questionnaires. The elections of representatives on the School Council and RRS, are based solely on pupil votes. Our Pupil Advocate positions, although the final decision is left with the Senior Leadership Team, our children take the first votes and write the references. Additionally, they also asked for water fountains in each classroom, lighting in the hall and a Trim Trail in KS2 playground. These improvements to the school and rewards have happened.
The Rule of Law: The importance of Laws, whether they be those that govern the class, the school, or the country, are consistently reinforced throughout regular school days, as well as when dealing with behaviour, through school assemblies and PSHCE. 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. Visits from authorities such as the Police; Fire Service; local MPs etc. are regular parts of our calendar and help reinforce this message.
Individual Liberty: Within school, 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 choices safety, through provision of a safe environment and empowering education. Pupils are encouraged to know, understand and exercise their rights and personal freedoms and advise how to exercise these safely, for example through our E-Safety and PSHE lessons. Whether it be through choice of challenge of how they record, of participation in our numerous extra-curricular clubs and opportunities; pupils are given the freedom to make choices.
Mutual Respect: Part of our school ethos and behaviour policy has revolved around Core Values such as ‘Respect’, and pupils have been part of discussions and assemblies related to what this means and how it is shown. RRS posters around the school promote respect for others and this is reiterated through our classroom and learning rules, as well as our behaviour policy.
Tolerance of those of Different Faiths and Beliefs: This is achieved through enhancing pupils understanding of their place in a culturally diverse society and by giving them opportunities to experience such diversity. Assemblies and discussions involving prejudices and prejudice-based bullying have been followed and supported by learning in RE and PSHE. Members of different faiths or religions are encouraged to share their knowledge to enhance learning within classes and the school.
Rights Respecting which is embedded within our ethos and Curriculum. Our planning follows a two year cycle which consists of 12 key values which we believe are important for the children to learn about. These are linked to a variety of situations which affect themselves in school, at home, in their communities and worldwide. They give the children the opportunity to develop their knowledge of how they can make a difference to others and how everyone is entitled to their rights, explaining how this impacts on our lives.