At Bardwell School we value the diverse ethnic backgrounds of all pupils and families within our community and undertake a variety of events and lessons to celebrate these. We have found this approach to be enriching for all parties as it teaches tolerance and respect for the differences in our community and the wider world. We are a values-based school and believe that the values established by our school, along with specific aspects of our approach as a school, promote British Values within our pupils and throughout our community.
British Values are defined into four areas:
- The Rule of Law
- Individual Liberty
- Mutual respect and tolerance of those with different faiths, beliefs and for those without faith
To ensure our school promotes the values above we have undertaken an exercise to analyse what we do, the aims of our actions and the evidence of our actions as seen in our pupils’ actions. The findings can be found below:
Democracy, Our Approach:
Bardwell Voice (our student council) is elected through a democratic process. Pupils nominate themselves and produce a short video explaining what they would hope to achieve on the council and why their peers should vote for them. Each class has a week to watch the nominations, then place their vote on ‘Voting Day’. The elected members continually reflect that they were voted for and are representatives of their peers.
Younger children in the school, and those working at an earlier level of development work on choice making skills, a prerequisite to fully grasping the democratic process, but crucial to having a voice, even on everyday matters – our inclusive approach ensures all pupils understand the importance of individual choice and respecting each other’s choices.
Older classes take on much more ownership both of their individual learning and whole class decisions. By promoting their own voice in their pathway, this helps the students to recognise the importance of their view both on matters personal to them and those to the wider community. Whole class decisions include selecting the venue for residential trips and voting on activities to complete.
There are several other incidental opportunities where each pupil contributes to class decisions, each one providing an opportunity for them to learn the importance of their voice and opinion, and also to respect the views of others and ultimately the importance of the democratic process.
Every day we see examples of our pupils understanding the importance of their own and their peers’ voices. Examples range from a peer offering a friend with early communication skills a choice of snack, to a group of friends deciding what game to play. In our secondary school and post-16 classes we observe pupils regularly negotiating options and accepting informal democracy they have established.
Bardwell Voice is an increasingly strong body within the school. It is clear from the nomination videos, through to committee meeting and actions, that the members understand the democratic principles under which they were elected, along with the role they have undertaken to represent their peers.
The Rule of Law, Our Approach:
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 and through school collective worship.
Extensive induction and ongoing training ensures our whole school team understands how to establish and communicate boundaries for our pupils to enable them to develop appropriate behaviours and conduct, understanding these are what are valued.
Not all pupils at Bardwell School will understand the ‘Rule of Law’, but those that do have the ability to learn further about the importance of living within the law through our PSHE curriculum. 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.
The Rule of Law, Evidence:
Due to our consistent approach pupils understand expectations and boundaries within school.
Individual Liberty, Our Approach:
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 safely, through our provision of a safe environment and 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 E-Safety and PSHE lessons.
Mutual respect and tolerance of those with different faiths, beliefs and for those without faith, Our Approach:
Mutual respect is modelled in the relationships between staff and pupils and realised in our pupils’ relationships with each other. Pupils respect their peers of all abilities, personalities and backgrounds.
As indicated above, mutual respect is primarily taught informally throughout lesson and free time. When appropriate the opportunity is taken to discuss solutions to difficulties individuals may face throughout the day.
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 and celebrate their knowledge to enhance learning within classes and the school.
Mutual respect and tolerance of those with different faiths, beliefs and for those without faith, Evidence:
There is an abundance of evidence in every classroom at Bardwell School. Mutual respect of peers of all abilities is apparent constantly in interactions and friendships.