The Department for Education state that there is a 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.” Here at Willow Tree Primary we are dedicated to promoting British Values and to ensure we prepare our pupils to be global citizens of the future.
Democracy is embedded at the school. 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. Pupils also have the opportunity to air their opinions and ideas through our active School Council and regular questionnaires. The elections of the School Council members are based solely on pupil votes, reflecting our British electoral system and demonstrating democracy in action. Year 6 also have the opportunity to apply for prefect positions. They are required to complete an application form and have it signed by another peer to act as a character witness for the job.
The importance of laws whether they are those that govern the class, the school or the country, are consistently reinforced. Our school has ‘Golden Rules’, which are deeply embedded in our work every day. Each class also discusses and sets its own rules that are clearly understood by all and seen to be necessary to ensure that every class member is able to learn in a safe and ordered environment. Our 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. As a school we also have 8 core values which have been agreed and shared with pupils, parents, staff and Governors. The values are: respectful, resilience, adaptable, co-operation, communication, morality, enquiry and thoughtful. The values are embedded through everyday life in school.
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 our pupils to make choices safely, through the provision of a safe environment and an empowering education. Our pupils are encouraged to know, understand and exercise their rights and responsibilities and personal freedoms and are advised how to exercise these safely; examples of this can be clearly seen during esafety week, anti-bullying week and through PSCHE lessons. Whether it is through choice of challenge; of how they record; of participation in our numerous extra- curricular activities; our pupils are given the freedom to make choices. Pupils’ are encouraged to express their own thoughts and feelings but are also made aware that their view may not impinge on that of others.
Respect is one of the core values of our school. Our pupils were fully involved in the creation of our school ‘mission statement’ along with staff and governors and it is deeply embedded in all that we do at the school. The pupils know and understand that it is expected and imperative that respect is shown to everyone, whatever differences we may have and to everything, however big or small. The core value of respect underpins our work every day both in and out of the classroom.
Willow Tree Primary is proud of the community it serves. We actively promote diversity through our celebrations of different faiths and cultures. Through the International Primary Curriculum, RE and PSHE, we reinforce messages of tolerance and respect for others. Members of different faiths and religions are encouraged to share their knowledge and as part of our curriculum, pupils visit places of worship within the locality.