Promoting British values at GSSC

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.

The government set out its definition of British values in the 2011 prevent strategy and these values have been reiterated in 2014. https://www.gov.uk/government/news/guidance-on-promoting-british-values-in-schools-published.  To ensure young people leave school prepared for life in modern Britain.

GSSC will ‘actively 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. Pupils will learn to ‘respect’ these values, and the school will have a clear strategy for embedding these values through the spiritual, moral, social and cultural development of pupils and ensure pupils become valuable and fully rounded members of society who treat others with respect and tolerance, regardless of background”.   This will ensure that pupils understand the importance of respect and leave school fully prepared for life in modern Britain.

Pupils will gain understanding and knowledge about

  • how citizens can influence decision-making through the democratic process
  • that the freedom to hold other faiths and beliefs is protected in law
  • an acceptance of people having different faiths or beliefs to oneself (or having none) should be accepted and tolerated, and should not be the cause of prejudicial or discriminatory behaviour
  • the importance of identifying and combatting discrimination

GSSC will promote British values in the following areas

  • We will ensure all pupils within the school have a voice that is listened to, and demonstrate how democracy works by actively promoting democratic processes such as a school council whose members are voted for by the pupils
  • We will use opportunities such as elections both general and local to hold mock elections to promote fundamental British values and provide pupils with the opportunity to learn how to argue and defend points of view
  • We will implement extra-curricular activity, including any run directly by pupils, in promoting fundamental British values
  • We will include in suitable parts of the curriculum – differentiating for the pupils – material on the strengths, advantages and disadvantages of democracy, and how democracy and the law works in Britain, in contrast to other forms of government in other countries

At GSSC these values are actively promoted and reinforced regularly in the following ways

Democracy

We believe at GSSC that the ability to communicate is fundamental to a basic quality of life. We have a policy of total communication, where every student’s communication skills are recognised and valued, and developed as an integral part of their education. Pupils are given real choices in their daily life and are encouraged to reflect on and evaluate their learning experiences.

We have a student council, members of which are voted on by their peers, which meets weekly to discuss issues raised by staff and pupils. The council takes part in interviewing and selecting school staff, and is genuinely able to effect change.

The rule of law

The importance of laws whether they be those that govern the class, the school, or the country are consistently reinforced at GSSC.

Pupils are taught explicitly and at their level, the rules of the school and where appropriate, the reasons behind them – especially where they keep us safe. Pupils are also taught about their own responsibility in keeping these rules and where appropriate, to understand the consequences.

Visits from authorities such as the police and Fire service help reinforce this message.

Individual liberty

Pupils are actively encouraged to make choices knowing they are in a safe and supportive environment. As a school we educate and provide boundaries for young people to make choices safely through 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 e.g. through e-safety, and PSHE – whether it be through choices of learning pathways, how they record their work, or participation in numerous extra-curricular activities, pupils are given the freedom to make choices.

Mutual respect

Mutual respect is at the heart of the values of GSSC. Pupils learn that their behaviours have an effect on themselves and others. All members of the school community treat each other with respect.

Tolerance of those of different faiths and beliefs

We actively promote diversity through our celebrations of different faiths and cultures. Assemblies, PSHE and RE lessons reinforce this, including the use of stories and celebrations from a variety of faiths and cultures.

Members of different faiths are encouraged to share their experiences and beliefs to enhance learning. The children visit places of worship that are important to different faiths.

At GSSC we value the ethnic backgrounds of all pupils and their families and undertake a variety of events and learning experiences to celebrate these.

Our curriculum themes support the teaching of British values throughout the school.

The school undertakes daily assemblies which uphold traditional values of empathy, respect and tolerance. This is also supported in the teaching of PSHE and SMSC opportunities.