British Values play an important role in our children's education and how well we promote such values is a key aspect of OFSTED's inspection process. British Values are promoted in so much of what we do, not least during our school assemblies, Religious Education and Personal, Social, Health & Economic (PSHE) sessions.
As well as actively promoting British Values, the opposite also applies: we would actively challenge pupils, staff or parents expressing opinions contrary to fundamental British Values, including ‘extremist’ views.
The term ‘British Values’ might be slightly misleading in that these values are integral to so many countries throughout the world – they differ in no way from the values of most western European countries, for example.
Below are just a few examples of how we promote British values.
1 - Being Part of Britain
As a school, we value and celebrate the diverse heritages of everybody at Bodriggy Academy. Alongside this, we value and celebrate being part of Cornwall and Britain. In general terms, this means that we celebrate local traditions such as St Piran's Day, national traditions such as Remembrance Day during the Autumn term, the occasional trip to a pantomime around Christmas time and Chinese New Year to name just a few!
2 - Democracy
Children, parents and staff have many opportunities for their voices to be heard at Bodriggy Academy. Democracy is central to how we operate.
An obvious example is our School Council. The election of the School Council members reflects our British electoral system and demonstrates democracy in action: candidates make speeches, pupils consider characteristics important for an elected representative, pupils vote in secret using ballot boxes etc. Made up of two representatives from each class, the School Council meets regularly to discuss issues raised by the different classes. The council has its own budget and is able to genuinely effect change within the school. The Council are actively involved in recruitment and in providing teachers with feedback, such as providing a review of themed weeks.
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. We encourage pupils to take ownership of not only their school but also of their own learning and progress. This encourages a heightened sense of both personal and social responsibility and is demonstrated on a daily basis by our pupils.
3 - Rules and Law
The importance of rules and laws, whether they be those that govern our school or our country, are referred to and reinforced often, such as in assemblies and when reflecting on behaviour choices. At the start of the school year, each class discusses and sets its own Class Rules; a set of principles 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.
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. These values are reinforced in different ways:
- Visits from authorities such as the police, fire service and life guards.
- During Religious Education, when rules for particular faiths are thought about.
- During other school subjects, where there is respect and appreciation for different rules – in a sports lesson, for example.
4 - Liberty
Alongside rules and laws, we promote freedom of choice and the right to respectfully express views and beliefs. Through the provision of a safe, supportive environment and empowering education, we provide boundaries for our young pupils to make choices safely, for example:
- Choices about what learning challenge or activity.
- Choices about how they record their learning.
- Choices around the participation in extra-curricular activities.
Our pupils are encouraged to know, understand and exercise their rights and personal freedoms and are taught how to exercise these safely, such as in our eSafety and PSHE sessions.
5 - Mutual Respect and Tolerance
Our pupils know and understand that it is expected and imperative that respect is shown to everyone, whatever differences we may have, and to everything, whether it is a school resource, a religious belief or whatever. Children learn that their behaviour choices have an effect on their own rights and those of others. All members of the school community should treat each other with respect.
Specific examples of how we enhance pupils understanding and respect for different faiths and beliefs are:
- Through Religious Education, PSHE and other lessons where we might develop awareness and appreciation of other cultures – in English through fiction and in Art by considering culture from other parts of the world, for example.
- Enjoying a depth of study during community themed weeks, where sometimes we will celebrate and enjoy learning about the differences in countries and cultures around the world (whilst at other times we might consider groups or individuals who might be vulnerable in some way, such as those with mental health issues)
6 - Extremism
Something which is clearly not part of any British or European value is extremism. As a school, we understand our duty to "pay due regard to the need to prevent people from being drawn into terrorism” in our curriculum. This duty is covered by Section 26 of the Counter-Terrorism and Security Act 2015 and is known as the Prevent duty.
For more information, please refer to our Extremism and Radicalisation Policy on the School Policies page.