British Values, Tackling Radicalisation & SMSC
The Department of Education 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 Prevent Strategy.
At Coppice Valley these values are taught and reinforced regularly as part of our curriculum.
Children are actively encouraged to have a voice and share their views and opinions regularly. As part of our Coppice 50 experiences, pupils learn to take part in politics. Pupil Voice is sought on a range of subjects including the curriculum, our environment and behaviour. Our curriculum supports learning about democracy through learning programmes such as Urban Pioneers which allows children to explore changes they would make to the built environment. All children also complete an annual questionnaire which provides them with the opportunity to share their views of their time in school and suggest ways in which the school could be improved further. Governors also talk regularly to children to establish their views as a way of ensuring that school self-evaluation is robust and accurate, and therefore effective in moving the school forward.
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 the school day and through school assemblies. Children 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 e.g. in topics on Romans. Our schools rules, which are displayed all around school, are referred to regularly. In RE lessons, the difference between religious law and the law of the country are discussed.
Within school, children are actively encouraged to make decisions and choices, knowing that they are in a safe and supportive environment. As a school we provide opportunities for young children to take risks and make choices safely. Children 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. Whether it be through choice of learning challenge, how they record their learning, participation in one of our extra-curricular clubs and opportunities, children are given the freedom to make choices and decisions.
As our school values, “Respect, Pride and Choice” indicates, mutual respect is at the heart of our values. Children learn that their behaviour has an effect on themselves and those of others. All members of the school community treat each other with respect.
Tolerance of Those of Different Faiths and Beliefs
Coppice Valley is situated in an area which is not very culturally diverse, therefore it is important we explore diversity with the children, so they more than just tolerate those who are different to themselves, but are understanding and respectful. Our curriculum texts reflect a range of diversity. Assemblies regularly include stories and celebrations from a variety of beliefs, countries, faiths and cultures beyond our children’s experiences. Our RE and PSHE teaching reinforces this.
We will actively challenge children, staff or parents expressing opinions contrary to fundamental British Values, including those expressing extremist and radical views.
THE ROLE OF THE CURRICULUM
Our curriculum promotes respect, tolerance and appreciation of diversity through the pedagogical approach of Cornerstones: engage develop, innovate and express. Children are encouraged to express themselves through discussions, debates and consultations. Links to SMSC & FBV are made in all Cornerstones units so learning is contextualised rather than being "bolt-on".
The RE (Religious Education) and PSHE (Personal, Social and Health Education) curriculums also provide meaningful material for SMSC & FBV teaching and learning.
Results of the Parent Consultation about Life in Modern Britain
We asked you to tell us what values you think are important for your children to learn, to prepare them for life in modern Britain. We had over forty responses which revealed some overwhelmingly common themes, which we have collated below.
Respect and compassion for diversity (other people and cultures); an awareness of why people have different beliefs/lifestyles/capabilities
Financial responsibility and awareness of the value of money
Family and traditional values
Having a good work ethic
To have a sense of community spirit and environmental awareness
Manners and courtesy
Importance of building good relationships and friendships; kindness and selflessness
To be proud of their country and learn the national anthem
We agree that these are important values that our children should be taught, at school and at home. In addition, the importance of democracy and the rule of law will be promoted.
These values for Life in Modern Britain fit perfectly with our “Respect, Pride, Choice” values and our school curriculum e.g. in Personal, Social, Citizenship and Health Education (PSHCE), Religious Education and our Spiritual, Moral, Social and Cultural Education (SMSC). We will also endeavour to make links to these values whenever possible, in our everyday interactions with the children. Our extra-curricular clubs (gardening, drama etc.) and curriculum enhancement activities of the Coppice 50 (Fair Trade Work, Green Tree School, School Council, charity events etc.) provide further opportunities for the children to learn about these values
PREVENTING RADICALISATION AND EXTREMISM
Please see these websites for more information on preventing radicalisation and extremism
Radicalisation is defined as the act or process of making a person more radical or favouring of extreme or fundamental changes in political, economic or social conditions, institutions or habits of the mind.
Extremism is defined as the holding of extreme political or religious views.
The Governing Body of Coppice Valley has a zero tolerance approach to extremist behaviour for all school community members. We rely on our strong values and ethos to steer our work and ensure the pastoral care of our children protects them from exposure to negative influences. Coppice Valley is fully committed to safeguarding and promoting the welfare of all its children. As a school we recognise that safeguarding against radicalisation is no different from safeguarding against any other vulnerability. All staff are expected to uphold and promote the fundamental principles of British values, including democracy, the rule of law, individual liberty and mutual respect, and tolerance of those with different faiths and beliefs.
Children are encouraged to adopt our values, “Respect, Pride, Choice”. This complements the key British Values of tolerance, respect, understanding, compassion and harmonious living.
Children are helped to understand the importance of democracy and freedom of speech.
Children are taught how to keep themselves safe in a range of situations.
Children’s wellbeing, confidence and resilience are promoted through our planned curriculum and extra-curricular learning opportunities.
Children are supported in making good choices from a very young age, so they understand the impact and consequences of their actions on others.
Although serious incidents involving radicalisation have not occurred at Coppice Valley to date, it is important for us to be constantly vigilant and remain fully informed about the issues which affect the region in which we teach. Staff are reminded to suspend any professional disbelief that instances of radicalisation ‘could not happen here’ and to refer any concerns through the Child Protection/ Safeguarding Lead Teachers.