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 by the Prime Minister. At St Michael’s Pre-school these values are reinforced regularly. Below are some examples of how we do this:
We regularly seek the children’s views concerning activities, interests and play opportunities and use these to inform our planning. We value the views of our parents and provide opportunities for them to express these both formally using questionnaires and informally, for example, during day to day conversations. We teach our children to appreciate that the feelings and views of others are important and our behaviour policy and day to day practice reflects this.
The Rule of Law:
We make clear our high expectations of children and consistently reinforce this by praising appropriate behaviour and actions, positive role modelling and providing opportunities for children to explore and discuss what is right and wrong. Children are taught the value and reasons behind our rules, that they are there to protect everyone, that adults and children are equally responsible and that there are consequences when rules are broken.
Our children are actively encouraged to make choices and be independent, knowing that they are in a safe and supportive environment. We educate and provide boundaries for young children to make choices safely, through our provision of a safe environment and empowering teaching. Children are encouraged to know, understand and exercise their rights and personal freedoms: children understand that they can say ‘no’.
We place great emphasis on teaching our children the value of respecting each other. We do this by providing a safe and caring environment where children learn the importance of caring, sharing and listening to others. We use circle time discussion to help children to understand respect by talking about how actions and words can affect others. Adults in the setting are ever mindful to model respectful behaviour to further support the children’s understanding and development.
Tolerance of those of Different Faiths and Beliefs:
We aim to enhance children’s understanding of different faiths and beliefs by planning activities and opportunities for children find out about and explore aspects of the different cultural and religious festivals. We encourage our families to share their beliefs with the children so as to ensure that experiences are first hand and authentic. We are mindful to help the children not only understand differences but also to recognise similarities between faiths and beliefs.