Promoting British Values at Meopham Community Academy
The DfE have 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.”
We have a strong and committed Pupil Council which meets every term with our Pupil Council Coordinator (Year 3 class teacher) to discuss any issues raised by their fellow pupils or as council members themselves. The council has its own budget and is genuinely able to effect change within the school. Every child on the Pupil Council is voted in by their class, a first-hand demonstration of the democratic process.
The Rule of Law
Pupils are taught from an early age the rules of the school and that these are the rules that keep us all safe. Pupils are taught the value and reasons behind rules and laws, that they govern and protect us, the responsibilities that this involves and the consequences when laws are broken. Visits from authorities such as local magistrates, the police and the fire service help reinforce this message.
At Meopham Community Academy, 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 all of our pupils to make informed choices, through a safe environment and an empowering education. Pupils are encouraged to know, understand and exercise their rights and personal freedoms and advised how to exercise these safely, for example through our online safety and Personal, Social and Health Education, Citizenship (PSHCE) lessons.
Mutual respect is at the heart of our values. Children learn that their behaviours have an effect on their own rights and those of others. All members of the school community treat each other with respect.
Respect for those of Different Faiths and Beliefs
Here at Meopham Community Academy we actively promote diversity through our celebrations of different faiths and cultures. RE and PSHCE lessons reinforce messages of respect for others. Members of different faiths and religions are encouraged to share their knowledge to enhance learning within classes and the school.
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 Meopham Community Academy has a zero-tolerance approach to any form of extremist behaviour for all school community members. We rely on our strong values to steer our work and ensure the pastoral care of our children protects them from exposure to negative influences.
Meopham Community Academy is fully committed to safeguarding and promoting the welfare of its children. As a school we recognise that safeguarding against radicalisation is no different from safeguarding against any other vulnerability. At Meopham 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 and live out our Core Values. These complement 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, through the PSHE curriculum and through the elected Pupil Council members.
- Children are taught how to keep themselves safe, in school and when using the internet.
- Children participate in local community events so that they appreciate and value their neighbours and friends who may not share their faith background.
- Children’s wellbeing, confidence and resilience is 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.
The role of the curriculum
Our curriculum promotes respect, tolerance and diversity. Children are encouraged to express themselves through discussions, debates and consultations. The Religious Education (RE), PSHCE and Spiritual, Moral, Social and Cultural (SMSC) provision is embedded across the curriculum, and underpins the ethos of our school. Children learn about all major faiths and visit places of worship wherever possible. They are also taught about how to stay safe when using the internet.
To see how British Values feeds into our PSHCE Curriculum, please click on the link below: