The government set out their definition of British values in the 2011 Prevent Strategy. These were reinforced in September 2014 due to recent events. These new regulations will sit alongside the requirements of the Equalities Act, which also applies to all types of schools. Schools will be expected to focus on, and be able to show, how our work with pupils is effective in embedding fundamental British values.
We agree with the Department for Education’s five-part definition of British values:
At West Lea School students will encounter these principles throughout everyday school life. The curriculum is mapped in detail across the whole school. Listed below are some examples of how we promote these values in our school community:
Pupil voice is significant in regards to life at West Lea. Our pupil elected school council plays a strong role in our school. They are elected by their class peers and are involved in making the school a better place to learn. Pupils have a great amount of input in regards to what and how they learn, which promotes pupil voice. For example, the pupils decide as a class how they would like to learn certain skills in subjects and this is used to inform the teacher’s planning.
Pupil questionnaires and interviews are also conducted throughout the year. We know that the formation of the school council and the active participation of our pupils will sow the seeds for a more sophisticated understanding of democracy in the future.
Our pupils will encounter rules and laws throughout their entire lives. We want our pupils to understand that whether these laws govern the class, the school, the neighbourhood or the country, they are set for good reasons and must be adhered to.
This understanding of the importance of rules will be consistently reinforced through assemblies and our curriculum. The involvement of our pupils in the creation of the school rules helps them to understand the reasons behind the rules and the consequences if they are broken. Through philosophical enquiry in our philosophy for learning lessons, we allow opportunity to debate and discuss the reasons for laws so that children can recognise the importance of these for their own protection.
We invest a great deal of time in creating a positive culture in our school, so that children are in a safe environment where choices and freedoms are encouraged. In lessons, learning tasks are often left for the child to decide upon. We encourage children to choose the task that will challenge them, giving them more freedom to determine their own learning. We offer a range of clubs which pupils have the freedom to choose from, based on their interests. Through our E-Safety, philosophy for learning and High 5 sessions, we educate children on their rights and personal freedoms as well as supporting them in recognising how to exercise these freedoms safely. At West Lea we believe that valuing choice and freedom in daily school life will foster a value for individual liberty as the children embark upon their adult lives.
Mutual respect is at the core of our school life. Students learn to treat each other and staff with great respect. This is evident when walking around the School and in the classrooms. Our school motto is “Learning For Life” and this partnership is seen throughout the various relationships between students and staff.
At West Lea we offer a culturally rich and diverse curriculum in which all major religions are studied and respected. At West Lea we strongly believe that tolerance is gained through knowledge and understanding. Through our curriculum and the routines of our daily school life, we strive to demonstrate tolerance and help children to become knowledgeable and understanding citizens who can build a better Britain for the future.