British Values Statement
“The values I’m talking about – a belief in freedom, tolerance of others, accepting personal and social responsibility, respecting and upholding the rule of law – are the things we should try to live by every day. To me they’re as British as the Union Flag, as football, as fish and chips. Of course, people will say that these values are vital to other people in other countries. And, of course, they’re right. But what sets Britain apart are the traditions and history that anchors them and allows them to continue to flourish and develop.” David Cameron 2014
The Department for Education define British values as having 5 different elements:
- The rule of law;
- Individual liberty;
- Mutual respect;
- Tolerance of those of different faiths and beliefs;
The promotion of British values and ethos is a key part of life at Sutton House, and they are an integral and long standing element to our approach to teaching and learning and the wider school community. We actively promote British values in our approach to children, parents, the community and other stakeholders.
As the above statement from David Cameron highlights, the term ‘British values’ can be misleading as these values as also held by many other countries and cultures across the world. The following information highlights just a few of the ways that these values form part of our every day school life.
Being Part of Britain
At Sutton House we celebrate the diverse heritage of everyone in our community. Alongside this, we value and celebrate being part of Britain In general terms, this means that we celebrate traditions and customs throughout the year such as Harvest festival during the Autumn term, and the Nativity at Christmas.
Further, children learn about being part of Britain from different specific perspectives. Two specific examples of when we teach about being part of Britain are: Geographically and Historically.
Every member of the school community; children, parents, staff have many opportunities for their voices to be heard.
An obvious example is our school council. The election of the School Council members reflects our British electoral system and demonstrates democracy in action. Made up of two representatives from each class (Reception- Year 6), the School Council meets regularly to discuss issues raised by the different classes.
Other examples of ‘pupil voice’ are:
- Children agree to uphold and respect the school rules and are actively encourage to discuss what these mean and the importance of them;
- Children have the opportunity to nominate and vote for others to receive a certificate for great learning or choices;
- Children’s comments on their own work, children are asked to respond and reflect on their own learning as part of the marking process;
Pupils are 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.
Rules and Laws
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. We have a new set of school rules which have been introduced across all academy schools. Children from Nursery to Six from are taught to value and uphold these rules:
- We always try our best;
- We follow instructions straight away;
- We are kind;
- We keep hands, feet and objects to ourselves;
- We look after our school and environment;
- We move sensibly around our school;
Pupils are taught to value and understand the reasons behind the laws; that these rules are necessary in order to create a safe, stimulating learning environment. Children are taught that each individual has a responsibility to uphold these rules in order to create a harmonious place to learn and that those who do not uphold the rules are subject to negative consequences, in the same way they would be in the wider community. We also reinforce these rules in a positive way though mature discussion and positive rewards.
These values are reinforced in different ways:
- visits from authorities such as the police and fire service;
- 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;
We aim to provide children with an understanding of the importance of the Rule of law that will aid them in both in their life outside of school and in their future adult life.
We promote children’s freedom of choice and their right to hold and express views and beliefs in a respectfully and considered way. Through the provision of a safe, supportive environment and empowered education, we have boundaries in place that allow children to make choices safely. We offer a range of clubs which pupils have the freedom to choose from, based on their interests. At Sutton House 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 and Tolerance of Those With Different Faiths and Beliefs
Mutual respect and community spirit is at the heart of school ethos.
“'Sutton House provides a safe, caring environment where collaborative work makes learning fun. We support each other to achieve through creative and inspiring learning opportunities with a focus on memorable experiences both in and out of school. This is enhanced by high quality out of school activities allowing us all to make a positive contribution. Our school promotes health, happiness and excellence for all, thus enhancing the learning community of Sutton House and contributing towards social well-being and an improved economic status.”
At Sutton House we offer a culturally rich and diverse curriculum in which all major religions are studied and respected. 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.