Modern British Values
The idea of 'British Values' has become a key focus of the Department for Education recently. For us, the key values identified have always been at the core of our school and the education we provide to our children. We believe these are universal values, which all of our community adhere to. We are committed to developing these in our children explicitly and through our day-to-day practice and attitudes.
'British Values' are identifed as:
- the rule of law
- individual liberty
- mutual respect
- tolerance of those of different faiths and beliefs
Democracy forms an important part of life at Kensington Primary. Each year the children decide upon their class rules and the rights associated with these. All the children contribute to the drawing up of the class rules – class contract/agreement.
We have a student council which meets every week/2 weeks with the School Council Lead. The school council will meet with SLT to present their ideas when required and reports to the Governing Body on a termly basis. The council has its own budget and is genuinely able to affect change within the school. Every child on the student council is voted in by their class.
Children have an annual questionnaire where they are able to put forward their views about the school. Their views are then considered and changes made accordingly to the next academic year. For example, the core texts children enjoyed looking at in English lessons were kept the same for the next academic year, while those texts that weren’t enjoyed were changed to make them more appropriate.
We are in a privileged position that our school building is used as a Polling Station for elections, giving us the opportunity to gain some understanding of how voting works. We hold yearly elections to elect our House Captains. This involves all the children having the right to vote and provides them with an understanding of how a democracy works. Every year we begin with a 'Democracy Week' for children to learn about democracy as a whole school. We look to invite visitors who can talk to the children about the democratic process. In the past we have welcomed: Sir Robin Wales - Mayor of Newham; Stephen Timms MP; Unmesh Desai - Member of the London Assembly. In addition, we have a weekly newsletter to communicate with parents and carers and a website containing information about the school ethos and values.
The rule of law
The importance of laws, whether they be those that govern the class, the school, or the country, are consistently reinforced at Kensington. We have a statement of values and systems and a policy for discipline and behaviour, sanctions and rewards.
Pupils are taught from an early age the rules of the school. These are our Golden Rules, Playground Rules and Safety Rules. 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 the Police and Fire Service help reinforce this message. Through their PE lessons children also learn about fairness and following rules for common enjoyment.
At Kensington, 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 young 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 eSafety and PSHE lessons. We hold yearly elections to appoint a house captain where all children have the right to vote. We also provide a restart/reflection room for pupils at lunchtime to reflect on their behaviour based on the school’s Golden Rules and are supported by the pastoral officer. We also have a safeguarding policy, where children’s views are taken into account and appropriate action is taken following this.
This is an integral aspect of life at Kensington Primary. We expect our learners to be respectful, confident and positive individuals. We encourage every child to care about, and have respect for, their learning, each other and our environment. By being socially and emotionally intelligent, understanding about themselves and each other, our children will make the right choices and experience positive relationships now and in the future.
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. The first of our Golden Rules reads: I will be respectful and polite. As a school we come together for collective worship four times a week and once a week have class assembly. Our whole school assembly follows themes, which are displayed in classrooms. We have a weekly newsletter, which features articles on care, citizenship, charity, pupil voice, celebration, festivals, safety (including e-safety) and personal development.
Tolerance of those of different faiths and beliefs
Kensington is a diverse school. We actively promote diversity through our celebrations of different faiths and cultures. Religious Education lessons and PSHE reinforce messages of tolerance and respect for others. RE lessons follow the Newham Agreed Syllabus for Religious Education that educates pupils about all the main belief systems in the UK.