At Menheniot Primary School we are committed to promoting fundamental British Values as set out by the Department for Education. These are defined as:
- rule of law
- individual liberty
- mutual respect
- tolerance of those of different faiths and beliefs
At Menheniot Primary School these values are taught explicitly through Personal, Social, Health and Emotional (PSHE), and Religious Education (RE). We also teach the British Values through planning and delivering a broad and balanced curriculum. Part of our vision at Menheniot Primary School is to prepare the children of the future to become valued members of society. Promoting British Values enables children to develop a sense of community and begin to understand their responsibilities and role within it.
We take opportunities to actively promote British Values through our daily assemblies and whole school systems and structures such as electing and running a pupil School Council. We also actively promote British values through ensuring that our curriculum planning and delivery includes real opportunities for exploring these values. Actively promoting British Values also means challenging pupils, staff or parents expressing opinions contrary to fundamental British Values, including ‘extremist’ views. At Menheniot Primary School, these values are reinforced regularly and in the following ways:
Democracy is an important value at our school. Pupils have the opportunity to have their voices heard through our School Council and through regular pupil conferencing. The elections of members of the School Council and roles of responsibility are based on pupil votes. Children recommend each other for recognition by the Headteacher to celebrate those who model the values of respect, responsibility, perseverance or creativity.
The Rule of Law
The importance of laws and rules, whether they are those that govern the class, the school or the country, are regularly reinforced. A consistently applied Behaviour Policy is shared with the children, expectations are reinforced regularly and opportunities are sought frequently to praise positive choices. Pupils’ modelling behaviour consistent with the school’s high expectations are recognised and they are seen as role models to others. Through assemblies and the school’s PSHE curriculum, children develop an understanding of law appropriate to their age. Pupils are taught the value and reasons behind laws, that they govern and protect us, the responsibilities that this involves and the consequences when laws are broken. Regular contact with PCSOs builds positive relationships with the Police from an early age and children understand their role in maintaining a peaceful community. Visits from other external agencies such as the Fire Service, health professionals and ‘people who help us’ reinforce their understanding of the responsibilities held by various professions.
Protective behaviours are taught across the school and every child is aware that they have the right to feel safe. They are also taught that there is always an adult they can talk to at school. Children are valued for their differences and there is a wide variety of extra-curricular clubs to enable children to try new things, develop new skills and practise existing ones. Care is taken to provide equal opportunities. Time and care is taken to know each child as an individual and Circle Time/PSHE sessions give children a chance to share their feelings and opinions in a safe way. Opportunities for children to take more responsibility within the school are encouraged. Pupils volunteer as play leaders during the lunchtimes on the playground and sometimes the older children support the running of some clubs. Pupils are encouraged to know, understand and exercise their rights and personal freedoms and are advised how to exercise these safely, for example through our E-Safety teaching and PSHE lessons. Pupils are given the freedom to make choices, such as signing up for extra-curricular clubs, choosing the level of challenge in some lessons and through being involved in child–led learning and independent research.
A class behaviour agreement is drawn up to set clear expectations of respectful behaviour. If pupils show disrespect to one another, this is dealt with immediately through the school’s Behaviour Policy. Time is given for repair and restoration and to talk about the behaviour which is disrespectful to others. An Anti-Bullying week is held annually and various well-being events are held across the year. During these sessions, children are taught to value differences in others and themselves and to respect others. A consistent Behaviour Policy is in place and children take responsibility, with support when needed, to resolve conflict and to repair relationships. Friendship support groups and team building sessions are used to resolve any persistent issues.
Tolerance of those with different faiths and beliefs
The school follows the Cornwall Religious Education agreed syllabus which ensures that the children learn about all the main religions and teaches a respect for the cultures, beliefs, opinions and traditions of others. Assemblies contribute to the knowledge of special occasions. The RE syllabus and assembly opportunities enhance pupils’ understanding of their place in a culturally diverse society. Along with PSHE lessons they provide a forum for discussions involving prejudices and prejudice-based bullying. We are proud to be linked to a school in Denmark and a display is used to encourage children to consider similarities and differences between our two schools. Each year, we host students from Switzerland who work with the classes, teaching them about 'life in Switzerland'. In addition we have an annual visit from Daya, who runs workshops based on different cultures and religions. We use opportunities such as the Olympics, World Cup and news events around the world to study and learn about life and culture in countries.