The Department for Education’s five-part definition of British values is:
British Values: Preparing Children for Life in Modern Britain
At Brighton Avenue Primary School, we nurture our children on their journey through life so they can grow into safe, caring, democratic, responsible and tolerant adults, who make a positive difference to British society and to the world. We encourage our children to be creative, unique, resilient, open-minded and independent individuals, respectful of themselves and of others in our school, our local community and the wider world. We take our responsibility to prepare children for life in modern Britain seriously to ensure that the fundamental British Values are introduced, discussed and are part of our school ethos and the work of our school. All curriculum areas provide a vehicle for furthering understanding of these concepts. In particular, our values-based Collective Worship and RE, SMSC, PSHE+C lessons provide excellent opportunities to deepen, develop, understand and actively promote children's application to their own lives. At Brighton Avenue Primary School, our values permeate all areas of school life.
At Brighton Avenue, children will encounter these principles throughout everyday school life. Listed below are some examples of how we promote British values in our school community:
Pupil voice is at the heart of our school. The pupil elected school council plays a strong role in our school. They are elected, after completing an application form by their class peers and are involved in making our school a better place to learn. We know that the formation of the school council and the active participation of our pupils will support children’s understanding of democracy in the future. Pupil questionnaires and interviews are also conducted throughout the year. Subject Leaders also interview groups of mixed ability children (Y1-Y6) to find out their thoughts and opinions on the wide range of subjects across Brighton Avenue.
We have welcomed visitors into school to help pupils understand how democracy works in England. Gateshead Councillors have led a whole school assembly to discuss the history of parliament and an overview of the democratic voting system.
Our pupils 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. We allow many opportunities to debate and discuss the reasons for laws so that children can recognise the importance of these for their own protection. Throughout the year we welcome visits from members of the wider community including police, the fire brigade and many more. We believe that clear explanations and real life stories emphasise the importance of the rule of law for our pupils.
All work together to create a positive culture in our school, so that children are in a safe environment where choices and freedoms are encouraged. Making the right choices and being responsible for those are important principles at Brighton Avenue Primary School, which are reinforced in every year group. We encourage children to choose tasks 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. 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 heart of our school life. Children learn to treat each other and staff with great respect. This is often commented upon by our Governors and visitors into school, as it is clearly evident when walking around school and in the classrooms.
At Brighton Avenue Primary we offer a culturally rich and diverse curriculum in which all major religions are celebrated, 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.
Much of the evidence of our British Values work comes through the SMSC (Social, Moral, Spiritual, Cultural) curriculum we offer our pupils.