Promoting British Values as part of
SMSC Development (Spiritual, Moral, Social, Cultural)
At Hollymount Primary School we ensure that through our school vision, values, rules, curriculum and teaching we promote respect for all cultures, faiths and lifestyles. We value the ethnic backgrounds of all our pupils and families and undertake a variety of events and lessons to celebrate and explore these alongside other cultures in our country. We have found this approach to be enriching for all parties as it teaches understanding of, and respect for the differences in our community and the wider world.
We believe that we have a duty to prepare our children for life in modern Britain and to keep them safe.
The DfE have recently reinforced the need “to create and enforce a clear and rigorous expectation on all schools to promote the fundamental British values of democracy, the rule of law, individual liberty and mutual respect and tolerance of those with different faiths and beliefs.”
At Hollymount these values are reinforced and interpreted regularly and in the following ways:
Children have many opportunities for their voices to be heard. We value the voice of our children and promote democratic processes such as our school council whose members are voted for by the children. Ideas and events are planned and discussed with a chance for debate, giving opportunities for different points of view. School Council is invited to work alongside staff to plan and organise fundraising activities, contribute to discussions about school improvement and have input to aims and values statements. School Council members also have the opportunity of exploring ideas for the wider community in the Merton Children’s Council.
Through ‘Micro Society’, a 12 week financial, enterprise and citizenship simulation for our Y5 classes, pupils create their own society and run their government, civil service, businesses and legal system. During this project, the local MP comes to talk to the pupils about government and democracy.
The Rule of Law
The importance of laws (and rules), whether they be those that govern the class, the school, or the country, are consistently reinforced throughout regular school days and lessons, as well as when dealing with behaviour and through school assemblies. Pupils are helped to distinguish right from wrong and supported to resolve conflicts when they arise. 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.
We support pupils to develop their self-knowledge, self-esteem and self-confidence. Within school, pupils are actively encouraged to make choices, knowing that they are in a safe and supportive environment. Pupils are encouraged to know, understand and exercise their rights and personal freedoms and advised how to exercise these safely, for example through our e-Safety and PSHE lessons. Whether it is through choice of learning challenge, of how they record their learning, of participation in our numerous extra-curricular clubs and opportunities, pupils are given the freedom to make choices.
Respect is one of our core values and an area of constant discussion. Children learn that their behaviours have an effect on their own rights and those of others. Our Behaviour Policy engenders our basic belief in mutual respect. This is integral in school and classroom rules and is reinforced in day to day teaching and assemblies. All staff in school promote and demonstrate respect for others and this is also reflected in older students in their roles as House Captains, Pupil Assistants and Young Sports Leaders, as well as those who represent the School Council.
Understanding of and respect for those of Different Faiths and Beliefs
Hollymount is situated in an area which is culturally diverse, therefore we place a great emphasis on promoting diversity and celebrating difference with the children. Assemblies are regularly planned to address this issue either directly or through the inclusion of stories and celebrations from a variety of faiths and cultures. Our RE and PSHE teaching reinforces this. Understanding and respecting those of different faiths and beliefs is promoted in RE as children gain a greater understanding of religious diversity and practices for those religions represented in the UK. Planning for RE is directed by the Merton SACRE Agreed Syllabus for Religious Education. Members of different faiths or religions are encouraged to share their knowledge to enhance learning within classes and the school. Within the RE curriculum, there are opportunities for children to visit places of worship that are important to different faiths.