British Values Statement
Dalmain School is committed to working closely and in harmony with its community and celebrating the diversity of the UK. We aim to prepare children for life in modern Britain and to ensure that our school ethos, curriculum and approaches to teaching and learning reflect and promote British values.
We recognise that these values are not exclusive to being British and that they have come to be accepted throughout the democratic world as the method of creating an orderly society in which individual members can feel safe, valued and can contribute to for the good of themselves and others.
We work alongside our local community and recognise the variety of religious beliefs within it. We take children outside the school to take part in local events and meet different members of the community to appreciate the valuable contributions they make.
We take opportunities to:
- acknowledge, celebrate and commemorate national events and anniversaries related to key events in Britain’s past
- join in with international sporting events and find out more about the countries that host them
- support a number of charities that are selected by the children and arrange fundraising events
- invite members of the local community to our school events.
We understand the role that our school has in helping prevent radicalisation and supporting our children in developing a world view recognising Britain’s place within it.
The four British values are:
- the rule of law
- individual liberty
- mutual respect and tolerance of those with different faiths and beliefs.
Below we include more details about how each British value is embedded in our school.
Many of our school routines are built upon the concept of democracy. All children have the opportunity as an individual, as a member of a group and a member of a class, to influence decision making and to have a voice. They understand that they must use this voice responsibly.Children are regularly consulted both formally and informally about how their school might be improved. They see the example that is set with staff working co-operatively with parents and carers, governors and each other to make the school the best it can be.
Children within the school have key roles and responsibilities including in the School Council and Eco Council. Classes vote for the people they would like to take on these responsibilities and we discuss the importance of this.
The School Council applies the democratic process and information is fed to and from the council throughout the year.
How to work as a member of a team as well as team leadership are included in the curriculum for each year group.During national and local elections we hold our own mock elections and discuss what it means to represent a political party and how a voting system works.
The Rule of Law
Children in our school understand the need for rules to make ours a happy and secure environment. Our behaviour policy is shared and understood and this provides a basis on which we discuss other laws and rules and how they apply.In different subjects we have specific ground rules for safety and comfort. Children are helped to understand the reasons for these.
Our school works closely with our community police officer and Safer Neighbourhood Team.
When establishing the code of conduct in each classroom we discuss the need for rules and look at the code in the context of the school rules and the country’s laws.
Our School Council has visited the Houses of Parliament and the local mayor who explained how the town council operates.Issues to do with the rules we apply in school and how they appear in practice are discussed in circle time.
The rights of every child are at the centre of our ethos. However, children also recognise the boundaries there must be too.
Independent thinking and learning are encouraged and there are frequent opportunities for children to make their own choices.We place an emphasis on respecting difference and valuing creativity.
Each year group studies the individual biography of someone who has had a particular impact on the history of Britain and who the children can empathise with. We try to select from a range of cultures and include those who came as immigrants to the country.
UNICEF’s Rights of the Child are shared and discussed.There are options at lunchtime and golden time that give children opportunity to choose from a range of activities.
Mutual respect and tolerance of those with different faiths and beliefs
Respect is one of our school values. We recognise the importance of not only respecting one another but self-respect too.
We have a clear anti-bullying policy which emphasises the importance of us creating an environment both within school and the wider world in which individuals can feel safe and valued.
Our welcome for visitors is part of the school ethos as is the focus on each child as an ‘ambassador’ when they are out in the community.
Every individual is respected in our school and our actions towards one another reflect this.
We welcome difference and diversity and aim to create understanding of how this adds to the richness of our community.
We aim to do more than ‘tolerate’ those with different faiths and beliefs. We recognise the extent to which our own traditions and history have developed side by side and the rich cultural heritage that different world religions bring.
We believe that exploring and understanding other people’s faiths and beliefs are rewarding experiences and help us understand our own faiths and beliefs better.
Our PSHCE curriculum includes topics on ‘friendship’ and what it means to be a good friend. We talk about relationships and our place within the family, the community and society. This includes discussion about different kinds of family structure.
We have Young Leaders who support the younger children with their team work and play.
Our extra-curricular clubs and enrichment activities focus on building self-esteem and self-respect. They also include team-building activities.
The staff code of conduct, which is reviewed annually, ensures that staff behave towards each other in an exemplary way, setting a good example for the children.
The language used between staff and children at all times is considered to be vital in showing how we respect one another.
Our RE curriculum follows the Agreed Syllabus for Lewisham and teaches about a range of faiths, religions and cultures.
We visit different places of worship, respecting the rules that apply to them and the beliefs of those who use them.
Children are familiar with the principles which different religions hold and explore the main world religions as outlined in the Agreed Syllabus.
During topic work we take the opportunity to find out more about different cultures we encounter through research and discussion.We encourage those in our school who hold different faiths and beliefs to share their experience and provide us with insight.