At Richard Cobden Primary School we are committed to ensuring our pupils receive a high quality education through an enriched curriculum that reflects the diversity of our community. We value and celebrate the diverse backgrounds of everyone at our school. We also value and celebrate being part of Britain. We place a high priority on helping our pupils to develop as confident and responsible citizens. In doing this, it is very important to us that our pupils have a clear understanding of their rights and responsibilities. This is achieved through the values, aims and ethos of our school which are underpinned by the fundamental British values of:
- -The rule of law
- -Individual liberty
- -Mutual respect and tolerance of those with different faiths and beliefs
The Department for Education 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 our school we promote these values through our curriculum and curriculum enrichment, through spiritual, moral, social and cultural development, through personal, social, health and economic education, through religious education, and in the way in which we treat each other.
Our pupils are given lots of opportunity to develop their understanding of democracy. As well as learning about the historical context through exciting topic based learning, they also get to experience it for themselves. Pupils have a clear voice in our school. The election of our school council enables them to nominate and vote for representatives for every year group, enabling all pupils to contribute their ideas and viewpoints. They also contribute their views through pupil surveys and this informs our school development priorities.
Each class and the school council hold their own budget, helping them to develop their understanding of decision making and compromise. They make decisions about which charities the school supports each year. Pupils help to agree the rules which enable us all to get along and work well together. All pupils are listened to by adults and they are taught to listen to each other carefully and to show concern for each other. They learn the importance of respecting the right of every individual to have their voices and opinions heard. We promote personal and social responsibility by encouraging pupils to be independent and to take personal responsibility for their learning and the impact of their behaviour on others.
The Rule of Law
The importance of laws in our society is reinforced throughout each school day. Pupils are taught the reasons why laws are necessary and the values they protect. Our pupils will encounter laws and rules throughout their lives. It is our responsibility to teach them the importance of laws and rules in governing and protecting us, and that they must be adhered to. The importance of laws and rules is consistently reinforced through lessons, assemblies, religious education, physical education, behaviour management and when pupils are devising class rules. Through their involvement in creating our rules, pupils develop an understanding of the reasons behind them, and the consequences if they are broken.
Pupils are given opportunities to discuss and debate the reasons for laws in order to help them understand how laws protect them. They are provided with a secure environment where, over the time they are with us, they can learn how to manage their own behaviour and its impact on others. Wherever possible, through a restorative approach, pupils are given the opportunity to put right any wrong they have done. This helps to develop their ability to take responsibility for their actions. Through their treatment at our school, pupils learn the importance of a fair system where actions are clearly explained. We work with community partners such as the police, fire brigade and health care professionals to help pupils learn how to keep themselves safe from harm. Pupils are helped to understand that while different people may hold different views about what is ‘right’ and ‘wrong’, all people living in England are subject to its law.
Through our secure and supportive environment where we have established sensible boundaries and we provide ongoing guidance, we actively encourage our pupils to make independent choices and take responsibility for them. Through our everyday provision, including PSHEE and e-safety learning, pupils are encouraged to exercise their rights and freedoms, and they are supported to learn how to do this safely. They learn how to express their opinions and beliefs, how to do this with due regard for the feelings of others, and to respect the rights of others to do likewise. We place a high priority on developing the social and emotional aspects of learning. Through this we support pupils to develop the confidence and self-esteem to make their needs and feeling known. We help pupils to interpret social interaction and to understand the emotions of others.
We recognise that some pupils will often experience difficult life challenges which impact on their individual liberties. Through our supportive provision and our close partnerships with other agencies, we work tirelessly to help pupils and their families.
Mutual respect and tolerance of those with different faiths and beliefs
Richard Cobden School is a very diverse community and as such it provides a rich environment for developing pupils’ understanding of the importance of mutual respect and tolerance. This is embedded in our values, our curriculum, our assemblies, our behaviour management procedures, religious education, PSHEE teaching, in the daily interactions between adults and pupils, and the relationships pupils have with each other. Our pupils know and understand our expectation that respect and tolerance is shown to everyone, whatever differences we may have. Through our curriculum and by celebrating different faiths and cultures, we actively promote diversity and reinforce the values of tolerance and respect for others. Children are encouraged to discuss and show tolerance of differences between people such as their faith, ethnicity, gender, disability, sexual orientation or family structure. They learn that their behaviour has an effect on their own rights and those of others.
Sadly, no school can guarantee that there will never be instances which are contrary to fundamental British values. We respect everyone’s right to hold different viewpoints. However, we will actively challenge opinions or behaviors in school that are contrary to fundamental British values, including ‘extremist’ views, as these are at odds with the values of Richard Cobden School.