Promoting British Values at Reading Girls’ School
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.” The government set out its definition of British values in the 2011 Prevent Strategy, and these values have been reiterated by the Prime Minister this year. At Reading Girls’ School these values are reinforced regularly and in the following ways:
Democracy is promoted through a student council, student questionnaires and the elections of House and Form Captains. Our school behaviour policy involves rewards which the students debate as a class group.
The Rule of Law:
The importance of Laws, whether they be those that govern the class, the school, or the country, are consistently reinforced throughout regular school days, as well as when dealing with behaviour and through school assemblies. Students 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. Visits from external agencies such as the police are a regular part of our calendar and help reinforce this message.
Within school, students are actively encouraged to make choices, knowing that they are in a safe and supportive environment. As a school we educate and provide boundaries for young students to make choices safety, through of provision of a safe environment and empowering education. Students are encouraged to know, understand and exercise their rights and personal freedoms and advise how to exercise these safely, for example through our E-Safety and PHSCEE lessons. Students are given the freedom to make choices whether it be through challenge of the Duke of Edinburgh Award or of participation in our numerous extra-curricular clubs and opportunities, PHSCEE sessions advise students on how to safely exercise their rights and personal freedoms.
Part of our school ethos and behaviour policy has revolved around core values such as ‘Respect’, and students have been part of discussions and assemblies related to what this means and how it is shown. Posters around the school promote respect for others and this is reiterated through our classroom and learning rules, as well as our behaviour policy. Tolerance of those of Different Faiths and Beliefs: This is achieved through enhancing students understanding of their place in a culturally diverse society and by giving them opportunities to experience such diversity. Assemblies and discussions involving prejudices and prejudice-based bullying have been followed and supported by learning in RE and PHSCEE. Members of different faiths or religions are encouraged to share their knowledge to enhance learning within classes and the school.