Promoting British Values
At Codsall Middle School, we value the diverse backgrounds of all our children, our families and our staff.
The government set out their definition of British values in the 2011 Prevent Strategy. These were reinforced in September 2014. These new regulations will sit alongside the requirements of the Equalities Act, which also applies to all types of school. Schools will be expected to focus on, and be able to show, how our work with pupils is effective in embedding fundamental British values.
We are mindful of the Department for Education’s (DfE) requirement
“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, Mutual Respect and Tolerance of those with different faiths and beliefs.”
These values are an integral part of our culture. They permeate the school and are evident in every aspect of school life, both within and beyond structured lesson time. More specifically, through lessons and an acquaintance with the wider community we ensure that our children have the opportunity to embrace these concepts, deepen their own understandings and apply this knowledge to their own lives. Taking each value into careful consideration, we have outlined below some examples of how we believe the values are woven into our school life:
Pupil voice is significant in regards to life at Codsall Middle School. Our pupil elected school council plays an influential role. They are elected by their class peers and are involved in making the school a better place to learn. Their valuable contributions can be seen with their involvement in the interviewing process for new members of staff, the development of an outdoor trim trail as well as lesson reviews. We know that the formation of the school council and the active participation of our pupils will sow the seeds for a more sophisticated understanding of democracy in the future.
Pupil questionnaires and interviews are conducted throughout the year, their views are being respected, and where possible, suggestions are acted upon. The development of a garden area, outside classroom and increased extra-curricular activities are testament to this. The school enables pupils to develop their responsibilities, sense of duty and respect for others by nominating House Captains, Eco and Fair Trade representatives as well as Prefects, Head Boy and Head Girl.
We further empower our children by giving them opportunities to make choices about the things that they believe to be important. We help children to distinguish right from wrong- providing children with the opportunity for reflection on their own behaviour. We encourage children to listen to each other’s suggestions, thoughts and ideas and valuing them even if they are different to their own.
Houses of Parliament private tour given to school council members by Gavin Williamson MP
The Rule of Law
Our pupils will 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.
Through philosophical enquiry in our RE and PHSE lessons, we allow opportunity 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. These are further reinforced through assemblies, curriculum activities and educational visits
Year 8 Mock Trial Wolverhampton Magistrate’s Court 2015
We invest a great deal of time in creating a positive culture in our school, so that children are in a safe environment where choices and freedoms are encouraged.
We encourage children to take responsibility for their own actions and understand the impact of their actions on others, by promoting boundaries for our children to make informed choices, through a safe environment and an empowering education. We offer a range of clubs and extra-curricular activities which pupils have the freedom to choose from, based on their interests.
Through our E-Safety, PHSE and RE lessons, we educate children on their rights and personal freedoms as well as supporting them in recognising how to exercise these safely. During lessons, we encourage discussions to further develop freedom of speech amongst children, ensuring all are involved and understand their right to speak, whilst being tolerant of others views and opinions.
We encourage personal motivation- through Learning to Learn lessons and the promotion of 5 R’s – Ready, Remember, Reflective, Resilient and Responsible. We support children in developing their self-knowledge, self-esteem and self-confidence through the teaching of PHSE and hold Nurture Groups, and 1:1 inclusion support as necessary.
At Codsall Middle School school 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 and Acceptance
We provide an array of opportunities for our children to develop a mutual respect for each other. We actively promote that all members of our school community treat others as they wish to be treated and speak to others as they wish to be spoken to. We nurture a respect and acceptance of others Faiths, Cultures and Beliefs through our Religious Education and PHSE teaching by discussing differences between people, such as differences of faith, ethnicity, disability, gender or sexuality and differences of family situations. During lessons, we encourage children to support each other’s learning through talking, discussion and peer assessment.
We encourage children to support National Charities and the Local Community; for example, singing at a local residential home, holding a Senior Citizens Christmas Party and holding MacMillan Coffee mornings.
MacMillan Coffee Morning 2014
Tolerance of those of different faiths and beliefs
At Codsall Middle School we offer a culturally rich and diverse curriculum in which all major religions are 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.