Promoting British Values
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 were reiterated by the Prime Minister in 2014. At Hurstmere these values are central to the educational experience and ethos.
Democracy is well evident within the school. Pupils have the opportunity to have their voices heard through our School and House Councils and pupil questionnaires. The elections of House and Form Captains are based upon pupil votes.
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. 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. Visits from authorities such as the Police and Fire Service are regular parts of our calendar and help reinforce this message.
Within school, pupils 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 pupils to make choices safely, through the provision of a safe environment and empowering education. Pupils are encouraged to know, understand and exercise their rights and personal freedoms and are advised how to exercise these safely, for example through our E-Safety and PSHE lessons.
Respect is at the core of our school ethos and is expected of students and staff alike. The school promotes respect for others and this is reiterated through our classroom and learning environments. In line with our commitment to democracy, students at Hurstmere are always able to voice their opinions and we foster an environment where students are safe to disagree with each other. Mutual respect is embraced throughout the curriculum from the concept of ‘fair play’ in PE to the student mentoring programme which promotes mutual respect and support between students across different year groups within the school.
Tolerance of those of Different Faiths and Beliefs:
This is achieved through equipping students with the ability to understand their place in a culturally diverse society and by giving the opportunities to experience such diversity within the school community. Students are actively encouraged to share their own faith and beliefs within the school.
The Religious Studies curriculum, which is compulsory for all students up to the end of KS4, provides a broad and balanced education on a range of faiths, religions and cultures.
Students benefit from a number of international excursions, and the school works in partnerships with schools in Zambia and Romania to teach students about life, faith and beliefs in other countries, and to understand their global responsibilities as citizens.
Hurstmere School strives endlessly to ensure that its students leave with the strongest foundation of values upon which to build a successful life and make a successful contribution to our Society.