Promoting Values at Breakwater Academy
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.”
At Breakwater, our ethos revolves around the STEP Core Values:
It also reflects our commitment to the Rights Respecting values of UNICEF which include: Respect, Responsibility, Love, Unity, Humility, Happiness, Co-operation, Simplicity, Tolerance, Honesty, Peace and Freedom. These are taught through all we do at school and particularly during assemblies and times when we are all together and can learn from each other.
The Core Values determined by the DfE are:
Democracy: Democracy is rife within our school. Pupils have the opportunity to have their voices heard through Team RRS, a weekly meeting with the Headteacher, Year 6 Leaders who act as role models across the school, in the classroom (particularly in debates) and through Pupil questionnaires. The elections of representatives onto Team RRS are based on pupil votes. Additionally, Team RRS are involved in Learning Walks, have been responsible for spending a small budget which has included the purchase of benches for the playground. Whole school votes have taken place in respect of the re-naming of our Houses, the naming of our anti-bullying mascot, Tomodachi and on a less serious note, the naming of our living eggs!
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, through school assemblies and PSHCE. 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 Community Safer Neighbourhood Team, Fire Service; NSPCC are regular parts of our calendar and help reinforce this message.
Individual Liberty: 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 safety, through provision of a safe environment and empowering education. Pupils 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 PSHE lessons. Whether it be through choice of challenge of how they record, of participation in our numerous extra-curricular clubs and opportunities; pupils are given the freedom to make choices. During assemblies and circle time, we consider issues within the local and global context where groups or communities may not have the individual liberty or safety that we have in the UK. For example, we have discussed the kidnapping of the Nigerian girls and the battle that Malala Yousafzai has faced whilst fighting for the rights of girls.
Mutual Respect: Our school ethos and behaviour policy revolve around STEPs Core Values (PUPAC) and pupils have been part of discussions and assemblies related to what this means and how it is shown. RRS posters around the school promote respect for others and this is reiterated through our classroom and learning rules, as well as our behaviour policy. Each week, a child from each class is nominated for an award linked to one of these values; they receive recognition in assembly, have their photo displayed in our entrance and are invited to have ‘Tea with the Head’.
Tolerance of those of Different Faiths and Beliefs: This is achieved through enhancing pupils 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 PSHE. Members of different faiths or religions are encouraged to share their knowledge to enhance learning within classes and the school.