The Department for Education state that there is a 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 Percy Hedley School these values underpin our work and are reinforced regularly in the following ways:
Pupils have many opportunities for their voices to be heard. We have a school council which meets regularly to discuss issues. The school council is able to genuinely effect change within the school. The council members for each year group are voted in by their class.
Pupils take part in an annual questionnaire with which they are able to put forward their views about the school.
Pupil feedback is sought and recorded as part of the annual review process and pupils’ views form part of the basis of next steps and further interventions.
The Rule of Law:
The importance of rules and laws, whether they be those that govern a class, the school, or the country, are consistently reinforced throughout regular school days, as well as when approaching behaviour interventions 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, help reinforce this message. The school works in partnership with the local police service to support officers in understanding the nature of disabilities and how to work most effectively with individuals with additional needs.
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 pupils to make choices safety, through of provision of a safe environment and empowering education. Pupils are encouraged to know, understand and exercise their rights and personal freedoms and are advised on how to exercise these safely; for example, through our E-Safety and PSHCE lessons. Disability rights and support to tackle discrimination of any kind also forms part of the work we do at Percy Hedley School.
Part of our school ethos and behaviour policy has revolved around core values such as respect for others. Pupils take part in discussions and assemblies related to what this means and how it is shown.
Within the context of their SEND, the pupils understand that it is expected of them and the importance of respect for everyone, whatever differences there may be.
Tolerance of those of Different Faiths and Beliefs:
The school ensures that pupils understand and show tolerance of those who have 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 PSHCE. Members of different faiths or religions are encouraged to share their knowledge to enhance learning within classes and the school, such as local religious leaders leading school assemblies on their faith.
During ‘Special’ weeks, classes focus on a different country and research and present facts about their countries. Beliefs, traditions and customs are studied in depth, with visitors of varying faiths and backgrounds being invited into school to enrich and extend pupils’ understanding. Through this our pupils gain an enhanced understanding of their place in a culturally diverse society. Trips that enrich and support tolerance of those of different faiths include visiting the local synagogue, where custom were explained and pupils had the opportunity to partake in them.