The Department for Education states that there is "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 Blundeston CEVCP School, these values are intrinsically linked to our Learning Behaviours and core Christian values, as a Church of England School.
Children are voted on to our School Council by their classmates. They have to prepare a presentation for their class and then a vote takes place. Other examples of democracy are seen in the selection of Playground Leaders, Road Safety Officers and Digital Leaders. Democracy is explored in PSHE lessons, as well as through the wider curriculum. History lessons explore how democracy has changed over time and the impact of this, such as the Tudor monarchy and black history.
The Rule of Law
At the start of each year, work is carried out around the school rules. Children are taught why these are important. They understand how rules help to keep our school a safe and happy place. Visitors to the school also contribute to the teaching of this value. For example, visits by the police help the children to understand that laws exist in the wider world, why these are important and the consequences if they are not followed.
Children are taught what is right and wrong through our Behaviour Policy, Online Safety Policy, Collective Worship programme, our Christian values, as well as focus activities, such as Anti-Bullying Week.
Children are encouraged to develop the skills to make good individual choices. Our Behaviour Policy and systems support the children in making the right choices and give them the chance to change a situation. Children express their individuality in a number of ways. They are given lots of opportunities to express themselves creatively, through art, drama and music. In some lessons, they are able to present work in their preferred way. This includes when leading Collective Worship. Children are able to choose which groups or clubs they would like to join. At playtimes and lunchtimes, children are able to mix with children from other classes and choose new friends with which to play. Children are given the freedom to share their opinions in a safe environment, knowing that their peers will be respectful of their thoughts and ideas. Children are taught how to exercise their freedom safely, through our work around online safety and anti-bullying.
One of our main Christian values is "Respect". Much work is done around this particular value, in terms of our Christian ethos, as well as what it means in the classroom. Children are expected to be respectful to all members of the school community, including their friends. This value underpins our Collective Worship programme, and respect is shown throughout the year at special events, such as Remembrance Day. It is also reinforced by the school rules and our Behaviour Policy.
Tolerance of those of different faiths and beliefs
Our lively and engaging RE curriculum teaches the main world religions. These are revisited throughout the children's time at school, in order for them to gain a deeper understanding of each religion. Children are able to then reflect on their own spirituality. Visitors to school support the work in this area. Our Collective Worship programme includes celebrations and festivals from different religions, as well as Christianity. We are an inclusive school and one of Blundeston's key strengths is how the children accept differences and care for each other.