At The High Halden Primary School, we value the diverse ethnic backgrounds of all pupils/families and we teach tolerance and respect for the differences in our community and the wider world. Underpinning all of this, are a range of curriculum topics which have strong links to Britain, both past and present. Our school promotes and believes in the British characteristics of Tolerance, Respect, Fair Play and Good Community Spirit.
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 have been reiterated by the Prime Minister since this. At High Halden School these values are reinforced regularly and in the following ways:
Democracy is richly embedded within the school. Pupils have the opportunity to have their voices heard through our School Council, pupil questionnaires, and discussions with members of staff (including the Senior Leadership Team) and through being either a Head boy, Head girl or a House Captain. Our school behaviour and values policies involve rewards and sanctions; this is shared through all aspects of school life and also shared with parents, carers and children from Reception to Year 6.
As part of the election for House Captains , they learn about Democracy. Members of the class vote for whom they believe will set a good example and lead their team. Our school council meet regularly, to discuss ideas put forward by their classes and how they can help to improve the school further. This year, we also took part in our own 'General Election'. The teachers delivered manifestos which the children listened carefully too before entering the polling station to cast their vote.
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 collective worship time and PSHE lessons. 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 (including sessions on Anti Social Behaviour and E-safety) and a trip to Safety in Action are a regular part of our calendar events and help reinforce this message.
Moreover, as part of PSHE, each class creates a set of class rules; emphasis is given on the importance of law in the classroom and what would happen if these laws did not exist. Links are made with older pupils, about the importance of laws in society. Year 6 consider the rights they believe they have and the responsibilities they have to uphold in order to have these rights.
During PE sessions, extra-curricular sports clubs as well as sporting tournaments, pupils are encouraged to demonstrate fair sportsmanship; they are taught the importance of needing rules within sport which in turn, helps them play fairly.
As a school which holds values at the core of its ethos, our school Values and Behaviour policies have evolved around Core Values such as ‘Equality’, and pupils have been part of discussions and collective worship related to what this means and how it is shown. Equality is one of our values taught explicitly within lessons and collective worship. Our school values contribute towards our weekly celebratory assembly, in which pupils are awarded for demonstrating the values towards each other and staff.
Tolerance of those of Different Faiths and Beliefs:
At High Halden we celebrate the culturally rich and diverse society that makes up Britain; when possible we provide children with the opportunities to learn from each other by sharing and celebrating their different faiths and cultures. Collective worship and discussions involving prejudices and prejudice-based bullying have been followed up 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.
In RE, pupils learn about the different religions that exist within British society and they compare the similarities and differences between them. Christianity, Judaism, Islam and Sikhism are all covered across Key Stage 2; pupils are aware that all these religions are practised in Britain and they learn about these, upholding respect for the beliefs of each religion. This year, we celebrated Diwali and also held a Diversity Day which celebrated different cultures.
Curriculum areas and themes:
In addition to intrinsic themes running throughout the ethos of the school, there are times when these identified topics above are also taught within specific units of work.
The Geography curriculum teaches our pupils that Britain is an island nation.
The school learns about the similarities and differences between British culture and that of European countries, as well as further abroad (South and North America). The children empathise with those from other cultures by writing from their perspective, after researching life in other countries.
Within History, the pupils in Key Stage 2, learn about life in Ancient civilisations as well as early British History (Stone Age, Romans, Vikings and Saxons). They learn about the influence that these eras of history have on the way that they live today.
School assemblies at reflect current festivals or national awareness weeks which are taking place across Britain. Such themed weeks are Anti Bullying week, Parliament Week, Black History Month, Diwali/Bonfire Night and Chinese New Year. Remembrance day is honoured by the whole school in an assembly which is led by the pupils; pupil’s respect and recognise the loss of the lives of those who fought in the war from countries all over the world. Our children also attend the Remembrance Service to lay a wreath at St Mary's Church each year.