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British Values and Spiritual, Moral, Social and Cultural Education at Byker Primary School
Spiritual, Moral, Social and Cultural Education runs alongside and underpins our school curriculum and daily life. We recognise and embrace the need to promote strategies that challenge prejudice and promote equality and democracy within our school.
The DFE consultation in 2014 asks 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 Byker Primary School, we work hard to ensure these values are promoted and embedded in everything we do, from our school ethos and policies to practice in the classroom. We believe they are exemplified in the behaviours of our children. We are very proud to call ourselves the Byker Primary School Family. This family embraces children, teachers, families and our wider community. We aim to model through the way we treat each other, our key values of respect, tolerance, understanding and cooperation. These core values are reinforced across school in many ways and where children, staff or parents express opinions contrary to them, they are challenged.
We aim to give our children an understanding and appreciation of how different cultures have shaped our school, local community and country; the willingness to share and reflect upon their own and others’ faith, beliefs and values; opportunities to investigate moral and ethical issues without, conflict, prejudice and bias; a context to use their developing social skills to work with others, regardless of gender, race or sexuality and the belief that they can make a positive contribution to the society in which they live.
Strengthening Our Communities: Byker Primary is an exciting and diverse school embracing staff and families from many different backgrounds. We take every opportunity to ensure our children explore what it means to be part of our community and that they have many regular chances to participate in actively building up the society they are part of. Our curriculum is underpinned by a clear whole school vision and a set of Four Curriculum Drivers. A key Driver influencing all of our work is that of Community.
Our School Community: We work hard together to build our Byker community based on care and respect for each other and a shared ownership of the behaviour we display. We expect all children and adults in our school to treat each other with respect, care and kindness.
Our partnership with parents is key to the success of our school and we strive to offer as many opportunities as possible that involve our parents in school life. Governors oversee our work and play a key role in monitoring, supporting and framing our work. Our children play active roles across our local and regional communities and our school is outwards looking for all opportunities to engage our children in the global community.
Democracy: Democracy is strong within our school, but we are always aware of the need to expand and deepen it to ensure every child is truly involved in decisions that affect them. We know that democracy is developed in school when every child feels they have a strong, equal and valued say about the issues that affect them. We strive to ensure that children know that their voices are valued. We listen to each other’s ideas and opinions with respect and learn how to engage in meaningful debate and discussion.
Tolerance of Those With Different Faiths And Beliefs: We believe that it is important to build understanding and empathy towards others that goes beyond tolerance. This is achieved through enhancing children’s understanding of their place in a culturally diverse society and by giving them opportunities to experience and celebrate such diversity. Our RE teaching is based on the agreed syllabus for Newcastle Schools and is designed to reflect the faiths, beliefs and religions of our school community and the wider community. We welcome in speakers holding different views and traditions to talk to our children. Members of faiths or religions are encouraged to share their knowledge and to enhance learning within classes and the school as well as through educational visits.
Assemblies and discussions involving prejudices and prejudice-based bullying are followed and supported by learning in PSHE lessons. We actively challenge any incidences of prejudice towards others based on faith, gender, race or disability using companies such as Show Racism the Red Card.
We believe that the breadth and diversity of our wider curriculum plays a key part in building understanding. We aim to deliver our curriculum through a broad range of learning opportunities that give children an understanding and appreciation of how different cultures shape our school, local community and country. Through a sense of open enquiry, we encourage children to reflect on the beliefs of others, to explore issues and develop their social skills.
Our school leadership team including all Governors emphatically reinforce the view that extremism will not form part of the curriculum or teaching in any form and that the PSHE curriculum will encourage the children to respect other people and no child will be discriminated against contrary to the Equality Act 2010. We challenge all incidences of prejudice within our school.
Mutual Respect: Respect underpins the adult and child interactions in our school and is at the heart of our Curriculum. All members of the Byker Family are expected to uphold our behaviour expectations. These rules are based around mutual respect. Through the way we treat each other we model respect to the children. We actively teach children what respect for each other is and incorporate it into our curriculum, discussions and assemblies. Displays around the school promote respect for others and this is reiterated through our classroom contracts, whole school rules,as well as our behaviour policy.
Our values encourage children to make active choices and take responsible decisions. Our children are taught to know, understand and exercise their rights and personal freedoms whilst being respectful to others. Through our wide Byker Curriculum, children are encouraged to make choices, work independently and make informed choices safely. We promote freedom of choice and the right to express views and beliefs, whilst being respectful to others. Through our PSHE, RSE and E-Safety, we educate children on their rights and personal freedoms as well as supporting them in recognising how to exercise these freedoms safely. Our wide range of opportunities and experiences in our Curriculum encourages choices for children to develop and express their interests.