British Values & The Prevention of Radicalisation
The Department of Education 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 this year. At St Chrysostom’s these values are reinforced regularly and in the following ways:
At St Chrysostom’s democracy is taken very seriously. Children are actively encouraged to have a voice and share their views and opinions regularly. Our active school council is one such example. We hold an election in the Autumn term where the children in Year 2-6 vote for two class representatives. The school council meets regularly to discuss ideas and issues important to the children and the school.
Every child also contributes their ideas to the composition of their own class charter every year. This sets ground rules for classroom conduct and establishes the standards of behaviour children can expect from each other over the year ahead. All children also complete an annual questionnaire which provides them with the opportunity to share their views on learning at St Chrysostom’s and suggest ways in which the school could be improved further.
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 the school day, as well as when dealing with behaviour and through school assemblies. Children 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. Our schools rules, rewards and sanctions, which are displayed in all classrooms, are referred to regularly and consistently upheld.
Visits from authorities such as the Police and Fire Service help reinforce this message.
Within school, children are actively encouraged to make decisions and choices, knowing that they are in a safe and supportive environment. As a school we educate and provide boundaries for children to take risks and make choices safely. Children are encouraged to know, understand and exercise their rights and personal freedoms and advised how to exercise these safely, for example through our E-Safety and PSHE lessons. Whether it be through choice of learning challenge, how they record their learning, participation in one of our extra-curricular clubs, children are given the freedom to make choices and make decisions.
As a Church of England School, mutual respect is at the heart of our values. Children learn that their behaviours have an effect on their own rights and those of others. All members of the school community treat each other with respect.
Tolerance of Those of Different Faiths and Beliefs
St. Chrysostom’s is situated in a culturally rich and diverse area. We place great importance on celebrating our similarities and valuing our differences.
Assemblies are regularly planned to enrich children’s understanding of different faiths and beliefs. Our RE and PSHE teaching reinforces this. Each year the children explore different world faiths alongside their learning about Christianity. By the time they leave us all children have learnt about the beliefs and practices of people of the following world faiths; Judaism, Sikhism, Hinduism, Buddhism and Islam. Members of different faiths or religions are encouraged to share their knowledge to enhance learning within classes and the school.
At St Chrysostom’s we will actively challenge children, staff or parents expressing opinions contrary to fundamental British Values, including those expressing extremist views.
PREVENTING RADICALISATION AND EXTREMISM
Radicalisation is defined as the act or process of making a person more radical or favouring of extreme or fundamental changes in political, economic or social conditions, institutions or habits of the mind.
Extremism is defined as the holding of extreme political or religious views.
The Governing Body of St Chrysostom’s has a zero tolerance approach to extremist behaviour for all school community members. We rely on our strong values to steer our work and ensure the pastoral care of our children protects them from exposure to negative influences.
St Chrysostom’s is fully committed to safeguarding and promoting the welfare of all our children. As a school, we recognise that safeguarding against radicalisation is no different from safeguarding against any other vulnerability. All staff are expected to uphold and promote the fundamental principles of British values, including democracy, the rule of law, individual liberty and mutual respect, and tolerance of those with different faiths and beliefs.
- Children are encouraged to adopt and live out our Core Values. These complement the key British Values of tolerance, respect, understanding, compassion and harmonious living.
- Children are helped to understand the importance of democracy and freedom of speech, through Second Step PSHE lessons and through the elected School Council members
- Children are taught how to keep themselves safe in school and when using the internet.
- Children participate in local community events so that they appreciate and value their neighbours and friends who may not share their faith background.
- Children’s wellbeing, confidence and resilience is promoted through our planned curriculum and extra-curricular learning opportunities.
- Children are supported in making good choices from a very young age, so they understand the impact and consequences of their actions on others.
THE ROLE OF THE CURRICULUM
Our curriculum promotes respect, tolerance and diversity. Children are encouraged to express themselves through discussions, debates and consultations. The RE (Religious Education), PSHE (Personal, Social and Health Education), Citizenship and SMSC (Spiritual, Moral, Social and Cultural) provision is embedded across the curriculum and underpins the ethos of our school. Children learn about all major faiths and visit places of worship wherever possible. They are also taught about how to stay safe when using the internet.
Although serious incidents involving radicalisation have not occurred at St Chrysostom’s to date, it is important for us to be constantly vigilant and remain fully informed about the issues which affect the region in which we teach. All staff are fully aware of the school’s safeguarding procedures and know how to refer any concerns through the Child Protection/Safeguarding Lead Teachers.