The Department for Education stresses the need to create and enforce a clear and rigorous expectation on all schools to promote the fundamental British values of:
- Rule of Law
- Individual Liberty
- Mutual Respect
- Tolerance of those different faiths & beliefs
At Melbourne Infant School, we actively promote British Values within our broad curriculum and also through our assemblies and collective worship. The school has strong links with the local churches and has a programme of visits or visitors from a range of Faith Communities. The school held the International School’s award and is currently looking at renewing it. This enables the pupils to develop an understanding of a range of communities and cultures beyond their own.
The school has a school council which meets twice termly. Children vote for one boy and one girl to represent each class. The School Council ensures that the children's views are heard and actions implemented. They have helped to design the school's logo, designed the ‘Tyre Park’, refurbished our toilets and recently purchased equipment for the outdoor areas. The school council meet with the school's Governing Body biannually and discuss a range of issues and ideas.
Our Governing Body is comprised of elected representatives from the staff, local authority, parents and co-opted governors (community); they meet at least each half term.
We actively invite parents and carers for their views throughout the year; this is done through individual letters, meetings, a suggestion box is located in the school entrance, the Headteacher is available at the front of school at the start and end of some school days; questionnaires are distributed to parents and carers annually and a summary of the findings are publicised; we have recently held a parent forum to involve parents in developing an effective and comprehensive assessment and reporting system. The PSHCE Scheme of work and curriculum topics tackle equal opportunities and discrimination through the curriculum, a parents questionnaire has taken into account what parents feel are the main priorities and these have been considered when planning the new PSHE scheme of work.
Rule of Law
Before starting school, children, parents and the Headteacher commit to our Home School Agreement, this is reviewed annually by our Governing body. School Rules are reviewed with the children at the start of each academic year and children agree on class rules with their teacher.
Lunchtime Supervisors have had specific training and promote Playground Rules for positive playtimes and they work closely with class teachers.
Visits from the local fire service and our Police Community Support Officer reinforce the need for laws and how they protect the community.
We aim to provide a supportive environment within which children and staff can make informed choices and voice their opinions. We have ‘Feelings Faces’ in each classroom to enable children to voice any concerns. At playtimes children are free to choose playground games and activities. The Playground Buddy system shows that the children have an effective support network if required and this promotes positive relationships and playtimes. We teach children about their personal rights and freedoms and how to be safe through collective worship, PSHCE and E-Safety sessions.
Children learn about specific British celebrations, events and commemorations through history topics, assemblies and Collective Worship. For example, children work with grandparents and local residents when engaging in our ‘living in Melbourne’ topic, this enables the children to learn about our village's history; our school council represent the school by attending the local Remembrance Day service every year and a 2 minute silence is observed during school time.
The school works closely within the community and is involved in the Melbourne Arts Festival, children develop art work in collaboration with local artists and these are then displayed around the village as part of the festival.
The school participates in many aspects of the local community (Christmas Fair, concerts for pre-school/junior school plus local retirement homes, supporting the Arts festival & Melbourne Carnival). Our Harvest celebrations enabled us to send food parcels to our local food bank and we sent a money donation to ‘Seeds for Africa’.
Tolerance of those of different Faiths & Beliefs
Our Collective Worship and PSHCE lessons reinforce messages of tolerance and respect for others. Key celebrations in different faiths are learned about, for example, Christmas, Easter, Diwali, Holi and Chinese New Year. Key stage one children visit the Hindu temple every 2 years to learn about the Hindu faith which links with our India topic and our Indian School.