All schools have a responsibility “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 Sissinghurst Primary School we promote these values in the following ways:
At the beginning of each year children affirm the school’s expectations and the rights and responsibilities associated with these. We have a School Council to which members are voted in each year by their peers. Children understand that a place on the School Council comes with the responsibility of representing their peers’ needs and interests. We encourage children to be leaders throughout the school and we have a number of activities and responsibilities that are undertaken by the children. For example, we have Eco Councillors. Democracy is taught during assemblies and during circle times and class-based PSHE sessions. Year R and Year 5/6 have a ‘Buddy’ system which supports the younger children’s integration into school. Pupils are empowered to be involved in decision making processes and this is embedded in our school from Year R to Year Six.
The Rule of Law
Behaviour and safety are a priority at Sissinghurst. Children know what is expected of them, why rules are so important, and what the consequences are if they do not follow them. Children are well aware that their sustained excellent behaviour enables them to become learners of the highest calibre. We ensure that children are aware of the responsibilities that come with having rights. Children develop an understanding of personal responsibility and develop independence in managing relationships and behaviour. Through our whole school approach to restorative justice, we enable children to develop the language and strategies to solve conflict and right wrongs. We offer a range of exciting opportunities for children to be leaders throughout the school, and they understand that the rules they have created for their classes permeate through all activities and events. Children understand that their behaviour and regard for the rules extends beyond the school itself, such as being school ambassadors whilst on school visits.
Sissinghurst is a safe place for children and cultivates an atmosphere in which children can make choices about their school life in a supportive environment. We educate our pupils to know that they have boundaries within which they may make choices safely, through the provision of a nurturing mind-set and empowering education. Pupils are encouraged to know, understand, and exercise their rights and personal freedoms and are advised on how to exercise these safely, for example through our online safety and PSHE lessons. Whether it is through choice of challenge, of how they record, or of participation in our numerous extra-curricular clubs and opportunities, pupils are given the freedom to make choices. From the very start of their school-life children are encouraged to challenge their personal best by giving them ownership of their own learning. Children regularly have next steps shared with them, whether verbally or with written feedback in books so they know exactly what they can do to progress.
The ethos of our school nurtures an understanding of mutual respect and it underpins the engaging and exciting teaching and learning that happens here. School life at Sissinghurst abides by our values including those of kindness and forgiveness. The children and all staff understand our values and work in a manner that encourages everyone to achieve to their highest ability. Assemblies are linked to our school and British values and we celebrate achievement, positive attitudes and hard work regularly. Learning and effort are highly respected across the school.
Tolerance of those of Different Faiths and Beliefs
Different faiths and beliefs are explored and celebrated through assemblies, RE lessons and a variety of visits and visitors into school. The children are taught that people have different faiths and beliefs and that we should respect each other. Children within our school are encouraged to share their experiences and traditions. The curriculum includes faith stories and texts from a range of cultures to further raise children’s awareness of different cultures, faiths and beliefs. Through this the children gain an enhanced understanding of their place in a culturally diverse society. This is achieved through enhancing pupils’ understanding of their place in a culturally diverse society and by giving them opportunities to experience such diversity.