Through our Collective Worship sessions the pupils explore in depth eighteen Christian values. From these eighteen Christian values we have five core values which are central to our school:
Pupils are actively encouraged to understand and demonstrate these throughout their time at Nacton. These core values were established with involvement from pupils, parents, staff and governors, who were asked which values they would like the pupils to leave Nacton with.
The Government set out this definition of British values in the 2011 Prevent Strategy, and these values were reiterated in 2014. “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.”
This was not something new at Nacton Church of England Primary School. British values are promoted in so much of what we do, not least during our school assemblies, Religious Education and Personal, Social and Emotional Aspects of Learning.
The term ‘British values’ might be slightly misleading in that these values are integral to so many countries throughout the world – they differ in no way from the values of most western European countries, for example.
Being part of Britain
As a school, we value and celebrate the diverse heritages of everybody at Nacton. Alongside this, we value and celebrate being part of Britain. In general terms, this means that we celebrate traditions, such as customs in the course of the year; for example, our Autumn celebration about the harvest & bonfire night, Easter egg hunting and our Summer Fair and of course our Christmas celebrations! We also value and celebrate national, charity and sporting events such as the FIFA world cup, Children In Need and the WW1 Centenary. The children take great pleasure in raising money for a wide range of charities, with the school council involved choosing which charities will benefit from our church service collections.
Further, children learn about being part of Britain from different specific perspectives. We ensure that the children have a better understanding of what Britain is, learning more about:
- its capital cities and counties, its rivers and mountains
- the local area, specifically the farming background of the village and the river
- how ‘Great Britain’ differs from ‘England’ and ‘the United Kingdom’ where Britain is in relation to the rest of Europe and other countries in the world
- British history, Monarchs, rulers and significant events that defined society
Children, parents and staff have many opportunities for their voices to be heard at Nacton Primary. Democracy is central to how we operate.
An obvious example is our School Council. The election of the School Council members reflects our British electoral system and demonstrates democracy in action. Made up of one representative from each year group, the School Council meets regularly to discuss issues raised by the different classes. The council has its own budget and is able to genuinely effect change within the school.
Other examples of ‘pupil voice’ are:
- The ‘Guardians of the Planet’ Eco-team was formed due to a suggestion raised by the School Council and are actively involved in reducing our impact on the environment.
- using Pupil Feedback forms, children are asked to respond and reflect on the teaching and learning
Pupils are always listened to by adults and are taught to listen carefully and with concern to each other, respecting the right of every individual to have their opinions and voices heard. We encourage pupils to take ownership of not only their school but also of their own learning and progress. This encourages a heightened sense of both personal and social responsibility and is demonstrated on a daily basis by our pupils.
Parents have many opportunities for their voices to be heard, including; termly parents evenings, questionnaires. Parents are also always welcome to meet with the headteacher or class teacher to raise points or concerns.
Rules and laws
The importance of rules and laws, whether they be those that govern our school or our country, are referred to and reinforced often, such as in assemblies and when reflecting on behaviour choices. At the start of the school year, each class discusses and sets its own Class rules, a set of principles that are clearly understood by all and seen to be necessary to ensure that every class member is able to learn in a safe and ordered environment.
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. These values are reinforced in different ways:
- visits from authorities such as the police and fire service
- during Religious Education, when rules for particular faiths are thought about
- during other school subjects, where there is respect and appreciation for different rules – in a sports lesson, for example
Alongside rules and laws, we promote freedom of choice and the right to respectfully express views and beliefs. Through the provision of a safe, supportive environment and empowering education, we provide boundaries for our young pupils to make choices safely; for example:
- choices about what learning challenge or activity
- choices about how they record their learning
- choices around the participation in extra-curricular activities
Our pupils are encouraged to know, understand and exercise their rights and personal freedoms and are taught how to exercise these safely, such as in our e-safety lessons.
Mutual respect and tolerance of those with different faiths, beliefs and backgrounds
Our pupils know and understand that it is expected and imperative that respect is shown to everyone, whatever differences we may have, and to everything, whether it is a school resource, a religious belief or whatever. Children learn that their behaviour choices have an effect on their own rights and those of others. All members of the school community should treat each other with respect.
Specific examples of how we at Nacton Primary enhance pupils understanding and respect for different faiths and beliefs are:
- through Religious Education and other lessons where we might develop awareness and appreciation of other cultures – in English through fiction and in Art by considering culture from other parts of the world, for example
Sadly, no school can guarantee that there will never be instances which are contrary to this value. At Nacton Primary, such instances are extremely rare. They are treated seriously in line with our policies and are followed up.