Our ethos and vision
Our Ethos and Vision
British values are promoted in much of what we do at The Beeches; during school assemblies, Religious Education, Personal, Social and Health Education (PSHE) sessions and through our questioning based curriculum. These values are integral to the children’s experience at the school.
As well as promoting British values, the opposite also applies: we actively challenge pupils, staff or parents expressing opinions contrary to fundamental British values, including ‘extremist’ views, disinformation or repressive attitudes.
The British values we embrace are not unique to Britain; we acknowledge that they differ in no way from the values of the many countries and cultural backgrounds represented by families at our school and are in that sense also international values in line with the international convention on human rights and the rights of the child. Below are just a few examples of how we promote British values. The first section is a general overview; the others are specific expectations set out by Ofsted.
Being part of Britain
As a school, we value and celebrate the diverse heritages of everybody in our community. Alongside this, we value and celebrate being part of Britain. In general terms, this means that we celebrate traditions and customs in the course of the year; for example, Harvest Festival during the autumn term and remembering the fallen on 11th November as well as Christian festivals at Easter and Christmas.
We also value and celebrate national events, for example the Olympics, national referendums and general elections. Further, children learn about being part of Britain from different perspectives, as The Beeches has adapted the curriculum to meet its needs, each phase in the school has the opportunity to learn about local history and geography and well as national and international aspects. All phases also have the chance to learn about significant times in British history such as WW2, the great fire of London, Anglo-Saxons, Tudors, crime and punishment, the war of the roses. As part of the curriculum, children also learn about the diverse range of people who have made significant contributions to British society.
Children, parents and staff have many opportunities for their voices to be heard at The Beeches Community Primary School. Democracy is central to how we operate.
An obvious example is our democratically elected school council who work hard to be the voice for their class. Out of these pupils we also have a small representative group who sit on the ASSET school’s pupil parliament and help to shape the direction of the academy trust.
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 use restorative justice to support with conflict resolution to ensure that all voices are heard. We encourage pupils to take ownership of their school and of their own learning and progress. This encourages a heightened sense of both personal and social responsibility and is demonstrated through success on a daily basis by our children. We have also extended parts of our upper key stage two history curriculum to include the history of Apartheid so that older children have the chance to learn about what can happen when democracy is not in place.
Parents’ and carers’ opinions are positively encouraged at The Beeches and parent/carer engagement is a high priority. We have established workshops, a successful online communication system, stay and paly opportunities as well as supplying food parcels through our bespoke school food bank in conjunction with Whitton Church. We conduct regular parent/carer surveys and encourage our wider community to be part of our decision making process.
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 the school rules and class routines, 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, caring and orderly environment.
Pupils are taught the values 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 lessons and assemblies, when rules for particular faiths and groups are thought about and discussed
•during other school subjects, where there is respect and appreciation for different rules – in sports lessons 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, we provide boundaries for our pupils to make choices safely; for example:
•choices about what level of learning challenge or activity to participate in
•choices about how to record learning
•choices around 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 PSHE or opportunities for debate.
Mutual respect and tolerance of those with different faiths and beliefs
The Beeches Community Primary School serves an area which is culturally diverse and we are proud to promote and celebrate our different backgrounds, languages and beliefs. Tolerance, politeness and mutual respect are at the heart of our ethos. Respect is one of our key words. Our children know and understand that it is expected that respect is shown to everyone and to everything, whatever differences we may have. Children learn that their behaviour choices have an effect on their own rights and those of others. All members of the school community are encouraged to treat one another with kindness and respect.
Specific examples of how we at The Beeches Community Primary School enhance pupils’ understanding and respect for different faiths and beliefs are:
•through Religious Education, PSHE and other lessons where we develop awareness and appreciation of other cultures – in English through fiction and in art and music by considering cultures from other parts of the world.
•celebrating cultural differences through assemblies, themed weeks, notice boards and displays Language of the month
Whilst instances contrary to our values are relatively rare, no school can guarantee that there will never be an incident contrary to our values. Each is treated seriously in line with our policies and expectations.