The Education Act (2002) states that schools must promote the spiritual, moral, social and cultural development of pupils and ensure that they are actively promoting fundamental British Values. Guidance from the Department for Education (DfE) in November 2014 highlighted British Values as: Democracy, Rule of Law, Individual Liberty, Mutual Respect, Tolerance of those with different faiths and beliefs. At Merton Junior School, we understand the definitions of British Values to be:
- Democracy - Britain is a democracy; this means that the people in Britain vote for the people who make the laws and decide how the country is run. If we didn’t have a democracy, just one person might be able to make all the laws and that would not be fair.
- The rule of the law - In Britain, we have a police force who make sure people do not do the wrong thing and break the law; this means that we are safe.
- Individual liberty - In Britain, as long as we do not break the law, we can live as we choose to and have our own opinions about things.
- Mutual respect - We might not always agree with other people, but we try to show respect for their thoughts and feelings. We can give respect to others and we can expect other people to show us respect.
- Tolerance of those of different faiths and beliefs - In Britain, we accept that other people might have different beliefs than ours and they may believe in different religions.
British Values are explored through our rich and varied curriculum which is taught from the start of the children’s learning journey and reflects in all aspects of teaching and learning throughout their time at Merton Junior School.
Each week we use assemblies and class circle times to discuss how the British values feeds into our everyday lives. This is supported by our use of Picture News which links topical, local and worldwide news stories to the values as well as Merton Junior School values as well.
How we promote it
Children have the right to say what they think should happen, when adults are making decisions that affect them, and to have their opinions taken into account.
Governments should ensure that children are properly cared for, and protect them from violence, abuse and neglect by their parents, or anyone else who looks after them.
All children have a right to relax and play, and join in a wide range of activities.
Children have the right to meet together and join groups and organisations as long as this does not stop other people from enjoying their rights.
The Convention applies to everyone whatever their race, religion, abilities, whatever they think or say and whatever type of family they come from.
Children have a right to learn and use the language and customs of their families, whether these are shared by the majority of people in the country or not.
RSE curriculum discusses the idea of consent and respecting each other’s opinions and bodies
Children have the right to think and believe what they want, and to practice their religion, as long as they are not stopping other people from enjoying their rights. Parents should guide their children on these matters.