At Whitehall Junior School we promote ‘British Values’ through our spiritual, moral, social and cultural education, which is embedded, throughout our whole school ethos as well as through our PSHE curriculum; this supports the development of the ‘whole child’. We recognise that such development is most successful when all the staff that provide a model of behaviour for our pupils promote those values and attitudes.
The Government set out its definition of British values in the 2011 Prevent Strategy, and these values were reiterated in 2014. We acknowledge the Department for Education’s five-part definition of British values:
ii the rule of law;
iii individual liberty;
iv mutual respect and
v tolerance of those of different faiths and beliefs.
We promote these values.
Whitehall Junior is a UNICEF Rights Respecting school. Each year the children decide upon their class charter and the rights associated with these. All the children contribute to the drawing up of the charter at the start of the new school year.
Children have many opportunities for their voices to be heard. We model democracy in action by holding elections for the posts of responsibility eg House Captains. We also replicate the process of a general election by holding our own ballots for school change. Pupil visits to both our local Civic Centre and London’s City Hall have been made.
The views of our pupils are frequently gathered, often when teachers are monitoring learning. Each half term they are given the chance to provide feedback on their teacher through our travelling plenaries.
ii The Rule of Law
The importance of laws, whether they be those that govern the class, the school, or the country, are consistently reinforced throughout all school activities as well as when dealing with behaviour. Pupils are taught the value of and reasons behind laws, that they govern and protect us, as well as the responsibilities that this involves and the consequences when laws are broken. Educational visits (for example, the Junior Citizenship Project with the emergency services) exemplify these laws in a practical context. We also have good links with our local PSCO and have welcomed him in to discuss rules and laws with pupils.
Pupils are helped to learn to manage their behaviour and take responsibility for their actions. They are also helped to resolve conflict using coaching and the ‘Whitehall Way’. Staff are committed to providing a consistent and safe environment within the school and beyond. Our motto: ‘Happiness at the heart of learning’, is lived out actively during each school day.
iii Individual Liberty
Pupils at Whitehall Junior are encouraged to become good and valued citizens. We do this by supporting each pupil to become as independent as possible; many take on positions of responsibility around our school. We hold the ‘Investors in Pupils’ award. During the school day, pupils are actively encouraged to make choices, knowing that they are in a safe and supportive environment. Pupils are encouraged to know, understand and exercise their rights and personal freedoms and are advised how to exercise these safely, for example through our E-Safety and PSHE lessons. Pupils learn that certain rights bring with them a level of responsibility.
We support others by participating in charitable events such as, Red Nose Day/Comic Relief, Children in Need and through fundraising to support our PLAN children. At Whitehall Junior School we believe that by engendering a caring and helpful environment we can boost and nurture a healthy self-esteem. We offer a range of clubs which pupils have the freedom to choose from, based on their interests. Some pupils may attend Pyramid Club, which helps them to develop their social skills and also manage the transition to secondary school.
iv Mutual Respect
As a Rights Respecting School, mutual respect is at the heart of our values. Children learn that their behaviours have an effect on themselves and others. They learn the importance of being polite and well mannered towards one another. We promote inclusion and our pupils are understanding and supportive of one another. All members of the school community treat each other with respect.
Our school represents a vibrant and diverse community. We celebrate our differences, involving both pupils and families in events, such as International Evening, and in encouraging parents to learn English through our Grass Roots English Group. Staff model mutual respect across our school; this provides a great example for our pupils to follow.
v Tolerance of those of Different Faiths and Beliefs
Whitehall Junior School serves a multi-cultural community where each person is respected and valued equally without regard to ability, gender, faith, heritage or race. Cultural appreciation and development forms part of our curriculum; tolerance can be gained through knowledge and understanding. We make the most of our diverse school community and believe this brings richness to our curriculum. We also have a visiting teacher with us from China; she teaches our pupils about Chinese culture and children in Years 5 and 6 learn to speak Mandarin.
Assemblies, RE lessons and visits to places of worship enable pupils to learn more about the faiths and cultural backgrounds, which form the make-up of our school. Pupils are encouraged to experience British culture through the many educational visits and enriching learning experiences we offer. Visits may include: concerts, theatre performances, art galleries, museums, and buildings of significance and country parks. We want all of our pupils to have a sense of ‘belonging’ within our school community; by unlocking their interests and talents we can provide opportunities, which play to their strengths and enhance self-motivation.