Schools have a statutory duty to teach and promote British Values. The government set out its definition of British Values in the 2011 Prevent Strategy.
The five key British Values are:
The rule of law
Tolerance of those of different faiths and beliefs
Actively promoting the values means that everyone challenges opinions or behaviours in school that are contrary to fundamental British values.
Esher Church School is committed to serving its community. It recognises the multi-cultural, multi-faith and ever-changing nature of Great Britain. It also understands the vital role it has in ensuring that groups or individuals within the school are not subjected to intimidation or radicalisation by those wishing to unduly, or illegally, influence them.
We follow equal opportunities guidance ensuring that there will be no discrimination against any individual or group, regardless of faith, ethnicity, gender, sexuality, political opinion.
Alongside our Christian Values, Esher Church School is dedicated to preparing our children for their life beyond primary school and ensuring that we promote and reinforce British Values to all our pupils.
The promotion of British Values is woven in to our curriculum offer via our engaging Big Enquiry topics. They are also promoted through our very popular Picture News assemblies which encourage the children to reflect on a current news story in relation to British Values.
Democracy is embedded in the ethos of our school. Children are 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. Our children have many opportunities for their own voice to be heard. Throughout their school life there are times in which they can put themselves forward to take on extra responsibility and to collaborate with others for the greater good. Every year the children decide on their class rules and expectations as a team. All children are involved in the drawing up of these agreements. They have the opportunity to air their opinions and ideas through our School Parliament and pupil questionnaires. The elections of School Parliament representatives are based solely on pupil votes, reflecting our British electoral system and demonstrating democracy in action. Children have an annual questionnaire with which they are able to voice their views about the school.
The Rule of Law
The importance of laws and rules, whether they are those that govern the class, school or the country are consistently reinforced during everyday life at Esher Church School. Each class discusses and sets its own rules at the start of the school year 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. Our children are taught the value and reasons behind rules, that they govern and protect us, the responsibilities that this involves and the consequences when rules are broken. We involve our children in making decisions and choices that affect their time at school. Children are helped to learn to take responsibility for their own actions and for making things right if they have made a poor choice.
At Esher Church School children are actively encouraged to make choices in a safe environment. They are encouraged to know, understand and exercise their rights and personal freedoms and are advised how to exercise these safely and respectfully. Whether it is through choice of challenge; of how they record; or of participation in our numerous extra-curricular activities; our pupils are given the freedom to make choices.
Children learn that their behaviours have an effect on themselves and those around them from a very early age. We expect all members of our School to treat each other with dignity and respect. Dignity and respect is one of our key Christian Values and is a strong theme within both our curriculum and collective worship. The children know and understand that it is expected and imperative that respect is shown to everyone and to everything.
Children at Esher Church School learn that we live in a country which is full of diversity. They are taught to respect and celebrate all differences. Our curriculum and assemblies highlight the similarities and differences between cultures around the world. We ensure there are planned opportunities for our pupils to learn about different faiths and their beliefs.
Tolerance of Those With Different Faiths And Beliefs
The Christian Value of Dignity and Respect ensures understanding of those who have different faiths and beliefs. Esher Church School enhances pupils understanding of different faiths and beliefs through religious education and learning in PSHCE. We follow the Guildford Diocesan syllabus for Religious Education which provides opportunities where pupils feel secure to explore, reflect, develop curiosity and independence, whilst working collaboratively within a culture which respects each other’s ambitions. Our RE lessons actively promote diversity, embrace different faiths and beliefs and we reinforce messages of tolerance and respect for others. Through Religious Education we are also able to develop an awareness and appreciation of all cultures. The children visit places of worship for different faiths and we welcome visits to the school from clergy from the Anglican Churches that we serve as well as those representing other faiths.