Abbeyfields is required under section 78 of the Education Act 2002 to promote the spiritual, moral, mental and physical development of pupils. As of November 2014, schools also need to promote fundamental British values as part of the school curriculum.
Abbeyfields is committed to serving its community. It recognises the multi-cultural, multi-faith and ever-changing nature of the UK. 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.
It follows equal opportunities guidance which guarantees that there will be no discrimination against any individual or group, regardless of faith, ethnicity, gender, sexuality, political or financial status, or similar. Abbeyfields is dedicated to preparing pupils for their adult life beyond the formal, examined curriculum and ensuring that it promotes and reinforces British values to all its pupils.
The DfE has suggested that pupils are taught about fundamental British values during their spiritual, moral and cultural (SMSC) classes. Pupils are expected to display knowledge of the fundamental aspects of British values. The government has outlined their expectations, stating that pupils should:
- Understand the democratic process and how citizens can have a say in decision making.
- Recognise the advantages to living under the rule of law and how law is essential for a safe society.
- See that there is a separation of power and why it exists.
- Understand the reasons for accountability of institutions and why courts maintain independence.
- Know why freedom of religion protects all faiths, as well as those with no faith.
- Accept that people who hold different religious beliefs should be tolerated and not be discriminated against.
- Value the importance of identifying and combating extremism.
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Abbeyfields does not have to promote or teach any particular belief, view or way of life that contradicts our outlook or ethos; however, we will not promote discrimination, or accept intolerance against people or groups, on the basis of their belief, opinion or background.
The school has a School Council (the AMPs – Abbeyfields MPs) of democratically elected pupils who hold roles of responsibility.
The pupils, through the AMPs, also have opportunities to use their vote either in an election or to make a choice about a school improvement e.g. when choosing games and resources for outdoor playtimes.
Staff recommend others for the Golden Book, individual children who show they are modeling the values of respect, responsibility, perseverance or creativity have their names entered into the book.
Highlighting the development of democratic ideas in History lessons particularly in KS2. Examples of this include studying significant people (from our locality and from further afield) in recent history e.g. Emily Davidson and Nelson Mandela.
Pupils regularly are included in choosing representatives such as the AMPs, representatives for sporting activities etc.
There is a very clear framework for ensuring all pupils are listened to by adults. This is a key part of the school’s safeguarding practices as well as the Behaviour principles, the Behaviour policy and our general ethos (The Three Rivers Learning Trust and Abbeyfields).
Inviting County, Town Councillors, MPs and other locally elected speakers or representatives of local community organisations to the school.
The rule of law
Classes always create their own ‘class rules’ and expectations.
The school Behaviour Policy is regularly reviewed and explained to all.
Members of various school groups have been invited to contribute to appropriate sanctions and rewards through ideas and suggestions.
Pupils are also invited to suggest activities for special events such as the Summer Fair and for visits to our neighbouring residential homes.
There are regular visits from (for example) the local police, the fire service and RNLI to reinforce the message of right and wrong, being helped and general safety awareness.
Within our RE curriculum, teachers highlight the rules of the Church and God, for example the Ten Commandments and the Precepts of the Church.
Pupils are actively encouraged to make choices at our school, knowing that they are in a safe and supportive environment. As a school we provide boundaries for our children to make choices safely, through the provision of a safe environment and planned curriculum.
A major aspect of the schools work with all pupils is to encourage independent learning.
As part the general day to day work with pupils and as part of celebrations, all pupils are provided with opportunities for reflection as they take responsibility to explore and understand their feelings, aspirations and interests.
Our Behaviour policy and our school ethos and culture is one of constantly promoting respect for others, for example in our good manners, behaviour, tolerance, forgiveness and reconciliation.
Within classroom teaching there are many opportunities for pupils to learn from and listen to each other. Reinforcing the value of everyone’s opinions in class discussion and debate is a key value and is role modelled by all adults.
Tolerance of those of different faiths and beliefs
This is achieved through enhancing pupils’ understanding of their place in a culturally diverse society and by giving them opportunities to experience such diversity in our local community which is by large white British.
Assemblies and discussions involving prejudices and prejudice-based bullying have been followed and supported by learning in RE and PSHE.
We use opportunities such as the Olympics and World Cup to study and learn about life and culture in countries such as Mexico. We also have theme weeks in school to support this work e.g. Culture Week and Global Week.