The Government set out its definition of British values in the 2011 Prevent Strategy, and these values were reiterated in 2014. At Topcliffe, these values are reinforced regularly and in the following ways.
Topcliffe is a UNICEF Rights Respecting school. Children have decided upon the school charter and the rights associated with these.
Children have many opportunities for their voices to be heard. We have a school council which meets regularly to discuss issues raised in class council meetings. The council has its own budget and is able to genuinely effect change within the school; council members for each year group are voted in by their class. Additional to the school council the school has a Rights Respecting team and Playleaders; children have to apply for these positions and are then voted in by other children in their class.
Children have an annual questionnaire with which they are able to put forward their views about the school.
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 regular school days, as well as when dealing with behaviour and through school assemblies. Children are taught the value and reasons behind laws, that they govern and protect us, the responsibilities that this involves and the consequences when laws are broken. Visits from authorities such as the Police, Fire and the medical services help reinforce this message.
Within school, children are actively encouraged to make choices, knowing that they are in a safe and supportive environment. As a school we educate and provide boundaries for young children to make choices safely, through provision of a safe environment and empowering education. Children are encouraged to know, understand and exercise their rights and personal freedoms and advised how to exercise these safely. Whether it be through choice of learning challenge, of how they record, of participation in our numerous extra-curricular clubs and opportunities, children are given the freedom to make choices.
As a Rights Respecting School, mutual respect is at the heart of our values. Children learn that their behaviours have an effect on their own rights and those of others. All members of the school community treat each other with respect.
Tolerance of those of Different Faiths and Beliefs
At Topcliffe, assemblies are regularly planned to promote and celebrate a variety of faiths and cultures. Our RE, PSHE and topic teaching reinforce this. Members of different faiths or religions are encouraged to share their knowledge to enhance learning within classes and the school. Children visit places of worship that are important to different faiths.
At Topcliffe, we will actively challenge children, staff or parents expressing opinions contrary to fundamental British Values, including ‘extremist’ views.