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At Houghton Primary School we strive to promote and secure British values, as defined within the government's Prevent Strategy 2011, throughout our curriculum and ethos. This statement demonstrates our commitment to not only promote British Values but, also, to celebrate them.
We recognise the importance of embedding an understanding of valuing everyone’s opinion. As such, we have a school council made up of every child in Year 6. Within the school council the children are organised into sub-committees, each committee has a different role and responsibility within the school. Our class representatives, for example, meet with each class in order to seek the ideas and opinions of the children across the school. Our fund raising committee take full responsibility for the organisation and running of our many charitable events and committees such as the Eco-Committee meet regularly with members of staff to pursue awards of recognition for the school such Eco school accreditation. Pupils are involved within the decision making and as such are responsible for shaping important decisions that impact on the school.
School Council Committee Meeting
The whole Year 6 cohort are on the school council. Here they have just helped load donations from Harvest Festival ready for delivery to the Godmanchester Food Bank, supporting local families in crisis.
The opinions and decisions of the children have had a direct impact on the teaching and learning within our community. For example, School Council have helped to run and organise E-Safety Awareness campaigns within the school, forming the E-Safety crew and helping to encourage children to behave responsibly and to stay safe while online. The Community Committee regularly contribute to the village magazine and consulted with classes on behalf of the Parish council to suggest new equipment for the village play area.
The curriculum itself also reflects a desire to educate our learners about the various systems of democracy around the world both past and present. For instance, history topics study the ways in which other civilisations have been ruled and contrast these to our current British system of democracy. We also ensure that children have a basic knowledge of democracy in action in the modern world through running mock election campaigns such as the Great British Bird Campaign and giving pupils a chance to vote. As part of their English work pupils in year 6 wrote to members of the Royal family and MPs and were excited to receive many personal responses. Hawks class also wrote to John Major to invite him to visit our school to inspire the children and talk about his life in politics, we look forward to a visit in the near future.
An example of a home learning journal where children have the freedom to present their learning as they wish... this child has found out about the Queen's life and celebrated it in the form of an illustrated timeline.
Rule of Law
We encourage learners to understand and respect the laws of our country and contrast these with similar sanctions imposed around the world. Through our citizenship curriculum we explore the principles behind setting such rules for society and enable learners to think about the suitability and appropriateness of such rules. For example, topics which have previously covered such laws have explored issues of crime and punishment and equality and discrimination.This is also explored through high quality literature, such as the picture book ‘The Island’ by Armin Greder, which has been used as a starting point for discussions and role plays around these issues.
We also recognise the importance of educating children about how to work within the boundaries of the law. We regularly invite law enforcement agencies to speak in assemblies. This enables them to gain a better understanding of the ways in which they can work within the law’s remit but also how the law can protect them. This year, we have also welcomed ‘Magistrates in the Community’ into Hawks and Eagles classes to explore this topic with our older children and consider the limitations a criminal record may have on future life chances.In class the children also took part in role plays within their History work and Literacy on the theme of justice, setting up mock courts within the classrooms, putting fictional and historical characters ‘on trial’.
Throughout our school, we encourage children to make responsible choices whether in relation to their behaviour or their teaching and learning. Children are able to make their own choices in relation to their learning or free play activities. This is demonstrated when children pose questions about topics they are learning. Teaching is then tailored to answer these questions and thereby engage all. Children are also able to exercise their own freedom by determining their targets for learning and choosing to participate in numerous extra-curricular clubs and opportunities. In Key Stage 2 children can make choices within their home learning tasks and activities, choosing how to present their learning and selecting the level of challenge they participate in for spelling and times tables activities.We are exploring the topic of mindset and empowering learners to make decisions and take responsibility for their own learning and futures.
Houghton Primary School is a caring school where diversity is encouraged and celebrating difference is fundamental. We hold regular performances in which children are given the opportunity to shine. The concept of mutual respect is addressed through topics, RE lessons and PSHE assemblies and sessions. For instance, topics include understanding and celebrating the differences between men and women and PSHE assemblies address concepts such as bullying, Remembrance Day and freedom of choice.
Each child made a ceramic poppy in commemoration of 100 years since the Battle of the Somme
Children are encouraged to work both cooperatively and independently, we encourage pupils to contribute sensitively and thoughtfully to peer-assessment and to regularly support each other within an active curriculum. We encourage and value collaborative thinking. This is demonstrated through the awarding of house points for the School Games Values of ‘Respect’, ‘Honesty’ and ‘Teamwork’ and maintained through our golden rule of ‘We are honest, respect others and remember our manners’ held within our behaviour policy. All members of our school staff consistently model and promote the behaviours and attitudes that are the foundations of positive relationships.
Tolerance of Different Faiths and Beliefs
We encourage children to question the world around them in a respectful way. Our RE curriculum enables children to do this by exploring the various religions of the world and considering their own views in relation to these. Sessions are planned which ensure that children are enabled to recognise that all beliefs should be respected, even when these are different to their own. We teach children about issues such as prejudice and racism within a school culture that celebrates diversity and seeks to enrich our children's knowledge and understanding of cultural identity.