The DfE have recently reinforced the need “to create and enforce a clear and rigorous expectation on all schools to promote the fundamental British values of democracy, the rule of law, individual liberty and mutual respect and tolerance of those with different faiths and beliefs.”
As a school we serve a very diverse community, with over 95% of children from an ethnic group other than White British. We are incredibly proud of the diversity of our school and the richness that this brings. We are committed to ensuring that our community works collaboratively and have lots of strategies in place to support this approach:
- Specialist EAL teachers and bi-lingual support staff, who can often support children in their home language and liaise with parents who may not speak English themselves
- Learning mentors support black children who may be underachieving or at risk of underachieving in the classroom
- Workshops for parents to help improve understanding of how to support their children’s learning and to use their many strengths and talents to support the school. For example in the “Story Sack” work workshops parents have designed and produced some very valuable resources that support the literacy, maths and RE curriculum
- A welcoming environment to parents with coffee mornings, displays celebrating our families links around the world and the different languages they speak, a stay and play group, regular opportunities to speak to teachers and senior leaders in the school
- A well resourced culturally diverse curriculum that includes many opportunities to promote positive images of the families within our school’s community
Elmwood Infant School and Nursery is commitment to the Rights Respecting values of UNICEF and are working towards the RRS Award. These values include: Respect, Responsibility, Love, Unity, Humility, Happiness, Co-operation, Simplicity, Tolerance, Honesty, Peace and Freedom. These are taught through all we do at school and particularly during assemblies and times when we are all together and can learn from each other.
The UNICEF Rights Respecting Schools Award (RRSA) supports schools across the UK to embed children’s human rights in their ethos and culture. The award recognises achievement in putting the UN Convention on the Right of the Child (UNCRC) at the heart of a school’s practice to improve well-being and help all children realise their potential.
The award is based on principles of equality, dignity, respect, non-discrimination and participation.
At Elmwood, our ethos also revolves around our Super Skills.
These are 10 learning behaviours which help enable children to succeed in their learning, school life and future. Our Super Skills are:
The Core Values determined by the DfE are:
Democracy: Pupils have the opportunity to have their voices heard through School Council, our Rights Respecting Pupil Group and through Pupil questionnaires. For example, Reception children were asked to identify their favourite outdoor learning activities to help us determine what our new outdoor learning facilities should focus on.
Each year all children in the EYFS 2 and KS 1 complete a child survey which seeks their views about; how involved they are with their learning, how happy and safe they feel at school, how well they are listened to and trusted to do things on their own and how they think their parents feel about the school. This survey is analysed by the PHSE co-ordinator and the EMA co-ordinator to assess strengths and areas for development and to plan actions for the future.
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, through school assemblies and PSHCE. Pupils 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 Officers and the Fire Service are regular parts of our calendar and help reinforce this message. Children have all signed up to their class charter too; this outlines the rights and responsibilities of everyone within the class and around the school.
At the beginning of each academic year Children re-visit classroom rules and spend time thinking about “WMG” behavior at school.
Individual Liberty: Within school, pupils 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 pupils to make choices safety, through provision of a safe environment and empowering education. Pupils are encouraged to know, understand and exercise their rights and personal freedoms and advice is provided about how to exercise these safely, for example through our E-Safety and PSHE lessons. During assemblies and circle time, we consider issues within the local and global context where groups or communities may not have the individual liberty or safety that we have in the UK. For example, we participate every year in national Refugee Week celebrations and take part in Show Racism the Red Card, where we have been winners of this national competition for 6 consecutive years!
Mutual Respect: Our school ethos and behaviour policy revolve around our Super Skills, Rights Respecting behavior and celebrating cultural diversity. Pupils have been part of discussions and assemblies related to what this means and how it is shown. RRS posters around the school promote respect for others and this is reiterated through our classroom and learning rules, as well as our behaviour policy. Each week, two children from each class are nominated for an award linked to one of these values; they receive recognition in our “Golden Assembly” and are invited to have ‘Tea with the Head’? During Black History Month we join people around the country as they celebrate the contributions that black people and people from many other cultures have made to British society. We have special assemblies, dance, music, or storytelling workshops and “Achievers Week” where the children’s learning centres on the achievements and positive contributions of all the different cultures represented in our schools community.
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. Assemblies and discussions involving prejudices and prejudice-based bullying take place and are supported by learning in RE and PSHE. We are proud of our culturally diverse curriculum that includes opportunities to promote positive images of families who belong to different faiths and a Festival Display board celebrating some of the major festivals of the world’s largest religions.
As part of our commitment to the Prevent duty, please find this a useful guidance that has been created for parents by the Local Authority of Tower Hamlets.
Educate against hate
The Government has recently launched a major new website that gives parents, teachers and school leaders practical advice on protecting children from extremism and radicalisation. http://www.educateagainsthate.com/