British Values Policy
SMSC and Promoting Fundamental British Values
Priory Woods School and Arts College is a multicultural community of pupils who experience a diverse range of mild, severe, profound and complex learning difficulties. This helps our school community to be tolerant of, show mutual respect for and celebrate the similarities and differences of all ages, abilities and cultures. We actively promote the pupils’ SMSC development through our curriculum and enrichment opportunities and the fundamental British Values are an integral part of this.
At Priory Woods ‘British Values’ are considered in the following ways:
“Develop an understanding of how citizens can influence decision-making through the democratic process”
Democracy is at the heart of Priory Woods aims and ethos;
“The promotion of pupil voice where opinions are valued, encouraged and which can influence change” (Priory Woods Vision)
Staff encourage children to know that their views count, to value each other’s views and to talk about their feelings. This voice can be through using words, signing, objects, photographs, symbols, eye pointing, body language and assistive technology such as eye gaze.
Student Council - The election of School Council members reflects the British electoral system. Pupils consider the necessary characteristics for an effective student council member and vote using a secret ballot. The Student Council meet regularly to bring suggestions to the table from their peers and make decisions about ways to improve the school for the benefit of all. Examples of positive changes made are – designing and choosing equipment for our outdoor play areas, being involved in the implementation of healthier choices at lunchtimes, planning anti- bullying week activities and charity events.
RULE OF LAW
“Develop an appreciation that living under the rule of law protects individuals and is essential for their wellbeing and safety”
Staff ensure that children understand their own and others’ behaviour and its consequences. Students learn to distinguish right from wrong through discussions and the modelling of positive behaviour and by the implementation of the Priory Woods “Golden Rules”. These encourage pupils to be kind and helpful, listen carefully, work hard, look after things, be honest and be gentle. Pupils who are observed putting these rules into practise are rewarded by eating lunch with the head teacher at the Golden Table. Team points and Assembly Awards are also important motivators for pupils to follow the Golden Rules.
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. These values are reinforced in different ways:
- Visits from authorities such as the police and fire service
- Religious Education, during which rules from different faiths are considered.
- Other curriculum subjects, where there is a need for respect and appreciation of different rules – e.g. P.E.
“Develop an understanding that the freedom to choose and hold other faiths and beliefs is protected by law”
Staff support all pupils to develop positive self esteem, self awareness and self confidence. Each pupil is supported to become as independent as possible through the Cornerstones Curriculum which promotes creative cross curricular learning, enabling environments and innovative use of technology. We recognise that pupils have various learning styles and provide opportunities for pupil led learning. We teach pupils ways they can make choices and give them strategies to communicate.
Through Personal Learning Targets/Challenges pupils are encouraged to take ownership of ways they can improve their learning and progress, giving them a sense of personal and social responsibility.
The school Anti-Bullying initiative ‘Big Bag of Worries’ gives pupils a means of communication. It is a system by which Priory Woods pupils can record bullying incidents and encourages them to speak out should they feel intimidated, frightened etc in any way or for any reason.
Buddy Bus Stops in the playground provide pupils with a safe place to go at playtimes. Trained Buddies are encouraged to approach anyone sitting at the “Bus Stop” and ask if they would like to play with or talk to them, ensuring no child is alone if they don’t want to be.
Pupils also make choices around Friday Options activities, Golden Time and extra-curricular enrichment clubs.
MUTUAL TOLERANCE AND RESPECT
“Develop an acceptance that other people having different faiths or beliefs (or none) should be accepted and tolerated and should not be subject to prejudice or discrimination.”
Inclusion, mutual tolerance and respect are at the heart of Priory Woods aims and ethos:
“Creating an ethos where everyone values and respects themselves and each other”
(Priory Woods Vision)
We believe that each person is respected and valued equally without regard to faith, heritage, race, ability or gender.
Staff aim to enhance pupils understanding and respect for different cultures, faiths and beliefs through our curriculum, examples are;
- Creative Arts - by considering cultures from around the world through music, art and dance.
- Knowledge & Understanding of the World - through organising Themed Weeks where we celebrate and enjoy the differences between other countries and cultures.
- Literacy and ICT – where there are opportunities to explore cultures and traditions using a wide range of fiction, non-fiction texts and the internet.
- PSHE, Health and Wellbeing – where Circle Time and The Thrive Approach are both important tools for promoting mutual tolerance and respect.
- Scientific Learning- in which practical activities require students to engage in teamwork and show mutual respect for each other.
We also encourage involvement in;
- Charity Events where pupils are made aware of the needs of people both in our own and other countries, supporting them through national fund raising events such as Children in Need, Shoe Box Appeal, Comic Relief and Sports Relief.
- The Erasmus European School Exchange Program in which pupils visit and are visited by schools across Europe which promotes mutual respect for one another’s heritage.
At Priory Woods School & Arts College we are dedicated to ensuring our pupils develop a strong sense of social and moral responsibility, preparing them for life in Modern Britain where, in an ever changing society they understand the importance of and are able to uphold the fundamental British Values of democracy, rule of law, individual liberty and mutual tolerance and respect for others.