Rights Respecting and British Values
Being a Rights Respecting School:
The Rights Respecting School Award (RRSA) is an initiative run by UNICEF UK, which encourages schools to place the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC) at the heart of its ethos and curriculum.
Here at Berry Hill Primary we are proud to have been awarded our Level 1 in following a visit from a Unicef assessor in Summer 2016. This award shows that we have made good progress towards embedding children’s rights in our school policy, practice and ethos, as outlined below:
- we are explicitly embedding the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child in our policy, practice and culture
- we are promoting knowledge and understanding of the Convention throughout our school community
- children and young people are beginning to see themselves as rights-respecting global citizens and advocates for fairness and children’s rights locally and globally.
During 2017 we will be continuing to build our children’s knowledge and awareness through an enhanced understanding of global life.
The government set out their definition of British values in the 2011 Prevent Strategy. These were reinforced in Sept 2014 due to recent events. These new regulations will sit alongside the requirements of the Equalities Act, which also applies to all types of school.
Schools will be expected to focus on, and be able to show, how our work with pupils is effective in embedding fundamental British values.
Promoting British values at Berry Hill Primary School
We have adopted the Department for Education’s five-part definition of British values:
- the rule of law
- individual liberty
- mutual respect
- tolerance of those of different faiths and beliefs
Listed below are some examples of how we promote these values in our school community:
Pupil voice is significant in our school. Our pupils elect school councils who engage in regular pupil conferencing and council meetings where ideas are discussed and plans made for various school improvements. Pupils have an input in regards to what and how they learn at the beginning of each topic, which also promotes pupil voice.
Pupil questionnaires and conferencing are conducted throughout the year. We know that the formation of the school council and the active participation of our pupils will sow the seeds for a more sophisticated understanding of democracy in the future.
The Rule of Law
Our pupils will encounter rules and laws throughout their entire lives. We want our pupils to understand that whether these laws govern the class, the school, the neighbourhood or the country, they are set for good reasons and must be adhered to.
This understanding of the importance of rules will be consistently reinforced through assemblies and our curriculum. The involvement of our pupils in the creation of the class and school rules helps them to understand the reasons behind the rules and the consequences if they are broken. Through PSHE and SMSC we allow opportunity to debate and discuss the reasons for laws so that children can recognise the importance of these for their own protection.
We invest a great deal of time in creating a positive culture in our school, so that children are in a safe environment where choices and freedoms are encouraged. In lessons, learning tasks are often left for the child to decide upon. We encourage children to choose the task that will challenge them, giving them more freedom to determine their own learning. We offer a range of clubs which pupils have the freedom to choose from, based on their interests. Through our work with the Unicef Rights Respecting programme, we educate children on their rights and personal freedoms as well as supporting them in recognising how to exercise these freedoms safely. In school we believe that valuing choice and freedom in daily school life will foster a value for individual liberty as the children embark upon their adult lives.
Mutual respect is at the core of our school life. Students learn to treat each other and staff with great respect. This is evident when walking around the school and in the classrooms.
Tolerance of those of different faiths and beliefs
At Berry Hill Primary School we offer a culturally rich and diverse curriculum in which all major religions are studied and respected throughout KS1 and KS2. We strongly believe that tolerance is gained through knowledge and understanding. Through our curriculum and the routines of our daily school life, we strive to demonstrate tolerance and help children to become knowledgeable and understanding citizens who can build a better Britain for the future.