Countess Anne School
A Church of England Academy
Promoting British Values:
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.’
The Government set out its definition of British Values in the 2011 Prevent Strategy, and these value shave been reiterated this year (2014).
At Countess Anne Academy these values are regularly promoted through high quality teaching, a value based programme of assemblies and a positive behaviour policy which allows pupils to develop and demonstrate skills and attributes that will allow them to participate in and contribute positively to life in Modern Britain.
Each year starts with the democratic election of our Head Boy and Head Girl. The whole school participates in listening to the candidates’ electoral promotions, the process of questioning them and finally casting their votes.
In turn our Head Girl and Boy lead a pupil body within the school called the ‘Make Believers’. Inspired by the volunteers of the London 2012 Olympics – the Game Makers; this group is made up of elected volunteers from each class. They are charged with bringing ideas from the each class and making them happen within the school. The result is that many of our pupils attend lunchtime clubs lead by the Make Believers and that some of their ideas are included in our termly development plans.
At Countess Anne each year within each the children draw up their class rules, the rights and responsibilities associated with these rules. All children are encouraged to contribute to the running of their classrooms and the school. Pupil voice surveys (Snapshot and P2P) are conducted regularly with their outcomes feeding into school developments. Previous impact of pupil voice has been the development of the playground, improved transition from EYFS onto year 1 & 2.
Our school educates the children about democracy through visits to the school by the local magistrates and through engaging in debates and discussions about topics through our curriculum.
The Rule of Law:
The importance of laws, as part of living and working together as a school community, permeates much of the structures and expectations that we have at Countess Anne. They are referred to by children and staff throughout the day and our underpinned by our School Values of Kindness, Responsibility and Respect.
Pupils are taught the value and reasons behind the rules and law, that they govern and protect us, the responsibilities that this involves and the consequences when laws are broken. Visits from local magistrates and working alongside the police, school nurse and fire service all help to reinforce this message.
At Countess Anne we encourage pupils to make informed choices. From the earliest stages of their education in EYP where the children have the opportunity to choose a learning activity pupils have opportunity to influence their learning experience throughout the school. Whether this be through the choice of challenge, how they record their work, choosing books for the library or by choosing to participate in our Enrichment programme and residential opportunities. Moreover through our Circle Time programme and PSHCE activities all children are taught protective behaviours, where they learn to take appropriate risk and how to protect themselves in a safe way.
Part of our school ethos and behaviour policy has its foundation in our school value of ‘Respect’ and ‘Achievement For All’ approach to all abilities and peoples.
The first half-term of each school year begins with assemblies focused on what it means to respect. Pupils partake in discussions about Respecting God, Respecting Others and Respecting Ourselves.
This foundation of mutual respect is reiterated annually during National Anti-Bullying Week where guest speakers and workshops help to broaden our children’s appreciation of different peoples’ lives.
Opportunities in both dance and music give our children the chance to learn different cultural songs and dance. Our children are encouraged to take on a wider role in our community and as a church school we offer hope and joy to the local community through contributing to many seasonal festivals and community events.
Tolerance for different Faiths and Beliefs:
As a Church School, Countess Anne is a diverse community with many Christian families coming from many cultures/countries. However although founded on the Christian faith the school recognises the importance of teaching our pupils mutual respect for those of different or of no faith.
Our Religious Education Programme of study includes the opportunity for pupils to ask the ‘Big Questions’ as well as learning about other major faiths such as Islam and Judaism.
Visits to local places of worship happen regularly and both visitors and parents are welcome to talk about their faith and culture within the classroom setting.
The school recognises its duty to prepare its pupils for life in modern Britain – that living in community will require them to both understand and appreciate difference, whilst maintaining a shared sense of the structures that are needed to keep individuals and community safe.