Promoting and Teaching British Values at Thistle Hill Academy
At Thistle Hill Academy we support the Department for Education’s definition of British values which encompass:
-Rule of Law
-Tolerance of those of different faiths and beliefs
We have an approach that enables children to develop their understanding of these
values throughout their time at our school in order that they become responsible citizens both within school and beyond.
Throughout their time at Thistle Hill there will be many occasions where children will have the opportunity to be involved in the democratic process, for example through voting and having their voices heard. We understand that the children's opinions about their school are valid and need to be at the heart of our decision-making.
All staff model this process through asking questions and inviting children's answers and opinions, whether it is in lessons, during assemblies, at lunchtime or on the playground. In Child Initiated learning, in EYFS, all children are developing their decision making skills and learning to make informed choices and take responsibility for them.
Our School Council has members elected from each class and has regular meetings to represent the views of their classmates. An election is held where candidates have to make a speech and pupils vote the members onto the Council.
Our school Behaviour Policy is clear that children are expected to contribute and co-operate, taking into account the views of others.
The Rule of Law
We consistently reinforce our high expectations of children. Children are taught the value and reasons behind our expectations. They recognise that whilst we have rules at school, other rules and laws exist in the country for the same reasons. That they are there to protect us, that everyone has a responsibility and that there are consequences when rules are broken.
- At the beginning of each academic year each class agrees a set of rules with their peers and the teacher. These are then displayed in the class and referred to as necessary. Our four school values are part of the school ethos and are referred to in all parts of the school day.
- By signing the Home School Agreement all parents and carers, children and teachers show commitment to uphold the school rules.
- Children are helped to learn to manage their behaviour and take responsibility for their actions. We help children to understand the connection between actions and consequences.
- We have a clearly structured Behaviour Policy which all stakeholders follow and understand.
Visits from services such as the Fire Service, Road Safety experts and the Police help us to reinforce the message of rule of law.
Within school, children 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 children to make choices safely. Through our provision of a safe environment and empowering teaching, children are encouraged to know, understand and exercise their rights and personal freedoms.
We support each child to become as independent as possible so that they are encouraged to become good and valued citizens. We endeavour to demonstrate that everyone has rights; this includes the right to say ‘No’ when appropriate. We teach children how to make safe choices e.g. through E-Safety lessons, PSHE/Circle Times.
Some children are able to take responsibility for particular roles, such as Librarians and School Council. Learning to do things independently is an important part of learning to understand yourself. We believe that in fostering a careful and helpful environment and encouraging independence we can boost and nurture a healthy self-esteem.
Whether it is through their choice of learning challenge, how to record their work, choosing which of our many extra-curricular activities to participate in or what to eat at lunchtime, our children are given the freedom to make many choices.
Respect is one of our School Values which are embedded throughout each school day. Children learn that their behaviour has an effect on their own rights and those of others. All members of our school community treat each other with respect. Events and circumstances are planned for pupils to go into the community to meet with a variety of people in different situations, which include: sports events, community events and shared participation with other schools.
We support others by collecting Harvest goods for a chosen charity as well as participating in national charitable events such as Children in Need, Comic Relief, Jeans for Genes, Macmillan’s biggest coffee morning.
As a core value at Thistle Hill, ‘Respect’ is a key aspect of our school ethos and behaviour policy. Children are modelled this by caring, sharing and listening to others. The staff help children to understand how to respect by talking about how actions and words can affect others. Our PSHE curriculum promotes respect through units of learning such as “Relationships” and “Diversity”.
Tolerance of those of Different Faiths and Beliefs
Our RE curriculum provides a broad and balanced education on a range of faiths and cultures and through our School Values, all children are taught to respect everyone regardless of their faith and beliefs.
Cultures from other parts of the world, different faiths and beliefs are also taught through PSHE, English (fiction), Art, Geography and History, as well as our Collective Worship themes. This enables the children to acquire an appreciation of and respect for their own and other cultures.
The ways in which we celebrate being British include:
- Study British Heritage texts in Literacy week
- Learn about our Patron Saints
- Learn about key historical events in different areas of the curriculum
- Learn key geographical facts about Britain
- Study our native wildlife
- Support national events such as the Olympics and the World Cup