British Values within Prevent Strategy Statement
British values are defined by the Department for Education as:
- the rule of law
- individual liberty
- mutual respect and tolerance for those with different faiths and beliefs.
These are implicitly embedded in Steiner education and the curriculum and ethos of Bristol Steiner School. All staff are expected to uphold and promote these values. Listed below are some of the ways in which staff work with these values at the school.
Democracy: making decisions together
Throughout the school, staff will encourage children to see their role as an individual within a bigger social structure, ensuring that the children know their views count, that they value each other’s views and values and are able to talk about their feelings. Class plays, Games and Dancing lessons and Choir as well as many other group activities give plenty of opportunities for children to practise their social skills. On our many class trips, pupils learn to balance their own wish for freedom with the needs of the group.
The Class 5 curriculum covers the origins of democracy and its importance as a concept and principle.
In older classes staff can demonstrate democracy in action, for example, by helping a class to agree on a decision through a vote, or holding a mock election to teach students about the electoral system in the UK.
Staff can support the decisions that children make and provide activities that involve turn-taking, sharing and collaboration. Children should be given opportunities to develop enquiring minds in an atmosphere where questions are valued.
The rule of law: understanding that rules matter
Staff will help children to understand their own and others’ behaviour and its consequences, and to distinguish right from wrong. Staff sometimes collaborate with children to create the rules and the codes of behaviour and ensure that all children understand that rules apply to everyone. Our Behaviour and Discipline Policy is of central importance in the school and is explained to the children at the start of each year so that they understand our expectations. Through application of the policy they learn that there are consequences if rules are not followed.
Games played in the playground are sometimes subject to rules set by adults but often the rules are developed by the children through negotiation with each other, and we encourage this approach.
Stories told as part of the curriculum in Classes provide imaginative understanding of moral and social practice, good and evil, justice and redemption.
Individual liberty: freedom for all
At Bristol Steiner School we encourage children to develop a positive sense of themselves. Staff can provide opportunities for children to develop their self-knowledge, self-esteem and increase their confidence in their own abilities, for example through allowing them to take appropriate risks, to develop their creative self-expression through music, drama, Eurythmy, art and craft, talking about their experiences and learning through various forms of safe and constructive feedback.
Staff encourage a range of experiences that allow children to explore the language of feelings and responsibility, reflect on their differences and understand that everyone is free to have different opinions.
Mutual respect and tolerance: treat others as you want to be treated
Bristol Steiner School promotes an ethos of inclusivity and tolerance where differing views, faiths, cultures and races are valued and where children are encouraged to engage with the wider community through fare’s festivals and visits to a local old people’s home.
Children should acquire a tolerance and appreciation of and respect for their own and other cultures; know about similarities and differences between themselves and others and among families, faiths, communities, cultures and traditions and share and discuss practices, celebrations and experiences. We are open to celebrating festivals from all religions at Bristol Steiner School, and often do this with help from parents of pupils with different faiths. All students learn foreign languages from the age of 6, and the curriculum covers cultural aspects as well as the study of the language.
Staff will encourage and explain the importance of tolerant behaviours such as sharing and respecting other’s opinions. Staff are expected to promote diverse attitudes and challenge stereotypes, for example, sharing stories that reflect and value the diversity of children’s experiences and providing resources and activities that challenge gender, cultural and racial stereotyping.