"A key part of education is to ensure children become valuable and fully-rounded members of society who treat others with respect and tolerance, regardless of background. We promote the basic British values of democracy, the rule of law, individual liberty and mutual respect and tolerance for those of different faiths and beliefs. This ensures our children understand the importance of respect and leave school fully prepared for life in modern Britain."
Our children have many opportunities for their voices to be heard. School Council elections are held at the beginning of each year and all children in Years 2-6 are invited to stand. One councillor is elected from each class after a ballot. The council of ten then meets fortnightly with the Deputy to discuss issues raised by the children in each class. The council has its own budget and is able to genuinely effect change within the school.
Every member of staff and every child is a member of one of our four houses: Patience, Peace, Tolerance and Patience . Every September, children in Pre-Secondary prepare a manifesto to present to their house, members and one boy and one girl is elected House Captain. Each year the classes decide upon their ‘class charter’ together as a new class starting a new year.
The Rule of Law
The importance of laws, whether they be those that govern the class, the school, or the country, are consistently reinforced throughout regular school days, as well as when dealing with behaviour and through school assemblies. 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. Visits from authorities such as the Police and Fire Service help reinforce this message.
Within school, pupils are actively encouraged to make choices and take responsibility for these choices, knowing that they are in a safe and supportive environment. As a school we have a responsibility to provide boundaries and safety for children through rules and regulations but also give them opportunities to make mistakes and to learn from their experiences. Pupils are encouraged to know, understand and exercise their rights and personal freedoms and advised how to exercise these safely, for example through E-Safety lessons. Whether it be through choice of learning challenges, of how they record a piece of learning, or through participation in our range of extra-curricular clubs and opportunities, pupils are given the freedom to make choices.
Respect forms one of the school STAR values and this is reinforced in expectations of all members of the school community. Children learn that their behaviours have an effect on their own rights and those of others and all members of the school community are expected to treat each other with respect.
Tolerance of those of Different Faiths and Beliefs
Mitchell Brook is situated in a culturally diverse area and there is a strong history and philosophy within the school of celebrating cultural diversity. Our programmes of assemblies (including class extravaganzas) promote and encourage an understanding and acceptance of different faiths and beliefs through stories and celebrations from a variety of faiths and cultures. Religious Education and Personal Development teaching reinforce this. In RE lessons, members of different faiths or religions are encouraged to share their knowledge to enhance learning within classes and the school and classes visit places of worship that are important to different faiths.
At Mitchell Brook Primary School we have a commitment to actively challenge pupils, staff or parents expressing opinions contrary to fundamental British Values, including ‘extremist’ views.