British Values and the Prevention of Radicalisation
The Department of Education 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 values (which exist in many of the cultures of the world) have been brought back to the attention of the public by the Prime Minister this year. At Wood End Park these values are reinforced regularly and in the following ways:
At Wood End Park democracy is taken very seriously. Children are actively encouraged to have a voice and share their views and opinions regularly. Our active school council is one such example. During our ‘Futures Week’ in July, children from our school council in Key Stage 2 are lucky enough to enjoy visits from local MPs. In addition to this, WEPA have developed an ‘Election Day’ during are children’s transition day, this is when the candidates for school councillors have a chance to pitch their election manifesto to the rest of their class. A secret ballot ensues and the results are announced in a special assembly. The children love this process and have great respect for the outcomes. The school council representatives (2 per class from Reception to Year 6) meet in alternate weeks, KS1 and then KS2, to take the ideas from the meeting back to their classes for discussion.
Every child also contributes their ideas to the composition of their own class charter every year. This sets ground rules for classroom conduct and establishes the standards of behaviour children can expect from each other over the year ahead. All children in Key Stage 2, also complete questionnaire, twice a year, which provides them with the opportunity to share their views of learning at Wood End Park and suggest ways in which the school could be improved further.
Governors also talk regularly to children to establish their views as a way of ensuring that school self-evaluation is robust and accurate, and therefore effective in moving the school forward.
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 the school day through our YOYOB (You Own Your Own Behaviour) System, as well as when dealing with behaviour and through school assemblies. Through the development of our new PSHE overview, children 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. Our schools rules, rewards and sanctions which are displayed in all classrooms, referred to regularly and are consistently upheld.
Visits from authorities such as the Police and Fire Service during our ‘Futures Week’ help to reinforce this message by giving the opportunity to meet people in careers that respect the law and are positive influences in our community.
Within school, children are actively encouraged to make decisions and choices, knowing that they are in a safe and supportive environment. As a school, we educate and provide boundaries for young children to take risks and make choices safely. Children are encouraged to know, understand and exercise their rights and personal freedoms and advised how to exercise these safely, for example through our Behaviour Policy (https://www.woodendpark.academy/policies/), E-Safety and PSHE lessons. Whether it be through choice of learning challenge, how they record their learning, participation in one of our extra-curricular clubs and opportunities, children are given the freedom to make choices and make decisions.
As an Academy, we have been able to develop an RE and PSHE curriculum that demonstrates that mutual respect is at the heart of our values. Children learn that their behaviours have an effect on their own rights and those of others, which is reinforced in our ‘Anti-Bullying Week’. All members of the school community treat each other with respect.
Understanding Different Faiths and Beliefs
Wood End Park is lucky enough to be situated in an area that is culturally diverse, therefore we place a great emphasis on celebrating this diversity with the children. Throughout the year we have assemblies that reflect the festivals of the different cultures within our school to show we are celebrating alongside. Our RE and PSHE teaching reinforce this. Each year the children explore a world faith alongside their learning about Christianity (as required by the government). By the time they leave us all children have learnt about the beliefs and practices of people of the following world faiths; Islam, Judaism, Sikhism, Hinduism and Buddhism. Members of different faiths or religions are encouraged to share their knowledge to enhance learning within classes and the school. This can also be seen in our summer celebration, ‘Festival of Culture’, were members of our community are invited in to share their talents, knowledge and skills with one another.
PREVENTING RADICALISATION AND EXTREMISM
What is Radicalisation?
Radicalisation is defined as the act or process of making a person more radical or favouring of extreme or fundamental changes in political, economic or social conditions, institutions or habits of the mind.
What is Extremism?
Extremism is defined as the holding of extreme political or religious views.
The Board of Directors and Academy Council of Wood End Park has a zero tolerance approach to extremist behaviour for all school community members. We rely on our strong values to steer our work and ensure the pastoral and safe care of our children protects them from exposure to negative influences.
Wood End Park is fully committed to safeguarding and promoting the welfare of all its children. As a school we recognise that safeguarding against radicalisation is no different from safeguarding against any other vulnerability. At Wood End Park all staff are expected to uphold and promote the fundamental principles of British values, including democracy, the rule of law, individual liberty and mutual respect, and understanding of those with different faiths and beliefs.
- Children are encouraged to adopt and live out our Core Values. These complement the key “British Values” of tolerance, respect, understanding, compassion and harmonious living.
- Children are helped to understand the importance of democracy and freedom of speech, through the SEAL (Social, emotional aspects of learning) assemblies and through the elected School Council members
- Children are taught how to keep themselves safe, in school and when using the internet.
- Children participate in the whole school community events, so that they appreciate and value their neighbours and friends who may not share their faith or cultural background through events such as Anti-Bullying Week, Festival of Culture, Remembrance Day and other charitable events throughout the year.
- Children’s wellbeing, confidence and resilience is promoted through our planned curriculum and extra-curricular learning opportunities.
- Children are supported in making good choices from a very young age, so they understand the impact and consequences of their actions on others.
In addition to this, as part of Wood End Park Academy’s ongoing dedication to their safeguarding and child protection duties we are fully behind the government's Prevent Strategy. Our Principal, Ms Johra has all received WRAP (workshop to raise awareness on preventing radicalisation) training sessions from Thames Valley police on what Prevent is about and how to deal with any issues they may see inside or outside school.
There are plans for the PSHE lead and other Senior leads to access similar training with our local police.
THE ROLE OF THE CURRICULUM
Our curriculum promotes respect, tolerance and diversity. Children are encouraged to express themselves through discussions, debates and consultations. The RE (Religious Education), PSHE (Personal, Social and Health Education) and SMSC (Spiritual, Moral, Social and Cultural) provision is embedded across the curriculum and displays throughout the school, and underpins our ethos. Children learn about all major faiths and visit places of worship wherever possible. They are also taught about how to stay safe when using the internet through E-safety taught in Computing throughout the year.
Although serious incidents involving radicalisation have not occurred at Wood End Park to date, it is important for us to be constantly vigilant and remain fully informed about the issues which affect the region in which we teach. Staff are reminded to suspend any professional disbelief that instances of radicalisation ‘could not happen here’ and to refer any concerns through the Child Protection/ Safeguarding Lead Teachers.