The Department for Education has 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.” We have a statement about each of these British Values on our school website.
Pupils have the opportunity to have their voices heard through our School Council, Green Team and Collective Worship Group and regular pupil questionnaires. The elections of these Councils each year are based on pupil votes and discussion and children in Years 1-5 can stand for election for these posts, with children on the School Council Executive Committee being elected from Year 6. Two representatives are chosen by their class for each Council. Children have to prepare a short speech to the class to explain why they would be a strong representative and what ideas they have. The teachers have a record of prior Council membership, but not all children want to stand for election and this has to be respected. Children are encouraged not to stand for the same Council two years in a row, unless there are no other children interested in the post.
The School Council meets with Mrs. Bates, our Reception Teacher, every other week to discuss issues and ideas to improve the school grounds and gardens. The Green Team will meet weekly with Ms. Forsyth to promote recycling, sustainability and environmental issues and the Collective Worship Group meets weekly with Mrs. Archbold to discuss fundraising and ways the school can support charities such as the Bishop’s Harvest Appeal. All children within the school know that they have a voice and that their views are listened to. This helps to develop their sense of community and responsibility. Council members seek the views of their classmates and these are brought back to council meetings
The democratically elected children are awarded their enameled Council badges or sashes and bring many interesting and sensible suggestions from their classes.