Promoting British Values at Sunnyfields
At Sunnyfields, we promote fundamental British values through our ethos, the curriculum, our Spiritual, Moral, Social and Cultural development, and through our work as a Rights Respecting School.
We reinforce and promote British values of democracy, the rule of law, individual liberty, mutual respect and tolerance.
We promote an understanding of democracy by giving children access to Article 12 UNCRC; 'Every child has the right to express their opinion'.
Children have many opportunities for their voices to be heard. Classes hold annual elections in order to select two school council members for each year group. The school council meets regularly to discuss issues raised by pupils. School Council is also involved in the recruitment of new staff, wherever possible.
The children also have the opportunity to act as Rights Ambassadors who, together with School Councillors, hold discussions during Circle Time in order to establish the School Charter and the rights associated with this set of agreements. In addition, we have Class Charters so that rights respecting language and behaviour permeates all aspects of school life.The role of the adults, or ‘duty bearers’, is also made clear on the charter. The Rights Ambassadors and School Councillors meet periodically to discuss rights and fundraising, and to present ideas at assemblies on whole school issues. Most recently, they worked with the School Council to review the school's Behaviour policy.
Children have an annual questionnaire to put forward their views about the school. The children have been involved in making decisions about a range of aspects of school life, such as the new school uniform, school lunches, sponsored animals for each class and play opportunities. Our pupils are often encouraged to discuss their viewpoints in lessons and to make decisions as a group, giving them additional choice and autonomy.
The Rule of Law
The importance of laws is consistently reinforced throughout the school day.
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. The Sunnyfields Home-School agreement sets out the contract between the school, the child and their parents. The Class Charter sets out expected behaviour and associated rights in each class. Circle time is used as an opportunity to discuss difficult situations that benefit from whole class discussion. Keeping safe when using the internet is regularly discussed with children in computing lessons and in assemblies. All members of the school community sign our Acceptable Use Policy and pledge to use the internet safely. Vertically grouped circle times are used to discuss school wide issues and concerns.
The school has very good links with authorities such as the Police and Fire Service, who visit and help to reinforce the Rule of Law and education children on ways to keep themselves safe.
Within school, pupils 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 pupils to make choices, through provision of a safe environment and an empowering education. Pupils are encouraged to know, understand and exercise their rights and personal freedoms and are advised how to exercise these safely; for example in computing through our approach to Online Safety.
Sunnyfields pupils are given the freedom to make many choices, be this in class, through their choice of learning strategies (see our 'Building Learning Power' page), a wide range of extra-curricular activities, through fundraising or sporting opportunities or their choice of musical instrument, for example.
As a Rights Respecting school, respect is at the heart of our ethos..
Children learn that their behaviour has an impact on their rights and those of others. There are many opportunities to develop SMSC (Social, Emotional, Spiritual and Cultural Education) across the curriculum for example through R.E., PSHE, PE, art, music, history, geography, science and English. Children are encouraged to work in collaboration as much as possible either in their class, with other year groups, as mediators, as Digital Leaders and sometimes with other schools in sport or at music and dance festivals.
All members of the school community treat each other with respect. We publish all our behaviour policies on the website and parents, pupils and staff sign a Home-School agreement setting out our expectations. Assemblies on inspirational people reflect this ethos. We hold regular events where members of the school community are able to celebrate our diversity.
Sunnyfields is an incredibly diverse community and this is our strength.
Within our school we constantly promote tolerance towards others from different backgrounds, cultures, languages, faiths and beliefs.
Our Religious Education syllabus, Personal, Social, Health and Emotional curriculum and Rights Respecting ethos reinforce our commitment towards a tolerant society. Members of different faiths or religions are encouraged to share their knowledge to enhance learning within classes and the school. Children visit places of worship that are important to different faiths. Over their school career they visit a synagogue, church, temple and mosque. At every opportunity we explore the similarities between religions and cultures.
During assemblies about 'Language of the month' or a particular country, children are asked to either contribute or lead contribute by bringing in artefacts, costumes, flags. All class teachers are given transliterated phrases to use during the register, for example. Arabic, Krio, Polish, Slovak, Pashtu have all been chosen at some point.
As an inclusive school we celebrate a variety of important religious festivals throughout the year. During these we encourage the children to identify similarities between faiths. Diwali, Eid al Futr, Guru Nanak's Birthday, Christmas, Chinese New Year, Purim, Easter and Shrove Tuesday are examples of festivals celebrated at Sunnyfields. Parents or children take on central roles in these assemblies to which other members of the school community are invited.
At Sunnyfields we will actively challenge pupils, staff, parents or anyone in the school community expressing opinions contrary to fundamental British Values, including 'extremist' views.