Promoting British values
We agree with the Department for Education’s five part definition of British Values:
• The rule of law
• Individual liberty
• Mutual respect
• Tolerance of those of different faiths and beliefs
We believe it is incredibly important that these British Values permeate through every school in the country. At Marsden School, you will encounter these values throughout our everyday school life. In particular our promotion of Spiritual, Moral, Social and Cultural understanding has been described by Ofsted as being ‘very strong. The care and support provided by staff at the school is of the highest quality and this is evident from the moment you arrive at the school.
Our values underpin our mission statement which reflects British Values. Below is just a snapshot of how we promote these values in our school community:
Pupil voice plays a big part in life at Marsden. School Councillors are elected by class peers and help to feed views into decision-making in school; helping to make Marsden a better place to learn. Pupils have input into what they learn and how School Life can support their personal, social and emotional well-being. For example, the pupils decided they wanted to make the school healthier, so set up their own fruit show for the Key Stage Two children whilst also raising funds for the new library project. Pupil questionnaires and interviews are also conducted throughout the year to monitor progress and impact across the school of decisions made. We know that the formation of the school council and the active participation of our pupils will sow the seeds for a more sophisticated understanding of democracy in the future.
The Rule of Law:
Our pupils will encounter rules and laws throughout their entire lives. We want our pupils to understand that whether these laws govern the class, the school, the neighbourhood or the country, they are set for good reasons and must be adhered to. This understanding of the importance of rules will be consistently reinforced through assemblies and our curriculum. The involvement of our pupils in the creation of the school rules helps them to understand the reasons behind rules and the consequences if rules are broken. Our behaviour policy along with the Golden rules are continually reviewed by the staff and children to reflect the needs and situations we experience each day.
Throughout the year we welcome visits from members of the wider community including police, MPs and the fire brigade. Children also have the opportunity to visit the Local Council Chamber where they discuss decision-making at community level. Our Year 5 and 6 children also spend time learning about the Houses of Parliament and during their visit to London, see first-hand where the National Laws are made. We believe that clear explanations and real life stories emphasize the importance of the Rule of Law for our pupils.
We invest a lot of time in creating a positive culture in our school, so children are in a safe environment where choices and freedoms are encouraged. In lessons, learning tasks are often left for the child to decide upon. We encourage children to choose the task that will challenge them, giving them more freedom to determine their own learning. We offer a range of clubs which pupils have the freedom to choose from, based on their interests. Through our E-Safety, SEAL and PSHE sessions, we educate children on their rights and personal freedoms as well as supporting them in recognising how to exercise these freedoms safely. At Marsden we believe that valuing choice and freedom in daily school life will foster a value for individual liberty as the children embark upon their adult lives.
Our school Statement states:
‘Everybody Cares, Everybody Matters.
In a school with a high proportion of SEN needs, our pupils learn together about respect for each other. We work across the classroom with different children, as well as across Key Stages, buddying younger children at playtime as well as making Special Friends between our Year 6 and Reception children. Every pupil knows that we respect and appreciate each other; no matter what differences may exist.
Tolerance of those of different faiths and beliefs:
Our location means we are surrounded by a very similar community and do not necessarily see diversity within our school walls. However, at Marsden we do not let this hold us back. We have very strong links with Whitburn Parish Church, welcoming the community but also joining them for key festivals and events. For the whole School, we offer a culturally rich and diverse curriculum in which all major religions are studied and respected. At Marsden we strongly believe that tolerance is gained through knowledge and understanding. Through our curriculum and the routines of our daily school life, we strive to demonstrate tolerance and help children to become knowledgeable and understanding citizens who can build a better Britain for the future.