The teaching of British Values at Quilters Junior School
At Quilters Junior School, developing rounded, confident future citizens, who are kind, caring, loving, committed and understanding is central to our 'values-based approach to education and learning'. The promotion and teaching of strong British Values is central to this.
Our mission statement ‘CARE, LEARN, RESPECT’ promotes the notion that all pupils will want to and will be able to care for others and for themselves, will want to learn and will respect others. In order to do this well, we believe our children need to be able to use personal qualities, our 'Great British Values/Soft Skills'. We want them to be: Happy, selfless, democratic, courageous, determined, patient, persevering, thoughtful, tolerant, democratic, honest, sensitive, modest, good at team work and reliable
We believe that these Great British Values are those core values that make this country great and are the values that, when mastered, enable pupils to have full, happy lives where they will make a positive contribution to the world around them.
These values are taught, thought about and referred to daily by all staff and pupils. Our systems are well considered and are highly effective.
British Values are taught and celebrated in the following ways:
In 2 week blocks, one of our listed values is focused upon in assembly. In week 1, this value is discussed in relation to an Old Testament Story and in week 2 a New Testament Story. Pupils consider this value and at the end of each fortnight they each nominate one child, in their class, who has exemplified that value. In each class, one pupil is chosen on the basis of these nominations and they are celebrated in the Pick of the Week Assembly. They are put forward as a role-models, their nomination is read and used to encourage others to develop this value. The child then has their photo and nomination displayed in reception. Year 5 wrote biographies about Great Britons and these are showcased here, emphasising the need for all Great Britons to have 'Great British Soft Skills'. Receiving a 'Great British Soft Skills' nomination is one component of the Quilters Quest that every child achieves during their time with us (see the Welcome section of the school website.)
If a child cannot recognise these 'Great British Soft Skills' in others, if they don't appreciate the difference they make and the way they make people feel, then they will not be able to use and develop them themselves. Identifying and appreciating the positive characteristics in others is key to developing them oneself.
DAILY: Any time a House Point is given out the child receiving it will be told which 'British Value' it was for and they will place their House Point into the correct 'Values Pot' in class. This allows us to recognise which values require greater focus.
TERMLY: At the end of each term, pupils audit their own British Values (their Soft Skills), identifying their strongest values and one they need to work on next.
Mr John Baron, MP, evaluated his own 'Great British Values' on QFM radio. He admitted he had some strong ones and some that required attention! Our children understand that it is ok not to be good at them all, no one's perfect; they know that the key is to know your weaker areas and to want to improve them! Mr Baron beautifully reinforced the message that even successful adults should work on self-improvement; it is a life long journey for each and every one of us.
British Values are also taught and celebrated in other ways:
British Week takes place each January. The core areas covered are democracy, the rule of law, tolerance and understanding and civil rights.
This year, we celebrated Culture Week simultaneously with our friends at Anjuman School in Mumbai. Both schools shared work on British and Indian poetry, monuments, famous places and religious festivals. The key message was to appreciate your similarities and celebrate your differences. The QTV film 'Our Friends Abroad' celebrates the work both schools do together. The yearly 'Talent Day' is a further celebration of our links.
Local Hindus, Muslims and Christians are invited to speak in assemblies - the message is the same, it is not how you look which matters it is how you act that marks you out from others. Have you tried your best? Have you made a difference? Do you care for everyone you come into contact with? That is what a 'Great Briton' does.
HONOURING THE HEROES WHO GAVE THEIR TOMORROW FOR OUR TODAY
“To live in hearts we leave behind is not to die.”
Thomas Campbell, Hallowed Ground
"They shall grow not old, as we that are left grow old: Age shall not weary them, nor the years condemn. At the going down of the sun and in the morning, we will remember them."
Laurence Binyon, For The Fallen
“The living owe it to those who no longer can speak to tell their story for them.”
Czeslaw Milosz, The Issa Valley