Promoting British Values is not a question of photographs of 10 Downing Street or the British Prime Minister portrayed in corridors, but promoting values which we should all hold dear. Great Britain is home to the world's oldest democracy; it is also a multicultural country of many faiths and beliefs. This is a crucial point in our nation's history and it is understandable therefore, that schools should have an obligation to reinforce our values. Fair play, respect for others, protection of vulnerable and less fortunate and free speech must be an inherent part of any school or public body.
At The Brier School British values are actively promoted. The school council meets regularly where pupils, elected by their peers, have an opportunity to discuss issues important to them and to offer suggestions to improve the school.
Naturally there are visits from MPs and councillors and there have been visits to Parliament in London. These visits are arranged as part of the pupils’ PSHE and life and living studies. These lessons and visits are not part of tokenism but engender our aim to allow pupils to understand the nature of the country they live in.
Circle time also allows children to speak about what is important to them or what is on their mind. Fair play is integral to games, not only in sport, where rules are taught and reinforced, but in the playground. Staff observe and help children struggling with play so that they can get the most out of their free time. The numerous lunchtime clubs and after-school clubs also reinforced Fair play practices.
The rights of children to believe and to celebrate their beliefs are an integral part of the school. The school has a curriculum that is majority Christian-based but the country and in particular the region in which we live is a multicultural one and diversity is celebrated. Major festivals are recognised and celebrated. For example, many of our transport escorts and drivers are of the Islamic faith and celebrations such as Eid are recognised by sending cards and offering good wishes showing mutual respect for each other. Diwali is celebrated each year, Black history month always has a focal point, i.e. Nelson Mandela, Benjamin Zephaniah.
These are but a few examples of what we offer in our curriculum.
A special school such as ours champions the rights of the vulnerable. All children at the school are valued for their personal strengths and abilities. Indeed, our school motto ' preparing for life – building on our strengths' is highly visible on our literature and in the school hall so as to remind us all of our core values and aims. Nevertheless, despite the children’s own needs, that does not stop the children and staff from supporting a myriad of charities and causes; Christmas shoe box appeal, Macmillan nurses, dare to wear pink, jeans for genes, Guide dogs, to name but a few.