UK Parliament Week - November 2020
This week has been UK Parliament Week, an opportunity to explore the workings of our Parliament and how democracy and British Values mould our day to day lives. It has been trickier than usual for the school council to meet but the children have been determined to do so and recently emailed our local MP, Robert Courts, with a number of questions they wanted answered. Mr Courts kindly found the time to film himself answering the questions and you can hear his answers by following the link below.
We Make a Difference
With the help of resources from the Houses of Parliament, the School Council have been exploring British Values and the role of Parliament in our democracy. Mrs Holme talked about the history of Parliament and then the children took turns to be the speaker of the House of Commons to ensure we had ‘Order! Order!’
We are very proud that the work of the School Council has been recognised with a We Made a Difference badge.
Flying a flag for the Commonwealth
School councillors; Martha, Alexander, Jacob and Amie, represented the school at the Mayor's flag-raising ceremony, in honour of Commonwealth Day. The children heard the Deputy Mayor reading the Commonwealth Affirmation and a message from the Commonwealth Secretary-General. The ceremony closed with the raising of the Commonwealth flag which will fly above the Town Hall for the rest of the day.
The Commonwealth Affirmation
Joining together as members of one worldwide Commonwealth community, and valuing the personal dignity and worth of every citizen, we raise this flag as a symbol of the ties of kinship and affinity that we cherish. We draw inspiration from our diversity, and the opportunities for working together, as a rich source of wisdom and a powerful influence for good in the world. We affirm our commitment to upholding the values set out in the Commonwealth Charter, to serving one another in a spirit of respect and understanding, and to advancing development, democracy and cooperation locally, nationally and internationally.
Year 6 Teach us about British Values
A small group of Year 6 children planned and delivered a whole school assembly on British Values. This interactive, fun assembly was enjoyed by all the KS2 children and really helped the children to learn what British Values mean and why they are so important to our way of life. Well done Year 6!
How we display British Values at The Batt School
British values play an important role in education and are promoted in so much of what we do, not least during our school assemblies, Religious Education and PSHCE sessions. British values complement our school’s core values of Respect, Friendship and Perseverance. Please take a moment to look at our British Values board in the school hall; this is a celebration of children and adults displaying British Values.
The term ‘British values’ might be slightly misleading in that these values are integral to so many countries throughout the world – they differ in no way from the values of most western European countries, for example.
Being Part of Britain
We value and celebrate the diverse heritages of everybody at our school. Alongside this, we value and celebrate being part of Britain. In general terms, this means that we celebrate traditions, such as customs in the course of the year, for example, Remembrance during the Autumn term, and the annual trip to a pantomime at Christmas time (what could be more British than that!). We also value and celebrate national events.
Children, parents and staff have many opportunities for their voices to be heard in our school. Democracy is central to how we operate.
An obvious example is our School Council. The election of the School Council members reflects our British electoral system and demonstrates democracy in action: candidates make speeches, pupils consider characteristics important for an elected representative and pupils vote in secret. Made up of two representatives from each class, the School Council meets regularly to discuss issues raised by the different classes. The council has its own budget and is able to genuinely effect change within the school; in the past, the School Council has chosen the markings for playground games and changed the lunch menu.
Other examples of ‘pupil voice’ are:
Children, parents and staff chose our school’s core values.
Children agree their Class Charter and the rights associated with these; all children contribute to the drawing up of the charter.
Using Pupil Feedback forms, children are asked to respond and reflect on the teaching and learning.
Pupils are always listened to by adults and are taught to listen carefully and with concern to each other, respecting the right of every individual to have their opinions and voices heard. We encourage pupils to take ownership of not only their school but also of their own learning and progress. This encourages a heightened sense of both personal and social responsibility and is demonstrated on a daily basis by our pupils.
Rules and Laws
The importance of rules and laws, whether they be those that govern our school or our country, are referred to and reinforced often, in assemblies and when reflecting on behaviour choices. At the start of the school year, each class discusses and sets its own Class Charter, a set of principles that are clearly understood by all and seen to be necessary to ensure that every class member is able to learn in a safe and ordered environment.
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. These values are reinforced in different ways:
Visits from authorities such as the police and fire service
During Religious Education, when rules for particular faiths are thought about
During other school subjects, where there is respect and appreciation for different rules – in a sports lesson, for example.
Alongside rules and laws, we promote freedom of choice and the right to respectfully express views and beliefs. Through the provision of a safe, supportive environment and empowering education, we provide boundaries for our young pupils to make choices safely; for example:
Choices about a learning challenge or activity
Choices about how they record their learning
Choices around the participation in extra-curricular activities
Our pupils are encouraged to know, understand and exercise their rights and personal freedoms and are taught how to exercise these safely, such as in our e-safety and PSHCE lessons.
At The Batt School, we are proud to promote and celebrate our different backgrounds and beliefs. Mutual respect is at the heart of our aims and ethos – To understand and respect diverse values, languages, religions and traditions – and it’s one of our three core values: Respect, Friendship and Perseverance.
Our pupils know and understand that it is expected and imperative that respect is shown to everyone, whatever differences we may have, and to everything, whether it is a school resource or a religious belief. Children learn that their behaviour choices have an effect on their own rights and those of others. All members of the school community should treat each other with respect.
Mutual respect and tolerance of those with different faiths and beliefs
Specific examples of how we enhance pupils understanding and respect for different faiths and beliefs are:
Through Religious Education, PSHCE and other lessons where we might develop awareness and appreciation of other cultures – in English through fiction and in Art by considering culture from other parts of the world.