At Pickering Community Infant and Nursery School we are proud of our broad and balanced curriculum that supports and promotes children’s spiritual, moral, cultural, mental and physical development. As part of this and under the requirements set out by the Department for Education in 2014 we promote ‘British Values’ across our school. British values are defined as; democracy, the rule of law, individual liberty and mutual respect and tolerance of those with different faiths and beliefs.
A key part of our school ethos is listening and responding to our children demonstrating their right to have a voice that is heard. As children enter Key Stage 1 they start to be engaged in democratic processes such as voting for school councillors who represent their views at a whole school level. Children across the school have the opportunity to vote on smaller, class based issues as a way of making decisions. Alongside this, children learn about the process and the feeling associated with different outcomes.
Rule of law
Our school’s ‘Golden Rules’ are the basis for our behaviour policy which is followed consistently across the school. This includes age appropriate rewards and sanctions linked to the Golden Rules. Significant emphasis is placed on understanding the role of these rules and the consequences for the community of people not following them. We actively encourage children to be involved in talking about these rules and the fair application of them.
Whilst our Golden Rules help us all to be safe and happy in school we also teach children about their rights within these boundaries to make choices about what they do and how they do it. This is well facilitated through our ‘child led’ curriculum design from the very start of children’s learning journey with us and progresses through to aspects such as ‘Choice and Challenge’ where children make reasoned and informed decisions about their learning. We teach children to make choices for themselves and express themselves openly and honestly with increasing independence but with support as needed.
Mutual respect and tolerance of those with different faiths and beliefs
The area in which we are based is not culturally diverse and so our curriculum design has been planned around helping children to gain a sense of a range of cultures, faiths and beliefs that exist within our society and the wider world and respect for and tolerance of these. As part of our RE curriculum we study different faiths and we have regular visitors from Open the Book to share the Christian viewpoint and messages. We also have strong links with the local Anglican church who clearly use language around ‘what Christians believe’ rather than using the personal pronoun ‘we’.