The Department for Education have reinforced the need “to create and enforce a clear and rigorous expectation on all schools to promote the fundamental British Values of democracy, the rule of law, individual liberty and mutual respect and tolerance of those with different faiths and beliefs.”
At Cuffley School these values are taught through delivering a broad and balanced curriculum which appeals to, and challenges, children of all ages. The school also takes the opportunity to promote these values during class lessons, in assemblies and more explicitly in Personal Social Health & Economic education and Religious Education lessons. We also instil these values in our Forest School ethos.
At Cuffley School we will actively challenge pupils, staff or parents expressing opinions contrary to fundamental British Values, including ‘extremist’ views.
Democracy is an important aspect of our school ethos and plays an important role in the development of our school. Through pupil representative groups, questionnaires and feedback, pupils are given a voice and an opportunity to effect change within the school.
At the beginning of each year, each class, in Key Stage 2, will elect two School Council representatives through a democratic vote. The chosen members will attend regular meetings with the member of the staff responsible for leading the School Council and other staff and/or governors as required. The children are given the confidence to express their opinions in the knowledge that they will be acted upon. The values of democracy, and the importance of the School Council, are reinforced annually when the School Council visit the Houses of Parliament and/or meeting the local Member of Parliament for Cuffley. This allows our children to see their role as part of the larger picture of democracy in our country.
The importance of laws and rules is consistently reinforced and recognised by teachers and children alike. The children take an active role in deciding upon Class Codes of Conduct as they start each academic year. This helps them to understand that rules and laws both govern and protect us.
We have Behaviour and Anti-Bullying Policies which are shared with the school community. This clarifies how behaviour is managed at Cuffley, with clear rewards and sanctions. Expectations of conduct and behaviour are regularly reinforced and opportunities are sought to praise positive choices.
In Key Stage 2 pupils are supported to take an active role in solving problems and resolving conflicts between themselves younger children in the playground. They are encouraged to assess a situation and to sit down with the relevant parties to discuss a positive way forward. They are also given guidance about when to escalate concerns to an adult for resolution. These processes give children a deeper understanding of justice and accountability.
We are always keen to invite outside agencies, such as the police and fire service, health professionals and ‘people who help us’ into our school or to visit activities like Crucial Crew to help to reinforce the message of how important laws and rules are.
At Cuffley, individual liberty is highly valued and children are encouraged to make choices and speak their minds. They are able to do this throughout the school day and in lessons, but additional opportunities are also provided to facilitate this, including access to trained staff and freedom of access to The Oasis (our Nurture Base). Where appropriate, children may be supported by outside agencies and may receive specific support, such as the provision of Protective Behaviours.
Our school environment is safe, secure and supportive, providing children with the confidence to express themselves. Children are encouraged to make choices about their education, ranging from activities in class, extra- curricular activities and the quality of their work through peer and self-assessment.
‘Respect’ is a key value at Cuffley.
Children are taught that their behaviour has an effect on their own rights and those of others. All members of the school community show respect for each other, and equally important, for themselves. This is specifically taught through the sharing of class Codes of Conduct, the application of our Behaviour and Anti-Bullying Policies, the use of team points and team rewards and recognition of good conduct through various assemblies, such as our Cuffley Crusader or achievement assemblies. This combines to create a safe and supportive environment for children to learn and develop in.
Cuffley is an inclusive school and we actively promote inclusion and diversity through our celebrations of different faiths and cultures.
The school follows the Hertfordshire Religious Education syllabus which ensures that the children learn about all the religions of the world. We also celebrate and explore the beliefs and festivals of the main religions in other subjects in the curriculum including PSHE, English, Art and Music.
Members of different faiths, including religious leaders and parents, are encouraged to share their knowledge and experiences both at school and in their places of worship to enhance learning and understanding. The children also visit places of worship that are important to different faiths. Cuffley has a good relationship with the local church, St. Andrew’s, and annual visits take place there, or the vicar comes into school, at Christmas and Easter.
Part of our vision at Cuffley is to prepare our children to become valued members of society. Promoting British Values enables children to develop a sense of community and begin to understand their rights and responsibilities in and to that community.