In June 2014, the government emphasised the important role that British values can play in education and Ofsted now inspects how well a school promotes such values. Developing an understanding of British values is not new to Carlton as they has always been promoted in school assemblies, Religious Education and in Spiritual, Moral, Social and Cultural (SMSC) aspects of their learning. We feel that embedding a strong ethos of British values is the key to preventing the growth of any extremist views amongst our local community.
All year round at Carlton, we celebrate and participate in events that reflect our British Heritage. At Christmas time in particular, we celebrate in a very traditional manner with a range of nativity plays, carol concerts at Lofthouse Church and whole school visits to the pantomime in Leeds. As a whole school, we also celebrate harvest time with a harvest festival, participate in remembrance activities and take part in one off events to celebrate things such as the Tour de Yorkshire and the Rugby World Cup.
Our curriculum covers a variety of topics that include significant events in British history and our children enjoy discovering about some key historical figures such as Winston Churchill and Florence Nightingale. Every other year we have a whole school, UK topic in the summer term. This is where children discover about local, regional and national aspects of the geography curriculum.
As a school we support a range of British charities such as Children in Need, The Royal British Legion and Comic Relief. We also give to local charities such as the Rothwell Foodbank so that families from our local community can benefit directly from our fundraising.
Above all we put a large emphasis on the development of respectful attitudes in our school. Successful and productive relationships are built on mutual respect amongst all adults and children in our school and our behaviour policy is rooted in the fact that everybody in school has the right to be respected.
Children learn about democracy on many levels at Carlton Primary. The principle of collectively choosing by means of voting begins in Foundation Stage when choosing books and stories. Across school, children collectively decide upon what to set as classroom rules and class targets for the term and the charities that our school supports are chosen by the children by means of a vote. In Upper Key Stage 2, children are taught specifically about how democracy began in Ancient Greece and how important this system is today in Britain.
Each class has two democratically elected school councillors that sit in regular School Council meetings with the Head Teacher. At the beginning of the school year, candidates must make a short speech to their class who then vote using a secret ballot system. This is an important process within school that enables the school leaders to directly hear the voices of the children and allows them to have a say in any decisions that are made.
Rule of Law
During citizenship week at the beginning of each school year, every class determines a set of class rules. Great importance is placed upon these rules and how they are linked to our whole-school set of behaviour expectations. This expected behaviour is clearly set out in what we call the ‘Carlton Behaviour Plan’ which is consistently referred to when discussing the consequences of poor behaviour with children.
School rules are often reinforced during assembly times and during circle time discussions where the reasons behind rules and laws are explained. The school staff use a system of restorative practice and children are spoken to in depth about the effect that breaking rules has on others around them. It is made clear to our children that following rules is all about them taking responsibility for their actions for the benefit of the whole school community. We constantly refer back to the Carlton Behaviour Plan in explaining that rules and laws help to promote Health and Safety, A Positive Environment for Learning and a culture of Respect.
Freedom of choice is developed from Foundation Stage upwards. Children are given the chance to choose the resources and activities that they access from a wide range of provision. Further up school, although children may have a reduced amount of choice, children would be able to choose when it comes to the level of challenge for a particular activity.
Children are given opportunities to develop their opinions as often as possible and they are taught how to do this whilst still having respect for the opinions of others. Philosophy For Children is one technique used to encourage children to verbalise their thoughts and opinions; here they can share their thoughts with the group in an environment that they feel comfortable in. Our PSHCE curriculum develops the notion of individual liberty through circle time sessions where the responsibilities that come with liberty are discussed.
Through our fundraising work, children are also made aware of the children that are not as fortunate as themselves when it comes to freedom and liberty. This helps to underline the importance of this aspect of our society.
Mutual Respect of Different Faiths and Beliefs
Carlton Primary School is unfortunate that it does not have a wealth of variety when it comes to families from different backgrounds and religions. This has made it more important for us to teach our children about the many different faiths and beliefs that Britain is made up of and to have respect for the diversity of cultures within our society.
Our Religious Education curriculum is extensive and follows the Leeds Agreed Syllabus. We compliment this with visitors where possible from family members to come and share with us their experiences of things like traditional Indian clothing and Diwali celebrations. We make sure that children have access to a range of stories from other cultures both in our curriculum and in our school library. Key Stage assemblies are a good opportunity to allow children to participate in the celebration of various religious festivals.