TEACHING BRITISH VALUES
Promoting British Values at Hungerford Nursery School, Centre for Children and Families
The DfE have recently 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.”
The Government set out its definition of British values in the 2011 Prevent Strategy, and these values were reiterated in 2014.
Young children learn and develop through first-hand experiences so practitioners and parents are hugely important as positive role-models. Children learn at first as members of social groups in their family, then the setting and within the wider community. We encourage and support our children to learn about each other, their local community, their country and the wider world through offering a wide range of experiences.
We believe that the Early Years Foundation Stage provides a solid foundation to encourage a child’s understanding and acceptance that we live in diverse communities with many different cultures and lifestyles. We teach such values as learning right from wrong, learning to take turns and share, and challenging negative attitudes and stereotypes. We use our play-based curriculum to promote positive inclusion. This is an essential part of child development and it is work that has been done in partnership with parents and carers.
Democracy and the Rule of Law
Each year the children decide upon their class rules. They are able to have their voice heard through working with their keyworkers and having their parents record their views on a regular basis. Children are taught that there are safety rules and “golden rules”. They are also encouraged to understand why rules are important.
Individual Liberty and Mutual Respect
At Hungerford, children are actively encouraged to make choices, knowing that they are in a safe and supportive environment. Children learn that their behaviour has an effect on their own rights and those of others. The Personal, Social and Emotional Goal says that children need to understand that people have different needs, views, cultures and beliefs that need to be treated with respect and that they should understand that they can expect others to treat their needs, views, cultures and beliefs with respect. We teach this through engaging with children in discussions through play and creating a sense of belonging to our community.
Tolerance of those of Different Faiths and Beliefs
We actively promote diversity through our celebrations of different faiths and cultures. The Early Learning Goal, Understanding the World, clearly states that ‘children talk about past and present events in their own lives and the lives of family members … they know about similarities and differences between themselves and others, and among families, communities and traditions.’ We promote these aspects through talking with children, using books and resources – including visitors – to broaden children’s experiences.