All schools in the UK are now required to ‘promote fundamental British values’ rather than simply respecting them, as previous government guidance stipulated. This change in language from respecting British values to actively promoting them is one that has resulted in all of us thinking about how we promote these values across the School, whether in the classroom or simply through our daily interactions with each other. We have our own ‘Waconian Values’ which embody so many of the traditional British Values.
The government outlines the fundamental British values as:
- The rule of law
- Individual liberty
- Mutual respect and tolerance of those with different faiths and beliefs.
Students learn about democracy and the British Electoral system in assemblies and Form periods devoted to the establishment of the new Student Voice programme, where elected representatives from each form put forward the views of their peers in formal meetings, chaired and minuted by members of the School Council. The Student Voice has its own Terms of Reference and published minutes to record issues which are raised and actions which are taken to respond to constructive suggestions and to resolve concerns which are raised. The Student Voice representatives for all Forms receive their badges in Final Assembly at the end of the Autumn Term and will serve for the whole academic year.
The Rule of Law
As far as the rule of law is concerned, this is regularly emphasised. Students learn about rules, regulations and expectations and this is underpinned by our own Expectations and Rules, Behaviour Management and Pastoral Care Policy. The teaching of this is set in the context of the rule of law in the country as a whole and within the context of working together successfully as a day school.
Pupils are also taught about the importance of making choices in the knowledge that they are living in a safe, secure and supportive environment at CHS. Individual liberty and personal freedom are emphasised, as are the risks that may apply. Underpinning this, boundaries and consequences are clearly laid out so that pupils are able to make their own sound judgements and informed decisions, as well as learning from their mistakes.
Mutual Respect and Tolerance
Respect for and knowledge of other faiths is welcomed, and is delivered regularly through both assemblies, the RS curriculum and the Waconian Programme.
At CHS these values have been central to our ethos since our early days, even if we haven’t always labelled them as being specifically “British”. Indeed, one could argue that these values are not unique to our own culture either as a school or as a country. It is clear that CHS srtudents are regularly exposed to the importance and significance of our shared British values and are expected to live by them and be guided by them both in School and beyond.