British Values at Lark Hill Nursery School

At Lark Hill Nursery School we understand we have an important role in preparing children for the opportunities, responsibilities and experiences of later life so that they are equipped for modern British society. The Department for Education (2014) outlined their commitment “to create and enforce an 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.” which forms part of this role.

Lark Hill Nursery School is committed to serving its community. It recognises the multi-cultural, multi-faith and ever-changing nature of the United Kingdom. It also understands the vital role it has in ensuring that groups or individuals within the Nursery are not subjected to intimidation or radicalisation. Lark Hill Nursery School puts into action equal opportunities guidance to ensure that there will be no discrimination against any individual or group, regardless of faith, ethnicity, gender, sexuality, political or financial status, or similar. We are dedicated to modelling, promoting and reinforcing these values to all of the children and families it serves. The government set out its definition of British values in the 2011 Prevent Strategy.

The five key British Values are:

  • Democracy
  • The rule of law
  • Individual liberty
  • Mutual respect
  • Tolerance of those of different faiths and beliefs

These 5 key British Values are embedded in the ethos, principles and practice of all we do at Lark Hill Nursery School.

We see the links to the approaches we have always taken based on documents as diverse as our Early Years Foundation Stage Curriculum, our use of person centred practices, one page profiles and articles included in the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child.

1) Democracy

We believe this concerns developing the ability for children to make decisions together and knowing their opinions count. This involves understanding how they can express a point of view and the importance of team work. We listen to the thoughts of the children and their families and reflect on what it means for us. We expect children to contribute and co-operate, taking into account the views of others, which we reinforce through every interaction which takes place at Nursery. This involves turn taking, sharing and collaboration. As children grow into adults this develops into respect for the basis on which the law is made and having an understanding of how citizens can influence decision-making through the democratic process

At Lark Hill Nursery School children are listened to by adults and are taught to listen carefully and with concern to each other respecting the right of every individual to have their opinions heard. We encourage children to make informed choices about their own learning. We involve the children in helping to create a positive learning environment for all. We support the children to be confident to try new activities, initiate ideas and to speak in a group.

This involves considering the consequences of their words and actions for others. We encourage children to develop enquiring minds. We actively support children to develop a sense of who they are and what they can contribute. This is reflected in our key person, focus child approach and how we build a close relationship with every family.

As children start at Lark Hill Nursery School we go on a home visit to learn about the child and family. We create a one page profile to help us reflect, understand and support what is individual about each child in what we offer.

Early Years Foundation Stage – Personal Social Emotional Development self-confidence and self-awareness UN CRC Article 12: Children have the right to say what they think should happen, when adults are making decisions that affect them, and to have their opinions taken into account

2) The Rule of Law

We want the children to recognise the need for guidelines which inform the way people function together and the difference between right & wrong. We support the children to have a growing awareness of their own needs, views and feelings and be sensitive to those of others. We help the children understand their emotions and how they have choices in the way they respond to them. We encourage them to think about responses which may be helpful or not for other people and to consider the impact they have on others. We support the children to resolve conflicts effectively through helping to suggest the language which will support them with this. Our children are taught the value and reasons behind our expectations (rules). This can be seen, for example in the ways we expect the children to look after our resources and all help at tidy time so that everyone can benefit from all that our Nursery has to offer.

We want the children to understand how they can contribute positively to the lives of those living and working in the locality and society more widely. Our small trips and visitors all help the children understand the roles of others in society and their place in community.

We help the children to think about the different groups they belong to, including at Nursery, their family and in the community. This helps them start to develop a sense of responsibility to others.

Through following the simple rules in Nursery we want the children to understand that living under the rule of law protects them and is essential for their well-being and safety. This will contribute to helping them respect the civil and criminal law in England. We work closely with our families to develop ways to support each child to learn about being part of a larger community as they start Nursery.

Curriculum Links: EYFS-PSED (Managing Feelings and Behaviour)

UN CRC Article 19: Governments should ensure that children are properly cared for, and protect them from violence, abuse and neglect by their parents, or anyone else who looks after them.

Behaviour Policy

3) Individual liberty

Children at Lark Hill Nursery School are encouraged to know, understand and exercise their rights and personal freedoms and advised how to exercise these safely. The children are given the freedom to make choices about where they explore, learn and play and who with. The children are actively encouraged to make choices, knowing that they are in a safe and supportive environment. We want our children to develop a positive sense of themselves. Our staff provide opportunities for children to develop their self-knowledge, self-esteem and increase their confidence in their own abilities, for example through allowing them to take risks and talking about their ideas and learning.

We encourage the children to benefit from a range of experiences that allow children to, reflect on their differences and understand we are free to have different opinions, for example in a small group discussions.

Children are supported to learn to make choices in a considered way which demonstrate value for themselves and consider the rights and feelings of others. Children’s viewpoints are respectfully listened to, and staff work to enable other’s perspectives to be considered. We maximise opportunities for the social and emotional development of every child by helping each child benefit from spending time with adults exploring alongside them and helping them to consider the impact their actions may have on others.

We believe that making the right choice in different situations is seen as an important part of giving the children the skills necessary to make the right decisions when faced with difficult and risky situations as they grow older. Children are encouraged to know, understand and exercise their rights and personal freedoms.

UN CRC Article 31: All children have a right to relax and play, and to join a wide range of activities.

UN CRC Article 15: Children have the right to meet together and to join groups and organisations, as long as this does not stop other people from enjoying their rights.

Curriculum Links: Early Years Foundation Stage - Personal Social and Emotional Development (Self confidence, self awareness, people and communities)

Understanding the world

4) Mutual respect and tolerance

We want our children to appreciate that other people may have different faiths or beliefs to themselves and for them to celebrate this and not see it as a cause for prejudicial or discriminatory behaviour, Mutual respect is at the heart of our approach and we are proud to promote and celebrate our different backgrounds and beliefs.

Our school is a community where children cooperate and learn about being a friend to all and care for each other. At Lark Hill Nursery School our staff work to help our children know that as individuals they are valued and respected. We want our children to become reflective about their own beliefs, religious or otherwise that inform their interest in and respect for different people’s faiths, feelings and values. We believe this will enable them to understand and appreciate the views of others as they grow older. We support this through helping he children participate in a variety of social situations where they are encouraged to cooperate and learn with others. We want our children to have a growing understanding of their place in a diverse society and have opportunities to experience diversity. A key priority for staff is getting to know each child and their families, and to invite and develop an understanding of this information, as well as build up a wide knowledge of the local community. This positive attention to the different faiths, beliefs, languages and experiences is given in order to inform planning for a valuing, relevant and meaningful curriculum for all. Day to day practice reflects our equality policy and behaviour policy. We work alongside Bilingual Support Assistants from the Ethnic Diversity Service to value the identity of all of our children.

We aim to enhance children’s understanding of different faiths and beliefs by participating in a range of celebrations throughout the year and hold a Family Food and Art Night. We share stories that reflect and value the diversity of children’s experiences and providing resources and activities that challenge gender, cultural and racial stereotyping. Our accessibility plan reflects the way we improve and develop how we make our Nursery available to all.

Curriculum Links: Early Years Foundation Stage- Personal Social and Emotional Development  (Self confidence, self awareness, people and communities)

UN CRC Article 30: Children have a right to learn and use the language and customs of their families, whether these are shared by the majority of people in the country or not