At Pickering Community Junior School, we are committed to serving the needs of our children. We believe this involves preparing children to thrive in a society where the only constant is change. Despite our geographical location, we recognise the multi-cultural, multi faith and ever-changing nature of the United Kingdom.
In 2011, the Department for Education placed a statutory duty on schools to promote Modern British Values more actively and to ensure they are taught as part of our curriculum offering. The government set out its definition of British values in the 2011 Prevent Strategy as:
As part of the curriculum at Pickering Junior School, children learn about democracy, their civic responsibility, rules and laws of the land, the monarchy, equality, values, environmental awareness and understanding of other faiths. Through our curriculum, we are able to make real links between the values that our pupils hold and the lives of others in our community, country and around the world.
Democratic values are an explicit part of the ethos at Pickering Community Junior School. All adults, irrespective of role or responsibility, listen to the views of the pupils and value their opinions. Children are included in decisions about class rules and the rights associated with these. The elections of School Council are the result of pupil votes. Our school House Captains are nominated by their peers and our Peer Mentors in school are chosen as a result of the effort and values that they demonstrate in their day to day work in school.
Democracy Week 2018
As we are preparing our children for life in modern Britain, children across school engaged in democracy week and enjoyed learning about how we promote democratic values in our own school community; the four main political parties in the UK and their manifestos, as well as the structure of the UK Parliament. Children in years 3 and 4 linked their democracy work to the book, 'The Day the Crayons Quit' and held a campaign to support the crayons, as well as writing their own Prime Minster fact file. In year 5, children created their own political party and manifesto, whilst in year 6, children wrote their own non-chronological report about the dour main political parties in the UK and, as 2018 marks 100 years since Parliament passed a law allowing women to vote, they learnt and wrote a biography about the suffragette, Emily Wilding Davison.
The Rule Of Law
The importance of laws, whether they govern the class, the school, or the country are consistently reinforced. Time is taken in assembly to promote the school rules and the reasons for having them. We use assembly time to address current affairs; to explain how wider world problems can influence the outcomes for us all. Children understand that rules govern and protect us. They understand their responsibilities in this and the consequences when laws are broken. Visits from authorities such as the Police help reinforce this message.
We actively encourage children to make choices, knowing that they are in a safe and supportive environment. As a school, we educate and provide boundaries for pupils to make informed choices within a safe environment. Pupils are encouraged to understand and exercise their rights and personal freedoms and advised how to do this safely, for example through our e-Safety teaching and PSHCE lessons. Recent assemblies held by the NSPCC taught children of their right to be heard when personal boundaries were crossed.
Mutual Respect and Tolerance
Our school’s ethos is based on constantly promoting respect for others and the importance of making right choices, as well as the promotion of good manners. All pupils are taught the importance of self-respect, trust, honesty and care for others. Children learn that their behaviours have an effect on their own rights and those of others. We promote and fund raise for a range of charities to raise awareness of the needs of others both nationally and internationally. Most recently our school community donated more than forty festive boxes for children in Eastern Europe.
Pickering Community Junior School is not a culturally diverse and multi-faith school and so we actively promote diversity through our celebrations of different faiths and cultures. RE and PSHCE lessons reinforce messages of tolerance and respect for others. We study world faiths and pupils are given the opportunity to visit places of worship. We welcome members of different cultures, faiths and religions into school to share their beliefs and practices in order to remove barriers and to enhance learning. We have regular assemblies with our Open The Book Team who promote Christian messages and we have strong links with both local churches which we use to hold Harvest and Christmas celebrations.