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” (DfE).
At The Old Fire Station Nursery we promote British values in the following ways:
Children have regular opportunities to have their voices heard. Children’s questionnaires are sent home to help us understand each child’s views on our nursery. Interaction sheets are sent home regularly to gage children’s current interests and what they feel they are good at and what they would like to get better at. Children have regular opportunities to make choices. Staff help the children to understand a voting system to solve everyday debates, for example, voting for which story the group would like to read at group time.
The importance of Laws, whether they be those that govern the group, the school, or the country, are consistently reinforced throughout regular days, as well as when dealing with behaviour. Our behaviour policy outlines a fair system for all children to understand which involves rewards for good behaviour and consequences for challenging behaviour. Children are taught the value and reasons behind the nursery’s rules, that they protect us, the responsibilities that this involves and the consequences when rules are broken. Visits from authorities such as the Police and the Fire Service are regular parts of our calendar and help reinforce this message.
Within nursery, children are actively encouraged to make choices, knowing that they are in a safe and supportive environment. As a nursery we educate and provide boundaries for young pupils to make choices. Pupils are encouraged to know, understand and exercise their rights and personal freedoms. Staff encourage children to exercise these safely, for example through group times and activities encouraging children to talk about their feelings and emotions. Children are given the freedom to make choices. Children are offered choices regularly throughout the day, for example, when choosing an activity to participate in and during snack times. Staff always respect children’s wishes if they do not want to participate in a game or activity.
We work hard to create an ethos of inclusivity, tolerance and respect for all individuals. Children have been part of discussions related to what this means and how it is shown. We regularly take the children on outings to engage with the wider community. We talk to the children about differences and similarities between families, faiths, communities and cultures. We provide regular activities and workshops for families to celebrate different festivals and traditions which help the children to understand. Staff actively challenge behaviour which is not in line with the British values outlined in this policy.
Staff encourage the importance of tolerant behaviours. We help young children to learn the importance of turn taking and listening to each other, this is reiterated through our nursery rules, as well as our behaviour policy.
This is achieved through enhancing children’s understanding of their place in a culturally diverse society and by giving them opportunities to experience such diversity, for example, we celebrate different festivals and invite parents to lead cultural cooking activities at the nursery. When a child starts at our setting, we ask parents to fill in an ‘All About Me’ sheet whereby families who speak English as an additional language are able to share some words in their home language. We encourage staff and children to learn words in different languages to communicate with families. Members of different faiths or religions are encouraged to share their knowledge to enhance learning, for example, organising outings to mosques and churches.