The Department for Education has 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
Children are able to have their voice heard through working with staff and having their parents record their views on a regular basis. They are taught that it’s important to follow some simple rules to keep everyone safe and happy at Nursery School. They are also encouraged to understand why rules are important.
Individual Liberty and Mutual Respect
At Victoria Park, 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. In their time with us, children learn 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 diverse community.
Tolerance of those of Different Faiths and Beliefs
We actively promote diversity through our celebrations of the different faiths and cultures in our diverse community. We promote these aspects through talking with children, using books and resources – including visitors – to broaden children’s experiences.
Extending the Curriculum
The Friends of Victoria Park (run by parents and staff) very generously raise funds to help us provide some exciting enhancements to our curriculum. In the past couple of years these have included:
- “Play Together, Stay Together” – a drama programme provided by the Corn Exchange focusing on friendship
- Small group music lessons – singing and percussion taught by our specialist music teacher Mrs Bogé
- Living Eggs – the children had the chance to watch chicks hatching from eggs and growing their first feathers
- Farms 2 Ewe – young farm animals came to visit and the children learn how to look after them
- Cup of Caterpillars – the children watched caterpillars grow into beautiful butterflies and then released them in the garden
- Indian dancing – Trishul dance troupe performed and taught dancing as part of our Diwali celebrations
- Jester Giggles – a children’s magician joined us for our Christmas party