The DfE has 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'.
The Government set outs their definitions of British Values in the 2011 Prevent Strategy and these values have been reiterated this year (2014). ‘Ensure that they and the school promote tolerance of and respect for people of all faiths (or those of no faith), cultures and lifestyles; and support and help, through their words, actions and influence within the school and more widely in the community, to prepare children and young people positively for life in modern Britain’. At Wolfson Hillel these values are reinforced regularly and in the following ways.
Democracy is embedded at the school. Children are always 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 and voices heard. Pupils also have the opportunity to air their opinions and ideas through our School Council and regular questionnaires. The elections of the School Council members are based solely on pupil votes, reflecting our British electoral system and demonstrating democracy in action. School council work not only to solve issues that the children raise but also have input into their curriculum and the standards of the school.
Children at Hillel have many opportunities for their voices to be heard and to influence and to have responsibility. At Hillel we have
School Council Members - Each class (Year 1 to Year 6) elects a representative for the school council. The school council meets with a member of staff where the children put forward ideas from their class to help improve the school.
Peer Mentors - Selected Year 6 pupils are paired with younger children who would benefit from weekly mentoring sessions.
Prefects - Selected Year 6 pupils are given responsibilities around the school such as serving water in the dining room, emptying recycling boxes, holding open doors after break times etc.
Buddies - Pupils from Year 5 and 6 are selected and trained to offer help and assistance at playtimes to anyone feeling lonely, upset or wanting to talk to someone about a friendship issue. They can be easily identified by their bright caps and smiley faces.
Head Boy, Girl & Deputies - These pupils are nominated by the staff and their role is to represent the school at key events.
Games Makers - Selected pupils from Year 6 who will receive training and then represent the school at borough events, encourage younger children to enjoy sports and they will organise sports activities in the playground.
Hillel News - Pupils from all classes write articles on World News, UK news, Israel News and School News for the website.
ICT Champions - Two pupils from each class are appointed by the teachers to assist in all ICT tasks such as ensuring projector is turned off and logging IT faults.
The Rule of Law
The importance of Laws, whether they be those that govern the class, the school, the country or Jewish law, are consistently reinforced throughout regular school days, as well as when dealing with behaviour and through school assemblies. Pupils are taught the value and reasons behind laws, that they govern and protect us, the responsibilities that this involves and the consequences when laws are broken. Visits from authorities such as the Police and Fire Service help reinforce this message.
Within school, pupils are actively encouraged to make choices, knowing that they are in a safe and supportive environment. As a school we educate and provide boundaries for young pupils to make choices safely, through provision of a safe environment and empowering education. Pupils are encouraged to know, understand and exercise their rights and personal freedoms and advised how to exercise these safely, for example through our E-Safety and PSHE lessons. Whether it is through choice of learning challenge, of how they record, of participation in our numerous extra-curricular clubs and opportunities, pupils are given the freedom to make choices.
Mutual respect is at the heart of our values. Children learn that their behaviour's have an effect on their own rights and those of others. All members of the school community treat each other with respect. The children know and understand that it is expected and imperative that respect is shown to everyone, whatever differences we may have and to everything, however big or small.
Pupils also develop a respect of others through engaging in charitable work during the academic year. For example, comic relief, children in need
Tolerance of those of Different Faiths and Beliefs
As a Modern Orthodox Jewish School, we place a great emphasis on promoting diversity with the children. Our Hillel Curriculum, Jewish Studies, PSHE and Topics reinforce this. Assemblies are regularly planned to address diversity and key events in other religious calendars. This is either directly or through the inclusion of stories and celebrations from a variety of faiths and cultures. We are also part of school clusters which represent all faiths and inter school working is promoted where possible. E.g. Children visit our succah during Succot.
In addition via our Topics we teach about democracy, civic responsibility, rules and laws, the monarchy, equality, values and virtues, environmental awareness and action to care for and protect our local and wider world environment via energy conservation for example, and that respect for other faiths and for all people is fundamental to our beliefs.