The DfE recently reinforced the need for all schools to promote the fundamental British values of democracy, rule of law, individual liberty, mutual respect and tolerance of those with different faiths and beliefs. At Wheelock, these values are embedded within and integral to our school mission statement, aims and values and are woven through our curriculum. Links to these are found in our PHSE Jigsaw Mapping document
Children are introduced to democracy through the Article 12 Squad as they have the chance to vote for their class representatives. Teachers use the opportunity to talk with the children about the importance of having a system that is fair, in which everyone has an equal say and is able to voice it freely. Children also have opportunities to vote on decisions within their classes throughout the year, and each class has a suggestion box which is monitored by their Article 12 Squad member and suggestions are shared at weekly meetings.
The school is regularly used as a polling station which presents a great opportunity for talking with the children about current affairs and politics and for the children to see democracy in action.
Rule of Law
The importance of Laws to the success of any society is reinforced throughout the school day: through our class and school behaviours, through assemblies and class discussion times and through the underlying ethos of the school. Whether it is within their own classroom, across the whole school, or in the wider community, the children are taught the value and reasons behind laws: that they protect and keep us safe, ensure equality and uphold the rights of the individual. Children are also taught about shared responsibility and the consequences that follow when an individual chooses to break a law. We have recently been awarded the RRSA Silver Accreditation: Rights Aware. More information can be found on our dedicated RRSA tab.
Every child at Wheelock is valued as an individual. We take time to get to know their likes and dislikes, their values and beliefs and to celebrate their personal achievements. We aim to nurture all children as individuals who know who they are and believe in themselves. Children are actively encouraged to make choices, knowing that they are in a safe and supportive environment. In Key Stage 2, the children learn about the rights of the child and reflect on the impact of any loss of individual liberty.
As a Rights Respecting School, mutual respect is at the heart of our values. Children learn that their behaviours have an effect on their own rights and those of others. All members of the school community treat each other with respect.
We model this through every interaction whether with a child or another adult and set clear expectations for the children to do the same. Children are encouraged to show empathy for others and to understand the importance of treating others as we would like to be treated ourselves. Our Relationship and Behaviour policy outlines the expectations of both staff and pupils regarding mutual respect.
Tolerance of those with different faiths and beliefs
Wheelock is situated in an area with limited cultural diversity, therefore we place a great emphasis on promoting diversity with the children. Assemblies are regularly planned to address this issue either directly or through the inclusion of stories and celebrations from a variety of faiths and cultures. Our RE, PSHE and No Outsiders curriculums reinforce this. Members of different faiths or religions are encouraged to share their knowledge to enhance learning within classes and the school. Children are taught about places of worship that are important to different faiths.
At Wheelock we will actively challenge any pupils, staff or parents expressing opinions contrary to fundamental British Values, including any extremist or racist views.
Rights Respecting Schools Award
The Rights Respecting Schools Award puts children’s rights at the heart of schools.
Why are we working towards the Gold Award?
“The UNICEF UK Rights Respecting Schools Award (RRSA) supports schools across the UK to embed children’s human rights in their ethos and culture. The award recognises achievement in putting the UN Convention on the Right of the Child (UNCRC) at the heart of a school’s practice to improve well-being and help all children realise their potential.
The award is based on principles of equality, dignity, respect, non-discrimination and participation. The initiative started in 2006 and schools involved in the Award have reported a positive impact on relationships and well-being, leading to better learning and behaviour, improved academic standards and less bullying.”
We achieved Bronze: Rights Commited in February 2022 and were delighted to be re-accredited to Silver: Rights Aware in November 2022. We are now working towards Gold: Rights Respecting.