At Grove Primary, we are committed to teaching "a broad and balanced curriculum which promotes the Spiritual, Moral, Social and Cultural development of pupils and prepares them for the opportunities, responsibilities and experiences of life” whilst promoting “community cohesion”.
We endeavour to furnish our children with all the life skills they will need in later life to become valuable and well-adjusted citizens who are tolerant and respectful of individuals from a whole range of backgrounds who might hold beliefs, values and religions which are different to theirs.
With this in mind, we are committed to ensure that the 5 British Values of: Democracy, The Rule of Law, Individual Liberty, Mutual Respect and Tolerance of those of different faiths and beliefs - as described by the Department for Education - are truly integrated into our school community whether it be in lessons or as pupils go about their business in the course of a school day.
We also take our duty to challenge opinions or behaviour in school that are contrary to fundamental British values very seriously.
Please scroll down this page to find out how British Values are intrinsically linked with life at Grove Primary School.
The provision for furthering pupils' understanding of Democracy at Grove Primary is exemplary because the views of all the school’s stakeholders (pupils, staff, parents and Governors) are regularly sought and used effectively to inform planning. In fact, Senior Management believes that democracy has been instrumental in moving the school forward over the last two years.
Firstly, there are numerous opportunities for pupils to further their understanding of democracy in the curriculum. In Early Years children routinely choose which daily activities they want to take part in. In addition, pupils get acquainted with the concept of “fairness”, “turn taking” and “sharing” as soon as they start school. Furthermore, KS1 and KS2 children are provided with a range of Maths and Literacy challenges which they can choose from every day. In addition, discussions and debates routinely take place in a range of subjects. As part of their “local area” topic in the Summer 2015, Lower School pupils had to decide whether it was better to walk or drive to school. In History last year, Year 4 students had to compare crime and punishment in modern days as opposed to Victorian times. This term, Year 6 students have been sharpening their debating skills as part of their Greek Topic. When learning about countries and nationalities in French, Year 5 children are asked to debate whether or not their teacher should become a British citizen.
Grove Primary takes its duty to challenge opinions or behaviours in school that are contrary to fundamental British values very seriously and believes that taking part in regular debates provides pupils with a robust and balanced framework within which to discuss any topic so as to minimise the risk of radicalisation amongst its mostly white British students.
Grove Primary has worked hard to fully integrate Pupil Voice into school life and there are numerous opportunities outside lessons for pupils to have a say in everything that affects their lives either directly or via Representative Democracy. Since September 2013, children – and staff - have directly taken part in surveys on topics such as behaviour, school ties and House names and have provided valuable feedback on the running of extra-curricular events such as Aim High Career Days, Election Day, French Theatre Day, Golden Time as well as the Kingswood and Opal Coast trips. Furthermore, in September 2015, Grove’s children took part in their first ever Whole School Pupil Perception Survey whose findings can be found on the school’s website.
In addition, children can make their views or wishes known at any time either by speaking formally or informally to a member of staff or by using a number of Representative Democracy channels such as School Council, School Ambassadors, Digital Leaders or House Captains. With this in mind, the Elections of School Councillors and House Captains as well as this year's Referendum on the new class name offer unique opportunities for pupils to understand the importance of democracy. The school believes that as pupils are required to prepare and deliver election speeches as well as vote anonymously, they are provided with a unique chance to physically experience the democratic process thus sowing the seeds for a more sophisticated understanding of democracy in the future.
Besides meeting regularly to make decisions on charity events and school improvements, members of the School Council have been working as researchers last year; distributing questionnaires to their peers and being actively involved in collating and analysing data. In February 2015, members of Grove’s School Council invited a local Town Councillor to a special Sign2Sing fundraising assembly. It is thought that this link, together with the one Year 5 pupils formed with the local MP for Waveney when they visited the Houses of Parliament and hosted a PMQ session in school in Summer 2015 could be capitalised upon to further pupils’ understanding of democracy in the future. The newly appointed House Captains have been busy too organising a series of workshops to gather the views of pupils and staff on how the newly implemented House System could be developed further.
Over the last two years, parents have also been regularly invited to express their views on topics such as the Behaviour Policy, homework, house ties and Learning Cafés.
2015 has seen Governors regularly coming to school to share special learning experiences with the children such as plays on Democracy and the Magna Carta, the Election of House Captains, the Singing and signing of Christmas Carols, Career Days, French for the Family event as well as the moving Sign2Sing fundraising Assembly with the children from the Warren Special School. The school has found that a deeper immersion in the day-to-day life of the school has enriched the quality of the discussions which takes place between Governors and Middle Leaders as part of the yearly Subject Performance Reviews.
The provision for furthering pupils’ understanding of the Rule of Law at Grove Primary is exemplary. Senior Management and staff have worked hard to ensure that all pupils are provided with a range of opportunities which will enable them to “develop and demonstrate the skills and attitudes that will allow them to” become model citizens. The school believes that it is important for its students to realise, from a very young age, that all the laws and rules which govern our lives, whether in our school, community or country are there for a reason and that it is of great interest and benefit to all of us if they are adhered to. This message is clearly conveyed in the School Behaviour Policy through which pupils are encouraged to “recognise the difference between right and wrong” as well as helped to understand the “consequences of their behaviours and actions” so as to learn to “respect the civil and criminal law of England”.
In Early Years, the emphasis is on pupils knowing and obeying the Golden Rules and understanding that failure to comply will invariably lead to negative consequences such as loss of personal time. In their lessons, young children are taught how to respect people and property by putting away toys at the end of play and by “moving through the school quietly and slowly” so as not to disturb the learning of others. Pupils are also taught about the importance of obeying the rules that keep them safe, when going swimming for example of when making their way to and from school. Police and the Fire Service make regular visits to the school to talk to pupils about how safety rules help us protect ourselves and others from harm. Equally in KS1, stories such as “Jack and the Beanstalk” or “Tales of the Road” as well as visits to the local Fire Station are used to reinforce the message on right and wrong choices and personal safety. In Circle Time, Lower KS2 students learn the importance of taking turns and respecting speakers’ rights. Last year Year 3 and 4 pupils got further acquainted with the Rule of Law by taking part in a play on Trial and Transportation as part of their “Australia” topic. Upper KS2 pupils, on the other hand, are encouraged to make up their own class rules as well as referee their own PE games. In addition, it is thought that taking part in a range of debates in PSHE, History and RE as well as discussing personal safety in ICT or when taking part in the Bikeability Challenge provide the older learners with concrete opportunities to fully understand the rationale behind laws and how they exist for the benefit and protection of us all.
In addition, themed “Values for Life” assemblies on topics such as “Justice”, “Truthfulness” and “Responsibility” as well as the two plays on Democracy and the Magna Carta delivered by the School Ambassadors last year provided a meaningful context within which to understand the origins and the importance of the Rule of Law. .
The Leadership team is also very much aware of the key role parents play in modelling good citizenship and the Weekly Bulletin is regularly used to remind them of key rules pertaining to parking, health and safety, child protection issues as well as school procedures and expectations. The School believes that the clear explanations and real-life stories contained in all of the above enable pupils to better internalise how important it is to comply with the Rule of Law and maximises the chances of its pupils becoming responsible and thoughtful law abiding citizens. It is also thought that as older pupils are encouraged to compare their laws with that of other countries such as France, India and Australia for example, they gain a better understanding of the link between the historical, political, religious and cultural heritage of a country and its legal and judiciary system which can only lead to a deeper respect and tolerance of other cultures.
3 - Individual Liberty
Grove Primary has worked hard to provide a positive atmosphere in which individuals feel valued and are given the best possible opportunities to develop the skills and attitudes which will enable them to grow as responsible and well-rounded people living a happy, productive and fulfilling life. Individual Liberty is fully embedded into the Curriculum and takes 3 different forms: promoting individuality, providing individual choices and fostering a strong sense of personal responsibility.
Our pupils are encouraged to be proud of who they are
Every child and staff within the school is encouraged to be proud of who they are and the school takes any forms of bullying whether it be in the form of racist or homophobic comments very seriously. The Anti-Bullying Policy is regularly reviewed and the school is always looking at new ways to get the message across. This year, the School Ambassadors worked with a member of staff to prepare a series of workshops and assemblies. Furthermore, KS1 and KS2 pupils worked together to design a new poster which has now been printed professionally and which is displayed throughout the school.
The recent introduction of the EscarGROVEs after-school Club fosters curiosity in other cultures and enables pupils with a personal link to other countries to share their heritage with fellow pupils and take pride in their roots. Parents are also encouraged to pop in to read stories, teach songs or playground games.
In addition, the School is keen to celebrate personal achievements within its community and the Weekly Bulletin regularly features individual academic, sporting or fund-raising accomplishments by staff, parents and even Governors.
Our pupils have personalised learning
The Spelling and Big Maths Schemes which the school uses enable individuals to achieve at their own level and progress at their own pace. In addition, in Literacy and Numeracy, pupils are offered a range of challenges which they can choose from. Pupils are encouraged to select the task that will challenge them most, thus giving pupils more freedom to determine their own learning. Individual learning journeys are also shared with parents during Meet the Teacher events or by using the Tapestry application in Nursery and Reception.
Our pupils are provided with a range of choices which enable them to find their special talent or vocation
Grove Primary offers a range of activities, after-school clubs, Golden Time workshops, trips and events which cater for a range of interests and ability. This is so that all pupils are given the chance to discover something they will excel at. This will not only enhance their self-esteem but will also raise aspirations thus acting as a powerful incentive for students to work hard to reach their life goal.
In addition, children have, through the Pupils Representative bodies numerous opportunities to initiate and carry out various individual projects within the school.
Our pupils have an individual say in the decisions that affect them
Pupil Voice is very strong at Grove and pupils have a say in the decisions which affect them. This has been done directly when pupils have taken part in surveys. Last year, pupils filled in questionnaires and were interviewed when the Behaviour Policy was reviewed. This year, children were requested to comment on the possible introduction of school ties as well as a House System, changes to Golden Time, the Elections of House Captains as well as the quality and relevance of some yearly events (French for the Family, Hub Theatre Day). They were also able to express their views indirectly through the School Council who chose new playground equipment, sampled the new canteen menu and advised as to which charities we ought to support as a school.
At Grove we are doing our utmost to make pupils understand that with choices also comes responsibility and we thrive, through our Golden Rules and Golden Behaviours for Learning to impart in children a strong sense of personal responsibility. In lessons, movements on the Behaviour Chart enable pupils to understand, from a very young age, that every decision they make and every action they take has consequences. Discussions in Topics or PHSE, features in the Weekly Bulletins as well as Rewards such as Gold Certificate, Good Behaviour Monthly Draw, Pupil of the Month, Wonderful Work of the Week, Attendance Certificates, Reading Certificates etc also contribute towards reinforcing the message.
Through our E-Safety, RE and PSHE sessions, we educate children on their rights and personal liberties as well as support them in recognising how to exercise these freedoms safely.
The promotion of Respect at Grove Primary is exemplary. Through its Golden Values, Golden Behaviours for Learning and the Wider Curriculum, the school promotes self-respect by encouraging all the members of its community to be proud of who they are, to believe in themselves, to embrace new challenges as well as build up their resilience by learning from their mistakes. There are also numerous channels throughout the school through which pupils, staff, parents and Governors are encouraged to express their views freely on any aspects of school life.
The above values also play a key role in imparting in pupils a respect for authority, for the Rule of Law as well as for their fellow pupils. In addition Topic and PSHE lessons in which pupils are encouraged to listen to and respect other people’s viewpoints as well as assemblies on friendship, Respect and Reverence provide a sound moral compass as to how pupils should interact with each other.
Special events such as Children in Need, Sign2Sing Challenge and Paralympic Sport teach students to respect people who might be physically different to them. The School is also keen to impart in children a respect for people who have fought to make Great Britain the country it is today through Special Remembrance Assemblies as well as within the recent “World War 1” and “World War 2” Topics which culminated in a trip to the local Tide and Time Museum and visits from grandparents who were war children.
Pupils’ attention is also drawn on the fact that the Earth only has limited resources and that we all have a duty to respect the environment so that we can preserve it for future generation. This is done through the Harvest Assembly as well as through various environmental and recycling projects and discussions as part of Topics throughout the school.
In addition, learning a new language or finding about another culture in lessons or in the EscarGROVEs Club as well as taking part in whole school International and Multi-Faith Days encourage pupils to respect individuals who might have languages, cultures, views, beliefs and faiths which are different to them.
The promotion of Tolerance at Grove Primary is exemplary. Through RE, Topic, French, PSHE Assemblies and special events, the school opens students’ mind to the world around them and teach pupils to understand, accept, celebrate and value differences. The school endeavours to build in its pupils a curiosity for individuals who originate from a different country, who have a different culture, who speak a different language, who have different values and beliefs or worship a different God. The school also believes that it is important for its children to gain a better understanding of people who might be physically, mentally or economically different.
Through the curriculum all major religions are studied and respected. There are visits from a range of faith representatives throughout the year and pupils regularly have opportunities to visit a cathedral and a mosque. The school has close links with the local church and children attend Christmas or Easter Services. Pupils from the Lower School also host their own Wedding ceremony in the church every Spring. Grove children also learn about faiths through Art. Last year, Year 5 designed their own Rangoli pattern with seeds for Diwali whilst Year 6 created their own version of the Hindu Elephant God Ganesh. There are also various displays throughout the school which draw pupils’ attention to the symbols of different religions. The Multi-Faith event which took part in March 2016 also provided an opportunity for all children to compare and contrast how people from various faiths live their life on a day-to-day basis.
Every year, the school holds a Bedtime Story Evening and a World Book Day during which feature stories from around the world. The Library is also well stocked with books drawing pupils’ attention to a range of cultures and religions. Over the last two years, in Topic children have learnt what life was like in Australia, Brazil and India. In French and through the EscarGROVEs Club pupils learn how people live and celebrate festivals in countries such as France, Poland, Honduras and Morocco as well as learn rhymes, songs, stories and watch short films in foreign languages.
Other events such as our annual Sign and Sing Christmas Carol service as well as the whole school Sign2Sing event and the forthcoming School Council work on Blind Awareness also opens pupils’ mind to people who might be different through disability. Management and Staff at Grove Primary strongly believe that tolerance is gained through knowledge and understanding. Through a broad and rich curriculum and the routines of our daily school life, the school strives to demonstrate tolerance and help children to become knowledgeable and understanding citizens who can build a better Britain for the future.