Recently I have been discussing British Values with my staff and we have talked about how we don’t need to plan specific ‘lessons’ to teach children British values – they should be included in everything we do. Britain has undergone rapid economic and social change in the last few decades and we live in an increasingly diverse society. We need to teach our children that it is possible to live together peacefully, each of them a valuable part of our multicultural world.
So what does this look like in practice at our school? Let’s look at Valentine’s Day as an example. There are a number of different things we can do:
- Looking at Valentine’s Day cards in the local shops – British values = making links in the local community
- Designing your own cards to give to family and friends – British values = valuing family
- Talking about how children across the world will be sending cards to their family and friends – teach children = we live in a multicultural and diverse world
- Communicating to parents that we are making cards and providing some resources so they can help their child learn more about hearts, flowers, colours etc at home – Early Years Foundation Stage = working with parents.
All the teaching we deliver must be relevant to and respectful of the individual children’s learning needs – there is little point making Diwali candles with a one year old who will probably eat them – but everyone can be involved in making a big flower picture after an outing and learn more about nature and the natural world.
Here are some examples of how British Values are embedded in our day-to-day curriculum:
- We teach children to be kind, helpful and respectful of others;
- We teach children to be part of their local community;
- We plan to celebrate festivals and mark special days from the world around us;
- We teach the children about compromise – that some of us believe one thing… some of us believe something totally different… but we can all play together in the same house (or group setting) and respect each other = British values – teaching about similarities and differences.
Kathy McLauchlan, Head of Nursery, Pre-Prep and Years 3&4