At Meon Junior School we believe in celebrating the increasingly diverse cultural background of our local and national communities whilst also promoting and holding true to British Values (described by the Government as: democracy, the rule of law, individual liberty, mutual respect and tolerance of those of different faiths and beliefs). Much of this takes place through our curriculum teaching but also through assemblies, clubs, visitors, school trips, involvement in key local and national events, other aspects of school life and as part of the school’s general ethos.
Democracy is central to how we operate at Meon Junior School. Children, parents and staff have many opportunities
for their voices to be heard.
- The election of the School Council members reflects our British electoral system and demonstrates democracy in action: candidates make speeches, the children consider characteristics important for an elected representative, have a secret ballot, etc. Made up of two representatives from each class, the School Council meets regularly to discuss issues raised by the different classes. The council has its own budget and is able to genuinely effect change within the school; recently, the School Council has chosen books for the school library and interviewed prospective new headteachers.
- We have a house system where each house is led by house captains who are elected by the children and lead and motivate their respective houses.
- At the beginning of each year, the children agree their Class Charter and the rights associated with these. All children contribute to the drawing up of the charter.
- The children are consulted on how we can move the school forward, either via the School Council or via feedback sheets such as how we can improve our homework system at Meon Junior.
- In our creative curriculum, e.g. Year 4 study democracy during their Ancient Greece topic, in our Citizenship lessons, Year 6 study World War 2.
- Assemblies – House assemblies, School Council assemblies.
- During school trips, e.g. Little Canada (Year 6) and Stubbington (Year 5) in which teamwork is a focus.
The 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.
Rule of law
The importance of rules and laws, whether they be those that govern our school or our country, are referred to and reinforced often, such as in assemblies and when reflecting on behaviour choices. At the start of the school year, each class discusses and sets its own Class Charter, a set of principles that are clearly understood by all to ensure that every class member is able to learn in a safe and happy environment.
Children are taught the value and reasons behind the laws that govern and protect us, the responsibilities that this involves, and the consequences when laws are broken. These values are reinforced in different ways:
- Visits from authorities such as the police (Year 6, Highway Code), Fire Service (Year 5).
- During Religious Education, when rules for particular faiths are considered.
- During other school subjects, where there is respect and appreciation for different laws and rules, e.g. in Citizenship and in PE, where there is the promotion of the concept of “fair play”, following and developing rules, celebrating and rewarding success, accepting defeat and participating in activities that promote cooperation with others and inclusion for all. Year 4 study the ancient and modern Olympics during their Ancient Greece topic.
- Alongside rules and laws, we promote freedom of choice and the right to respectfully express views and beliefs. Our children are encouraged to know, understand and exercise their rights and personal freedoms and are taught how to exercise these safely, such as in our e-safety and SEAL lessons.
- Choices about learning challenges or activities.
- Choices about how they record their learning.
- Choices around the participation in extra-curricular activities (we have a large number of after school clubs).
- Assemblies – New Year’s Resolutions, Reading for Enjoyment (favourite books), E-Safety Assembly (Tracy Baldwin PCC E-Safety Officer), Independence assembly.
- E-safety lessons (all year groups), PSHE and Citizenship lessons (all year groups), sex and relationships (years 5 & 6), drug education (all year groups).
- Our ‘Healthy Living Week’, in which the children experienced a whole week of healthy activities and workshops (sport, healthy eating, road safety, etc) and how to make healthy choices.
We encourage the children to take ownership of not only their school but also of their own learning and progress. For example, a recent focus on independence and making your own choices in your learning.
Mutual respect and tolerance of those of different faiths and religions
At Meon Junior, mutual respect is at the heart of our ethos and we are proud to promote and celebrate our different backgrounds and beliefs. The children know and understand that it is imperative that respect is shown to everyone, whatever differences we may have.
Some of the ways we enhance mutual respect and the children’s understanding and respect for different faiths and beliefs are:
- Through PSHE (our SEAL and Citizenship curriculum, Anti-Bullying Week, this year focusing on those with disabilities, our whole school Heroes Week, focusing on those who have overcome hurdles, e.g. bullied as a child, those with disabilities – Paralympics, Evelyn Glennie), Religious Education (e.g. Y3 – Holi, The Easter Story, Creation Stories, Y4 – Diwali, The Madonna and Child, Y5 – Muhammad, The Qu ’ran and The Bible, Y6 – The Mosque) and other lessons where we develop awareness and appreciation of other cultures (both learning about and learning from) and mutual respect – e.g. in Literacy through fiction, in Art by considering culture from other parts of the world and in History and Geography, e.g. Y3 – Egypt, Y4 – Greece, Y5 – Brazil, Y6 – India.
- Through visitors to school, including Y3 – Hindu visitor (Holi), Y4 – Diwali workshop, Year 5 – Father Paul, Year 6 – Blue Cross visitor.
- All year groups have visited the local church with talks by our local vicar.
- Assemblies – Local Churches School Assemblies Team, Chinese New Year (Kim, local Bilingual Assistant), Mother’s Day, Good Manners assembly.
- Every week we have a celebration assembly where the children’s achievements, both academically and socially are celebrated. Each teacher also gives a certificate to their ‘Good Manners Star’ of the week.
- The headteacher’s stars of the month who each receive stickers, pencils and are mentioned in the school newsletter.
- Mutual respect and tolerance are emphasised through the school and classroom rules, as well as our behaviour policy. Additional support is given to individual children to help develop self – esteem and the concept of respect.
- In recent years, as a whole school, we have celebrated the Golden Jubilee, the World Cup, the Olympics, the Paralympics, including the visit of the Olympic torch. Each year Remembrance Day is remembered and children are encouraged to reflect on this.