Promoting British Values
At Child’s Play we understand and recognise our role in ensuring that children are not subjected to intimidation, or radicalisation by those wishing to unduly, or illegally, influence them.
Our aim is to help children to develop a shared understanding of spiritual, social and cultural diversity in our society, as the backdrop for their developing British values. We encourage children to value and respect people of all ethnic origins/racial groups, diverse family groups, religions, cultures, linguistic backgrounds and abilities. Making our nursery a place where differences and cultures are celebrated and prejudice is challenged. This enables all children to learn through experience that they are important as individuals and have the right to be accepted, respected and valued as unique individuals with something special to offer. In this way we hope to support families in helping children to develop their own positive self-image and resilience.
The Department for Education have reinforced the need “to create and enforce a clear and rigorous expectation on all schools to promote the fundamental British values of;
- the rule of law,
- individual liberty
- mutual respect
- tolerance of those with different faiths and beliefs.”
The government’s definition of British values is defined in the 2011 Prevent Strategy, and the Prevent Duty 2015. Below are some of the many examples of the ways in which we embed and reinforce British values:
We recognise the importance of the opinions and experiences of our children and nursery families and consider them in our planning and development. In line with our ‘positive behaviour policy’ we promote activities which foster co-operation, turn taking, active listening, empathy for others and respect for their values and opinions. We address this through activities such as; group time and unplanned discussions, or conversations with adults and other children, jointly resetting the ‘nursery rules’, discussions about changes in the setting’s practice, or environment, encouraging children to make their own decisions; what they would like to play with, eat, learn about and respecting these – all of which model the democratic process informally.
The Rule of Law;
We have high expectations of our children and work hard to help them understand the importance of making ‘good choices’, particularly in regards to ensuring that the nursery is a happy and safe place to learn.
The children and staff have jointly created ‘nursery rules’ which set clear expectations with visual prompts to promote positive democratic behaviour. Stories and discussion illustrates the value and reasons behind our rules and expectations, highlighting that they are there to protect us, that we all have a role in meeting the rules and that there are consequences when we do not keep to the rules. Staff model positive reinforcement and praise and provide children with strategies to manage negative emotions and enable them to be considerate of the needs and feelings of others
The use of social stories and directed discussions, also help to communicate our expectations and that our actions have consequences. Thus enabling children to develop their understanding of right and wrong.
Children also learn to value and respect public institutions and services, such as the Fire, Ambulance/Hospital and Police services etc. who all reinforce these messages, as part of the children’s learning in topics such as ‘People who help us.’
Children are encouraged to make their own independent choices, to develop confidence and independence in learning and to value and voice their opinions with the knowledge that they are in a safe, secure and supportive environment. Through the ‘nursery rules’ they are reminded to balance this freedom with respect for the needs of others and to begin to take some responsibility for their behaviour. We support this when we encourage the children to make choices during play, meals, choosing toys, tiding up, helping their playmates and taking on the responsibility of small jobs
Respect is a fundamental nursery value echoed in the nursery ‘rules’ and policies; positive behaviour, equal opportunities, aims and mission statement. It threads through our planned activities and story sessions, as well as through encouragement to work both cooperatively and independently with a wide variety of activities involving group play, or tasks. Staff model this in their responses to children through their active listening, sharing, turn taking and caring responses, as well as highlighting that behaviours have an effect on others and praising positive behaviours.
This is further illustrated by services such as the Fire, Ambulance/Hospital and Police services etc. who model this through their practice which children learn about through play, linked stories and activities.
Tolerance of Different Faiths and Beliefs
We are a culturally diverse setting, which is reflected in our curriculum and events throughout the year.
Initiatives such as;
- ‘The star of the week’ and our home visiting dolls, with their diaries that record experiences with each child as part of their family and community beyond the nursery. These help children to share experience of personal cultural importance, building personal pride and confidence in their own identity.
- Inviting families to write signs in their home languages and to teach us some basic elements of their language, including counting – which we work into our everyday practice.
- Being part of the E-twinning network. Through which we currently Skype an Early Years setting in Lithuania to share events of cultural significance with each other.
- Our annual theme of; ‘The travels of the Child’s Play gingerbread people’, which allows our children to make connections with counties worldwide, learning about their climate, foods, languages, customs and festivals in the lead up to Christmas.
- Developing children’s awareness and understanding of different faiths and customs by undertaking activities linked to festivals such as Diwali and Chinese New Year, alongside festivals and days of note in Britian; St Patrick’s & St George’s Day, Shrove Tuesday, Christmas, Easter and events of national importance such as Remembrance Day and special events related to the Royal Family.
Ongoing provision; puzzles, dressing up clothes, play foods, stories, music, songs and instruments all play their part in letting children encounter and explore a world beyond their personal experience.
These activities enable children to understand their place in a culturally diverse society, by giving the opportunities to experience such diversity through a culturally rich and diverse curriculum. They promote tolerance and understanding while celebrating British values, encouraging children to respect other cultures while developing a sense of national identity and encourage them to question the world around them in a respectful way.
Written by Child’s Play Nursery Staff with reference to the National Day Nurseries Association guidance.