Teaching of 'British Values'

Information Sheet for Parents on Teaching of ‘British Values’- a recent addition to the EYFS

You may have heard recently that nurseries are expected to actively promote ‘British Values’ from September 2015. Hopefully the following information will help you understand what this means.

It’s about promoting a tolerant, democratic society where freedom of speech lives comfortably alongside respect for all. This is woven into the new ‘Prevent Duty’ which for early years, is all about safeguarding children who may be at risk of being drawn into extremism. For those of you wondering how this involves such young children it’s simply teaching them to respect each other and developing a positive sense of themselves, feeling confident to speak up, be heard and have their opinions valued. Understanding that their way of life may be different from others but still just as valuable, feeling proud of their roots. The hope is that teaching children these values will help them grow into well rounded adults.

The above is already covered in the EYFS, mainly in Personal and Social & Emotional Development (PSE) and Understanding the world (UW) but the next 4 points will give more idea of the types of activities that we will involve your child in.

  1. Democracy- the children will make decisions together such as devising rules, valuing other’s views and talking about feelings. They may vote on a topic with a show of hands and take turns and share with games, resources etc.
  2. Rule of Law – The children will understand that rules matter such as walking down the stairs and not opening the gates. Ensure through discussions and use of rules that their behavior and behavior of others have consequences. They will learn right from wrong.
  3. Individual liberty- Allow the children freedom and to take some risks such as on an obstacle course, climbing frame, mixing colours and discussing their experiences. Allow them to discuss their feelings and what makes them feel sad, happy, angry etc.
  4. Mutual respect and tolerance- Encourage them to treat others as they want to be treated themselves. Create an ethos of inclusivity where views, faiths, cultures and races are researched within the wider community. Learn about similarities and differences between themselves and others by sharing practices such as celebrations, dress, food and stories. To challenge with use of resources that are available to all and includes all.

For further information;
Prevent Duty Guidance for England and Wales, HM Government, 2015