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Promoting British Values in the Nursery

Our responsibilities under the Statutory Framework for Early Years to Promoting British Values in the Nursery

The fundamental British values of democracy, rule of law, individual liberty, mutual respect and tolerance for those with different faiths and beliefs are implicitly embedded in the 2017 Early Years Foundation Stage.

To demonstrate what this means in practice below are some examples based on what is in the statutory guidance.

Democracy: making decisions together

As part of the focus on self-confidence and self-awareness as cited in Personal, Social and Emotional Development:

  • The children are encouraged to see their role within the whole nursery and beyond, they are encouraged to know their own views count, value each other’s views and values and talk about their feelings, for example when they do or do not need help. They are also given opportunities to see democracy in action in ways that are appropriate to their understanding, for example, the children are encouraged to help decide what the theme of their role play area should be and what resources will be needed to create the right atmosphere, or they may be asked to vote on which book they would like at story time.
  • The nursery practitioners support the decisions that the children make and provide activities that involve turn-taking, sharing and collaboration. The children are given opportunities to develop enquiring minds in an atmosphere where questions are valued.

The Rule of law: understanding rules matter

As part of the focus on managing feelings and behaviour as cited in Personal Social and Emotional development:

  • The children are supported to understand their own and others’ behaviour and its consequence and learn to distinguish right from wrong.
  • Children and staff collaborate to create rules of behaviour, for example, to agree on rules for tidying up and ensure that all children understand rules apply to everyone.

Individual liberty: freedom for all

As part of the focus on self-confidence and self-awareness and people and communities as cited in Personal, Social and Emotional development and Understanding of the world:

  • The children develop a positive sense of themselves. The nursery practitioners provide opportunities for the children to develop their self-knowledge, self-esteem and increase their confidence in their own abilities, for example through allowing children to take risks on an obstacle course, mixing colours of paint, and then talking about their experiences and learning.
  • The nursery practitioners encourage a range of experiences that allow children to explore the language of feelings and responsibility, reflect on their differences and understand we are free to have different opinions, for example in small groups discuss what they feel about transferring into Reception class.

 

Mutual respect and tolerance: treat others as you want to be treated

As part of the focus on people & communities, managing feelings & behaviours and making relationships as cited in Personal Social and Emotional development and Understanding the World:

  • The nursery management and practitioners create an ethos of inclusivity and tolerance where views, faiths, cultures and races are valued and children are engaged with the wider community.
  • The children are encouraged to acquire a tolerance and appreciation of and respect for their own and other cultures; know about similarities and differences between themselves and others and among families, faiths, communities, cultures and traditions and share and discuss practices, celebrations and experiences.
  • The nursery practitioners encourage and explain the importance of tolerant behaviours such as sharing and respecting other’s opinions.
  • The nursery practitioners promote diverse attitudes and challenge stereotypes, for example, sharing stories that reflect and value the diversity of the children’s experiences and providing resources and activities that challenge gender, cultural and racial stereotyping.
  • We endeavour to go further than taking a minimum approach such as multicultural posters on the walls and multi-faith books on the bookshelves.

It is not acceptable to:

  • Actively promote intolerance of other faiths, cultures and races.
  • Fail to challenge gender stereotypes and routinely segregate girls and boys.
  • Isolate children from their wider community.
  • Fail to challenge behaviours (whether children, practitioners or parents) that are not in line with the fundamental British values of democracy, rule of law, individual liberty and tolerance of those with different faiths and beliefs.