Early Years Staffroom

We share our knowledge so you save your time.


British Values – Are we getting it all wrong?

British Values

Are you an early year’s educator who worries about your approach to teaching British Values? We promote multiculturalism in our society, and while that’s fantastic, it can cause a level of confusion for teachers who are unsure whether they should push or promote British ideals within their classrooms.


British Values – Are we getting it all wrong?

Are you an early year’s educator who worries about your approach to teaching British Values?

We promote multiculturalism in our society, and while that’s fantastic, it can cause a level of confusion for teachers
who are unsure whether they should push or promote British ideals within their classrooms.

It’s vital that everyone understands that values of that nature are a critical element of our community,
and so educators should promote them regardless of their student’s background, religion, or culture.

From 1st September 2015, Ofsted began inspecting childminders and other early years practitioners to assess how well they actively promote British values, and for that reason, this subject has become a hot topic of conversation.

What are British values and how do I promote them?

  • Democracy – Children are learning democracy all of the time and is facilitated by adults. They express their views during discussions.
    They could vote for their favourite story to be read. Demonstrate democracy by asking children to show hands to vote for what the role play area should be.
    Encourage children to question others and give opportunities to develop enquiring minds in an atmosphere where questions are valued.

 

  • British Laws - Reinforced by implementing rules that follow the same fundamentals, for example, learning the rules of sharing, taking care of things and being kind to each other.
    Ask the children to create their own rules. Ask them: Why do we need rules? What would happen if we didn’t have rules? When is it good to not use rules? How do you know that is a good rule?

 

  • Individual Liberty - Freedom - Promoted through ensuring practitioners treat everyone equally and as an individual and leading by example.
    Let children take the lead in their learning to gain confidence and independence.
    Let children chose activities, let them get their own paint, let them make their own play dough and cakes. We have some great recipes to support independent learning.

 

  • Mutual Respect and Tolerance for different faiths - Reinforced by practitioners asking leading questions and by learning about all children’s different faiths.
    It is celebrating each and every celebration and taking the opportunity to learn about different faiths. We have provided a calendar of celebrations and festivals.
    Learn about these naturally for example when it is the Queen’s Birthday learn about the monarchy and when it is Chinese New Year learn about it through play.
    We have enhanced planning for each celebration so save you time each time there is something to celebrate.

How can I evidence that I am promoting British Values?  

It’s not boards that make the difference its practice and Ofsted know this.
However, many schools expect to see displays on British Values to ‘tick the box’ which sometimes, with a lack of understanding, are being misconstrued into displays all about Britain and life in Britain.
Displays are OK if they are showing how you promote the values as above so photos, observations and explanations would be great.
We have created some definitions of British Values to add to a display.
Another option is to create a book about the learning in a specific term and then explain next to some of the pictures how you promote British Values so that parents can see and you can read to the children.
In addition, promote diverse attitudes and challenge stereotypes by sharing stories that reflect and value the diversity of children’s experiences and provide resources and activities that challenge gender, cultural and racial stereotyping.

Whatever you do children need to be involved to make it meaningful to them. Hopefully, this information will help all readers to create the best strategies to promoting British Values in Early Years. We welcome any comments.

Learn more about how Early Years Staff Room supports British values by browsing our early year's resources.