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Posted by Katie oGrady

What ‘British Values’ means for Nurseries

Ofsted will be assessing all educational settings to ensure they are supporting ‘Fundamental British Values’ as part of their new inspection framework. Here we explain in detail about what this means and how Boys & Girls Nursery uphold these beliefs on a daily basis.

Fundamental British Values Include:

  1. Democracy – Think of democracy as a situation where everyone is treated equally and has equal rights. This is already a fair description of our setting. We support children’s personal, social and emotional development by giving them opportunities to develop their self-confidence and self-awareness, to make choices and decisions about what they want to explore and how they’re going to use the resources we’ve made accessible to them. We encourage negotiation, setting rules for how long we can each spend at an activity before we have to let somebody else have a turn. Negotiating who will do what in an activity encourages the children to trust that their friend, our collaborator, will be fair and will stick to our plan.
  1. Rule of law – This is about understanding that rules matter. This is about learning to manage our own feelings and behaviour: about learning right from wrong: about behaving within agreed and clearly defined boundaries: about dealing with the consequences.

Pre-School rules are a perfect example of implementing the rule of law.

  1. Individual liberty – For individual liberty we focus on children’s self-confidence and self-awareness and people and communities. We help children to develop a positive sense of themselves. Every time we provide opportunities for children to mix their own colours for leaf painting or take part in a sack race we are helping them to develop their self-knowledge, self-esteem and increase their confidence in their own abilities. Every time we share a favourite book with a child, splash in a puddle or build a hide out for our dinosaurs together we are giving children the time and space to explore the language of feelings and responsibility; reflect on their differences and understand that we are all free to have different opinions.
  1. Mutual respect and tolerance for those with different faiths – This is where we learn to treat others as we want to be treated. How to be part of a community, manage our feelings and behaviour; and form relationships with others. We have an ethos of inclusivity and tolerance in our settings, where views, faiths, cultures and races are valued and where we encourage children to engage with their wider community. We help children to appreciate and respect their own culture and the culture of others. We help them explore similarities and differences between themselves and others; among families, faiths, communities, cultures and traditions; and to share and discuss practices, celebrations and experiences.

Wherever possible, we share special moments with our children’s families whether that involves welcoming them into our own settings or accepting invitations to their own celebrations.

This means that for children to truly learn the importance of tolerance, they need to be given lots of opportunities to practice tolerance and to challenge stereotypes. For example at Boys & Girls Nursery, we share stories that reflect and value the diversity of children’s experiences and provide resources and activities that challenge gender, cultural and racial stereotyping.