Ofsted defines British Values as:
- Rule of law;
- Individual liberty; and
- Mutual respect for and tolerance of those with different faiths and beliefs and for those without faith.
At MMK we actively embrace and encourage these values, which are enshrined in our ethos and vision. Indeed British Values are one of the key pillars of our School Improvement Plan for academic year of 2018-2019. We are currently working on a three-year plan to further promote and embed these important values.
Here are just a few examples of specific activities and initiatives that demonstrate how we do that:
Diversity Week: Held in early 2017, we invited into school several exciting and inspirational speakers, including Rosette from the Women’s Interfaith Network, and Mary McWilliams, a volunteer refugee worker, to address our pupils. Varied activities were undertaken this week too. For example, our pupils wrote some lovely letters to refugee children that were passed on to the Refugee Council Children’s section. Year 5 looked at photographs of dinners in different homes and learned about artists that don't have use of their hands. The pupils then had to draw their own family dinner without using their hands. And there was an African Drumming Workshop, which was a big hit!
Black History Month: In October 2017, Abigail Coniah and the team from Caboodle helped our pupils to celebrate and learn about the richness and culture of men and women of African origin throughout history right up to the present day via a range of workshops.
MMK Learning Bees: Launched in October 2017, MMK children have worked collaboratively through class discussions, our school council and a sharing of ideas in Key Stage 1 and Key Stage 2 assemblies to reach a set of principles, agreed by staff, that underpin good learning in the classroom. The so-called ‘MMK 5 Bees’ include being respectful to others and to the school environment. The children focus on each of the principles in their PSHE lessons and in assemblies. To find out more about the bees, please click here.
The School Council: The school council is democratically elected each term. Each class votes for one boy and one girl to represent them at the school council, which then meets on a weekly basis with the Headteacher and one other teacher to discuss a range of topics such as anti-bullying, the playground and lunch. The school council’s views are sought on everything from safeguarding to curriculum initiatives, and it provides general important and valid feedback on what is happening within the school community. To find out more about our School Council, please click here.
Parliament Visits: Years 5 and 6 visit The Houses of Parliament every other year. In December 2018 we were very proud that our school choir was invited to sing Chanukah songs for the Prime Minister's Chanukah Reception. Please visit our Jewish Studies page here to view pictures from this exciting event, as well as Theresa May's letter of thanks to our school.
Elections: The school holds mock elections to coincide with those taking place on the national stage. MMK elections are always lively, interesting and vibrant events, much like the national ones!! We have also had the pleasure of hosting a number of MPs who have come to visit us, including the school’s local MP, Matthew Offord, as well as William Hague.
Charity Monitors and Charity Support: As part of our proud tradition of raising awareness of various good causes and important issues, as well as providing support to charities, Tzedakah/Charity Monitors, from year 6, in collaboration with staff, determine which charities the school will support. We choose new Tzedakah Monitors each term. The charities are carefully selected and as far as possible, the chosen charities will have specific links with pupils at MMK. We support Jewish, national and international charities.
Each Friday at Kabbalat Shabbat, the Tzedakah monitors talk about the charity we are raising money for and we discuss the chosen charity in the school newsletter. In the summer term, Year 6 do a specific charity project in groups.
Jewish Studies and British Values:
Throughout the entire Jewish Studies Curriculum, there are ample opportunities to discuss British Values and how they connect so intricately with Torah values. Please see some examples below.
Law: When learning about the rules of a Jewish Judge in Parashat Shoftim, the children are reminded that no one is above the law and that a judge in any society may not favour one party just because they are especially rich or particularly poor.
Democracy: Comparing the way that King Balak was elected to his position, to the manner in which Joseph was instantly promoted to Viceroy by Pharaoh is a great way for the children to begin to understand democracy.
Mutual Respect: In the story of Jonah, when the storm started, the verse states,
וַיִּֽירְא֣וּ הַמַּלָּחִ֗ים וַיִּזְעֲקוּ֘ אִ֣ישׁ אֶל־אֱלֹהָיו֒
And the sailors were frightened, and each one cried out to his god...
This is a perfect opportunity to discuss the fact that there are lots of people in the world, many of whom have different beliefs, or even no belief, and though we pray to our G-d and are taught the Torah, we must treat all other people with utmost respect and tolerance, (provided that they are not a danger to themselves or society).
Individual Liberty: Both boys and girls in Year 6 are encouraged to learn to recite the Friday Night Kiddush accurately and there are opportunities for both genders to be able to say this prayer in front of Key Stage 2.