The fundamental British values of democracy, rule of law, individual liberty, mutual respect and tolerance for those with different faiths and beliefs are already implicitly embedded in the Montessori Curriculum.
Separately, the Counter Terrorism and Security Act also places a duty on schools “to have due regard to the need to prevent people from being drawn into terrorism” (the Prevent duty).
To help demonstrate what this means in practice, we have worked up the following examples based on what is in the statutory guidance.
Democracy: making decisions together
Staff can encourage children to see their role in the bigger picture, encouraging children to know their views count, value each other’s views and values and talk about their feelings, for example when they do or do not need help. When appropriate demonstrate democracy in action, for example, children sharing each other views with a show of hands.
Staff can support the decisions that children make and provide activities that involve turn-taking, sharing and collaboration. Children should be given opportunities to develop enquiring minds in an atmosphere where questions are valued.
Rule of law: understanding rules matter
Staff can ensure that children understand their own and others’ behaviour and its consequences, and learn to distinguish right from wrong. Staff can collaborate with children to create the rules and the codes of behaviour, for example, to agree the rules about tidying up and ensure that all children understand rules apply to everyone.
Individual liberty: freedom for all
Children should develop a positive sense of themselves. Staff can provide opportunities for children to develop their self-knowledge, self-esteem and increase their confidence in their own abilities, for example through allowing children to take risks.
Staff should 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 a small group discuss what they feel about transferring into a new school.
Mutual respect and tolerance: treat others as you want to be treated
Managers and leaders should create an ethos of inclusivity and tolerance where views, faiths, cultures and races are valued and children are engaged with the wider community. Children should 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. Staff should encourage and explain the importance of tolerant behaviours such as sharing and respecting other’s opinions. Staff should promote diverse attitudes and challenge stereotypes, for example, sharing stories that reflect and value the diversity of children’s experiences and providing resources and activities that challenge gender, cultural and racial stereotyping.