Welcome to our assembly. Today we will be talking to you about two of the British values; the rule of law and democracy. British values are the things that make Britain, Britain. Some of these values are found in other countries too.
In our school we are learning about a different British value each week in assemblies. In class we had a discussion about the values we have learnt about so far, we are going to share some of our thoughts and ideas with you.
Democracy is when everyone gets to be heard. Having your say isn’t dependant on your race, gender, how wealthy you are or what your religion is. The main way we see democracy in action in Britain is when we have a general election to choose who will govern the country. You can vote in a general election if you are over 18 and a British Citizen. To vote in a general election you have to visit a polling station and go into a booth where you make your vote confidentially.
If you are unable to get to a polling station you can cast a postal vote. This makes sure that everyone has their chance to vote, even if they are unable to leave their house. There are special voting papers for people who have sight problems and the official people at the polling station can help people who can’t read to cast their vote. These are some of the ways that the government make sure everyone can have their say.
It hasn’t always been this fair. Women and poorer people didn’t used to have a vote. Only rich land owners did. People thought this was very unfair and protested. Women who protested were called suffragettes.
If you didn’t live in a democratic society it wouldn’t be nice. You wouldn’t have your say about who is in charge. The person who was in charge might do what was best for them and not what was best for the whole country.
The second British Value we have looked at is the Rule of Law.
Laws are there to keep us safe. Laws must be obeyed by everyone, all the time, in all places and situations. Even the Queen has to obey the laws. Rules are also there to keep us safe but they are sometimes there to make sure things are fair for everyone. Rules have to be followed sometimes, in certain situations and by certain groups of people. We have different rules for different places.
One of the times when rules are really important is when you are playing sport. If we didn’t have rules, no one would play in the same way and you would have no idea who had won the game at the end!
Laws are made by the government to make our country a better and safe place to live. A new law that is starting soon is that adults won’t be allowed to smoke in cars when there are children under 16 in the vehicle. The police are there to make sure that the laws are obeyed. If you are caught breaking a law you could: get arrested; fined money; banned from doing something or going somewhere; or you could even go to prison.
In our school we have a set of rules. They are called the golden rules, they are: Be gentle, Listen, Be honest, Look after property, Work hard, Be kind and helpful. Both rules and laws are important to ensure that everyone is safe and happy in Britain.We are looking forward to thinking about more British Values. Thank you for listening to our assembly.