We listen to the children at Budeez – we promote a listening culture and encourage their contributions, consult them on changes and help them to recognise that their opinions are valued. These regular consultations help our children to develop new skills such as negotiation, sharing and understanding the perspectives of others. They also learn to understand how decisions are made and recognise that their opinions are important.
Articles 12 and 13 of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child state that:
- A child’s opinion should be taken into account in anything that affects them.
- Children should have information disseminated in a way that enables them to make choices and decisions.
When we teach children about democracy, rule of law, individual liberty, tolerance and respect of others we are also ‘actively promoting’ British values as required by the Prevent Duty (2015). The promotion of British values is required by and inspected by Ofsted.
When the children are at Budeez we:
- Ask questions and pay full attention to their response, listening to what they are saying verbally (or through use of visual aids) and observing their body language.
- Involve children in group discussions depending on their age and level of understanding.
- Use regular questionnaires and gather other feedback, for example, asking them open, interested questions during activities.
- Let children decide what they want to play with and where (as long as they are safe) – staff play alongside them and chat to them (when invited).
- Organise regular meetings between children and staff to, for example, draw up Club rules and think about what activities we are going to do through the term.
- Encourage children to self-select what food they want to eat after involving them in healthy eating activities and setting up a consultation.
- Teach children how to risk assess and remind them of how to keep safe through open questions.
The basic assumption at Budeez is that the children will always be involved. We carefully consider and act on any consultation with the children so that they can see that their input has visible outcomes.