Promoting British Values
The DfE have recently reinforced the need to ‘create and enforce a clear and rigorous expectation on all schools to promote the fundamental British values of democracy, the rule of law, individual liberty and mutual respect and tolerance of those with different faiths and beliefs.’
These are values that have a central place in the way our children learn and in the content of our curriculum at St. Joseph’s RCVA Primary.
At our school, these values are reinforced regularly and in the following ways:
We have a school council which is elected in by the pupils of each class. Children from each class to choose whether they would like to be voted on to the school council. They are then given the opportunity to tell their class why they would make an excellent class representative. The children from each class vote in a boy and girl from each class to be their representatives at school council meetings. The council meets regularly to discuss any issues raised in class council meetings. The council is genuinely able to effect change within our school.
The rule of law:
The importance of laws, whether they be those that govern the class, the school, or the country, are consistently reinforced at St Joseph’s RC VA Primary School. Pupils are taught the rules from an early age in the Foundation Stage. Each class and Key Stage have an agreed set of rules and a behaviour contract. The children are aware of the consequences of not following the rules in their school community. The children learn to understand the difference between right and wrong in all aspects of school life throughout the day. There is an opportunity for children to put right what has been done wrong, wherever possible. Children are given opportunity to understand aspects of civil and criminal law and discuss how this might be different from some religious laws. Pupils in our school expect and receive a fair system where actions are always respectfully justified. Pupils are taught the value and reasons behind rules and laws; that they exist to govern and protect us, the responsibilities that this involves and the consequences when laws are broken.
Visits from authorities such as the Police and Fire Service help reinforce this message
At St Joseph’s RC VA Primary School our pupils are actively encouraged to make choices, knowing that they are in a safe and supportive environment. As a school we educate and provide boundaries for young pupils to make informed choices, through a safe environment and an empowering education. Pupils are encouraged to know, understand and exercise their rights and personal freedoms and are advised how to exercise these safely, for example through our e-Safety and PSHCE lessons. Our children are encouraged to give their opinions and share these ideas with due regard for the feelings of others. As part of our PSHCE curriculum we place a huge emphasis on the social and emotional learning of our children. We celebrate achievements both in and out of school in assemblies, through Star Award certificates and Reader of the Week certificates.
Mutual respect is at the heart of our values. Children learn that their behaviours have an effect on their own rights and those of others. All members of the school community treat each other with respect.
Tolerance of those of Different Faiths and Beliefs:
This is achieved through enhancing pupils understanding of their place in a culturally diverse society and by giving them opportunities to experience such diversity. Assemblies and discussions involving prejudices and prejudice-based bullying have been followed and supported by learning in RE and PSHE. The school has a EAL profile and members of different faiths, religions or backgrounds are encouraged to share their knowledge to enhance learning within classes and the school.
British Traditions and Heritage:
We celebrate the role of Britain both historically and in the present. We want pupils to have knowledge of and be proud of their British heritage and the cultural and historical traditions that we are renowned for the world over. This involves celebrating Royal events, Remembrance Day, festivals such as Harvest, Christmas, Easter (alongside those from other cultures such as Eid, Diwali and Chinese New Year, for example).
We work hard to build a culture that will stand the test of time, where our pupils can become good, effective citizens. We teach our children to respect everyone regardless of any differences.