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:
• The rule of law
• Individual liberty
• Mutual respect
• Tolerance of those with different faiths and beliefs
The Government set out its definition of British values in the 2011 Prevent Strategy, and these values have been reiterated recently (2014-15).
At St. Mary’s Catholic Primary School, British values underpin the school ethos and are reinforced regularly and in the following ways:
All staff opinions are valued and adults are encouraged to share their ideas to achieve outstanding practice and to provide a forward-looking team.
Pupils have opportunities to have their voices heard through pupil questionnaires, PSHE activities and class discussions. Pupils are encouraged to share their views about the school, these views are then considered by the staff and school council.
School Council representatives are elected through democratic voting. Our School Council meets every two weeks to discuss any issues that have been raised in class or highlighted through pupil voice surveys or via the worry boxes in each class. School council minutes are displayed and points raised are discussed with adults. Pupil views are taken into account when new initiatives and clubs are being considered.
The Rule of Law
Positive behaviour strategies provide clear boundaries and the development of self-discipline. All pupils are expected to abide by the school rules aspiring to be representative of the ‘St. Mary’s Child’ which outlines the aspirations of all stakeholders.
The importance of laws in school, at home and in the wider world are consistently reinforced during the school day, in behaviour management and through school assemblies and visits. We expect our pupils to behave inside and outside school in an exemplary manner underpinned by our Catholic faith.
Pupils were the driving force behind these rules and the responsibility that they have to abide by the rules by making the right choices.
Pupils understand that rules are made to protect us. All pupils understand that there are consequences for wrong choices and they know the school sanctions. Planned visits in the Curriculum from the Police and Fire Services reinforce this message and explain the importance of adhering to and the consequences of breaking laws, which govern our land. Further to this, an IT specialist works with all classes to understand the legal grounding behind e-safety and the legislative practices that are often unknown by children and adults alike
Pupils are encouraged to make choices from the Nursery onwards, secure in the knowledge that they are safe. We provide strong boundaries within a safe and secure environment. Pupils are encouraged to voice their opinions and are guided to making safe choices through PSHE and E-safety lessons. All pupils are taught e-safety rules to keep them safe on the internet. Older pupils are made aware of the dangers of social networking.
Pupils are given opportunities to make choices in the classroom and to decide whether they wish to participate in extra-curricular activities and clubs. All school activities and classrooms are inclusive and encourage pupils to be self-disciplined.
Reflective time in lessons and assemblies provide opportunities for all to consider their contribution to their own and to the collective well-being of the school.
Pupils learn that their behaviour has an effect on others so all members of the school community are expected to treat each other with respect.
Our values are reinforced through displays, newsletters, our website, collective worship and in curriculum activities.
Tolerance of different faiths and beliefs
We are a multicultural school and pupils interact with a variety of cultures and backgrounds, which enhances their understanding of their place in a culturally diverse society. We provide opportunities for the pupils to follow traditional activities and support local and global charities.
Collective worship, PSHE and RE lessons regularly promote discussion of these issues. Members of different faiths or religions are encouraged to share their knowledge and pupils visit places of worship as part of the curriculum.
All pupils know who they can talk to if they have any concerns. The school has very few bullying or racial incidents; pupils feel secure and happy. This is supported by pupil and parent voice questionnaires.
Our staff will actively challenge any pupils, staff or parents expressing opinions contrary to fundamental British Values. We are vigilant to any obsessive attitudes or behaviour, which might give cause for concern and will notify appropriate authorities for advice.