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Preparing children for life in Modern Britain / Statement of British Values

At St Mary's Catholic Primary School we take very seriously our responsibility to prepare children for life in modern Britain. Our school reflects British values in all that we do. We aim to nurture our children on their journey through life so that they can grow into secure, caring, democratic, responsible and tolerant adults who make a positive difference to British society and to the world. We encourage our children to be creative, unique, open-minded and independent individuals, respectful of themselves and of others in our school, our local community and the wider world.

We ensure that the fundamental British Values are introduced, discussed and lived out through the ethos and work of the school. All curriculum areas provide a vehicle for furthering understanding of these concepts and, in particular, our RE, PSHE, Citizenship lessons and assemblies provide opportunities to deepen and develop understanding. Children embrace these concepts with enthusiasm and demonstrate a good understanding of their application to their own lives.

The Government set out its definition of British Values in the 2011 Prevent Strategy and these values have been reiterated by the Prime Minister in 2014. The DfE has recently reinforced the need 'to create and enforce a clear and rigorous expectation on all schools to promote the fundamental British values.' These are:

  • Democracy
  • The rule of law
  • Individual liberty
  • Mutual respect
  • Tolerance of those of different faiths and beliefs

At St. Mary’s Catholic Primary School we are committed to serving our community and local area. In so doing we reinforce British values regularly.

How British Values are central to our school ethos, values and mission:

Democracy:

We actively promote democracy by:

  • Ensuring democratic values form an explicit part of the ethos of our school. All adults listen to the views of our children and value their opinions. Pupils have further opportunity to have their voices heard through our School Council and regular meetings with Miss Egan.
  • Proactive contribution to class and school rules and guidance.
  • By promoting a broad knowledge and respect for public institutions and services, for example, visits to/from local Community Police, Fire Service, local councillors/MP.
  • Teaching children how they can influence decision making through the democratic process eg. School council, class discussions and debates, and questionnaires.
  • Encouraging pupils to become involved in decision making processes and ensuring they are listened to in school eg. school council, open door policy for head and deputy, liaison between staff and pupils.
  • Class based hustings sessions with HT and Senior teachers.
  • Restorative justice behaviour management approach.
  • Organising visits to the Town Hall and to Parliament.
  • Teaching children how Public Services operate.
  • Modelling how perceived injustice can be peacefully challenged eg. by teaching about inspirational figures such as, Nelson Mandela, Mother Teresa, Martin Luther King.

The Rule of Law:

We actively promote the Rule of Law by:

  • Teaching children the value and reasons behind laws, that they govern and protect us, the responsibilities that this involves and the consequences when laws are broken.
  • Ensuring school rules are clear and fair and transparent, for example, through a consistently applied Behaviour & Discipline Policy across the school with children having a clear understanding of the system of rewards and sanctions.
  • Through assemblies, classroom discussions, classroom rules and the school’s Behaviour & Discipline Policy, ensuring children understand the needs for laws, the responsibilities that this involves and the consequence when laws are broken.
  • Helping children to distinguish right from wrong, for example, by using the example of Christ and his teachings when dealing with behaviour that is not acceptable.
  • Helping children understand that justice is based on the Christian rule of forgiveness.
  • Promoting respect for the law and the basis on which it is made, for example, through visitors such as, local Councillor, Community Police Liaison Officer, participation in the Junior Citizenship Programme.
  • Helping children understand that living under the rule of law protects individuals, for example, through our RE curriculum, through focus weeks, visitors.

Individual Liberty:

We actively promote and model individual liberty by:

  • Supporting pupils develop their self-confidence and self-esteem and become independent learners, for example, through our Catholic ethos, our way of treating and showing respect of each other, providing equality of opportunity, by knowing and understanding the needs of all pupils at the school, regardless of ability, gender, race, disability.
  • Encouraging pupils to take responsibility for their behaviour as well as understanding their rights, for example, in classroom discussions, classroom rules & codes of conduct and linking those rights with responsibilities, by having a fair and consistent Behaviour & Discipline Policy.
  • Challenging stereotypes – for example through classroom discussions, the RE and PSHE curriculum including workshops at school, assemblies and a robust and transparent anti bullying policy and culture in the school.
  • Pupils are encouraged to make choices, knowing they are in a safe and supportive environment. They are encouraged to know, understand and exercise their rights and personal freedoms and how to exercise these safely, for example, through our E-Safety and PSHE lesson.
  • Celebrating diversity - valuing different languages, cultural backgrounds and different gifts and talents.
  • Pupils are given the right to exercise these personal freedoms, for example, taking an active part in our school’s fundraising campaigns for charities – locally, nationally and globally, participating in local environmental campaigns, participation in a range of extra-curricular clubs and opportunities.

Mutual Respect:

We actively promote and model respect and tolerance by:

  • A Mission Statement, Ethos and School Policies that are based on Gospel values that embrace respect and tolerance for each other... ‘Love God, Love Others, Love Ourselves’.
  • Promoting respect for individual differences through our assemblies, RE curriculum and PSHE curriculum. Assemblies constantly promote respect for others. All pupils are taught the importance of self-respect, honest and open communication with others and fair play. Pupils work collaboratively and value others’ opinions.
  • Peer mediators system in the junior playground.

Tolerance of those of Different Faiths and Beliefs:

We actively promote and model respect and tolerance by:

  • As a Catholic worshipping community, pupils are reminded of their place in a culturally diverse society. This is achieved through our RE curriculum and the spiritual life of the school. Assemblies and class work promote the diversity of society and the right for each person to be respected and valued equally regardless of ability, gender, faith, heritage or race.
  • Helping children to acquire an understanding of and respect for their own and other cultures and ways of life for example, through Assemblies, RE Curriculum ‘Other Faiths’, Geography, International links for example ‘International Week’ , educational visits and visitors to school, for example Black History Month, PSHE workshops.
  • Organising visits to other places of worship eg. Synagogue
  • Openly discussing and celebrating the differences between people such as differences of faith, ethnicity, disability, gender and different family situations.