How we promote British Values at St Mary’s Catholic Primary School
The DFE has recently reinforced the need ‘to create and enforce a clear and rigorous expectation for 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.’
At St Mary’s Catholic Primary School we are dedicated to promoting values which ensure our pupils develop a strong sense of social and moral responsibility which will prepare them for life in modern Britain. We would like to share with our parents how we promote these values.
The school values the pupils’ voice so we ask them about their learning, their concerns and for their ideas about how we can make things better for them. We do this by using pupil questionnaires and through our School Council. At the start of each year, pupils vote for their class representatives through an election process.
The Rule of Law
The pupils understand the school rules and what happens if these rules are broken. At the start of each year, classes discuss class rules and agree a charter to abide by. During lessons and assemblies pupils learn about the importance of having rules and how these relate to laws. We use a range of resources to promote moral, spiritual, social and cultural awareness among our pupils. Our pupils have a well-developed sense of justice. They understand and are able to discuss why there needs to be consequences for those who break the rules or laws. By being immersed in the ethos of the school, our pupils learn about their responsibility to be law abiding citizens.
Alongside rules and laws, we promote freedom of choice and the right to respectfully express views and beliefs. Through the provision of a safe, supportive environment and empowering education, we provide boundaries for our pupil’s, to make choices safely; for example:
- Choices about what learning challenge or activity to do
- Choices around the participation in extra-curricular activities
- Choices about lunchtime options
Our behaviour policy is built on the principle that pupils are responsible for their own actions and choices and that these have consequences. The school sanctions system provides reflection time where pupils are able to think about the impact of their choices. The Pastoral Care team also run daily drop-in surgeries for pupils to freely come in from break to discuss anything which may be concerning them. During e-Safety lessons and Assemblies, pupils are taught how to keep themselves safe whilst they exercise their rights and personal freedoms. Safeguarding is embedded in every aspect of life at the school.
Mutual Respect and Tolerance
Our ethos at St Mary’s Catholic Primary School is based on care, mutual respect and good manners. Adults actively model respect with one another – and with the pupils – in how we speak to and treat one another. Our school is a diverse community and through the RE curriculum we promote an awareness of different faiths. We also encourage our pupils to recognise and understand these faiths. Our pupils naturally show tolerance for others and have a curiosity to find out and understand cultures and faiths that are different from their own. All staff model a tolerant and accepting attitude. We use assemblies to raise and discuss issues of bullying and prejudice and reinforce learning during curriculum time.
At St Mary’s Catholic Primary School, we will actively challenge pupils, parents or staff who express opinions contrary to fundamental British Values, including extremist views.
British Values through the Curriculum
Interwoven within the curriculum in a range of curriculum areas are planned opportunities to teach the values of our society. Some examples are
- History: How we influence democracy is explored though the curriculum and assemblies. This includes looking at historical figures such as Nelson Mandela and Gandhi and exploring the effectiveness of different approaches. The Rule of Law and the importance of laws, whether they be those that govern the class, the school, or the country is consistently reinforced at St Mary’s Catholic Primary School. Britain and its influence in modern times are aspects woven into our imaginative learning projects. Pupils are encouraged to know, understand and exercise their rights, whilst understanding that with exercising their rights comes responsibility.
- Geography: We ensure that pupils have a better understanding of what Britain is; learning more about it’s capital cities and counties, it’s rivers and mountains, and where Britain is in relation to the rest of Europe and other countries in the world.
- Music: The study of British composers and their global influence.
- Art: The study of how British artists influence others around the world.
- Religious Education: Gaining a greater understanding of religious diversity and practices which covers key religions represented in the UK. All pupils have the opportunity to visits places of worship that are important to different to faiths. St Mary’s Catholic Primary School actively promotes diversity through celebrations of different faiths and cultures.
- Physical Education: Promotion of the concept of “fair play”, following and developing rules, inclusion, celebrating and rewarding success, being magnanimous in defeat and participation in activities that promote kinship and affiliation with others.
- Computing: Pupils are also taught about respect and bullying in the online world through our learning platform and though regular e-safety lessons.
- School Council: Promotion of democratic processes, fostering the concept and application of freedom of speech and group action to address needs and concerns. Key to this is the concept of holding others to account, including those in positions of influence and authority.
- Educational visits: Our broad range of educational visits and experiences outside of the classroom equips our pupils with the skills to make a positive contribution to their community as equal citizens, as well as being able to look at British heritage in more depth. Recent visits have included a visit to V&A Museum and the Tower of London.
- Community Events: We work closely with charities and organisations such as ‘The British Legion’, CAFOD, the Catholic Children Society and the Salvation Army. We encourage our pupils to interact with pupils from other schools, both locally and further afield, though organised activities.