PROMOTING BRITISH VALUES
The government set out its definition of British values in the 2011 Prevent Strategy, and these values have been reiterated by the Prime Minister this year. The DfE have recently reinforced the need for schools to ensure that the curriculum:
“Actively promotes 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 Cuthbert's we are committed to upholding these values. We ensure that they are reinforced regularly through teaching and learning which has a clear focus on enabling pupil’s spiritual, moral, social and cultural development (SMSC). The Christian character of the school is evident in the teaching of Christian values and the place of prayer, both of which make a significant contribution to the spiritual development of pupils and staff. When asking pupils what they enjoy about school they say, ‘Sport, music and art.’ They like visits and visitors and enjoy showcasing their talents to the local community in events such as, ‘singing in the local residential homes and taking part in Panto. These activities promote effectively pupils’ spiritual, moral, social and cultural development.
We promote British values in the following ways:
Respect for democracy, democratic participation and active involvement of all pupils is evident across the school. We aim to provide pupils with a broad general knowledge of, and promote respect for, public institutions and services. Our aim is to teach pupils how they can influence decision-making through the democratic process. For example: Pupils have the opportunity to have their voices heard and are able to express their views freely through our Pupil questionnaires, pupil teacher conferencing and School Council who have set up their own committee. Our pupils value the opportunity to help those less fortunate than themselves and raise considerable funds for charities. The elections of School Council representatives each year are based solely on pupil votes (which helps to highlight some of the advantages and disadvantages of democracy and how it works in Britain). This effective involvement of pupils in democratic procedures enables them to influence and make decisions in matters which affect their lives within school.
Our school behaviour policy involves rewards and sanctions which the pupils vote on and so can facilitate understanding of wider issues within the context of learning about the values on which our society is founded and our system of democratic government. Pupils are involved in deciding class rules and pupil charters linked to SMSC outcomes.
THE RULE OF LAW
The importance of Laws, whether they be those that govern the class, the school, or the country, are consistently reinforced throughout regular school days, as well as when dealing with behaviour and through school worships. Pupils are taught to have respect for the basis on which the law is made and how the law is applied in England. We aim to teach children the value and reasons behind laws, that they govern and protect all of us, the responsibilities that this involves and the consequences when laws are broken. Throughout the year we welcome visits from members of the wider community and from public institutions such as the Police, the Fire Service and the Mayor’s office to help reinforce the importance of the Rule of Law for our pupils. We ensure that school rules and expectations are clear and fair and our pupils understand that rules are there to protect us just as living under the rule of law protects all individuals.
We support pupils to develop their self-knowledge, self-esteem and self-confidence. Pupils are encouraged to know, understand and exercise their rights and personal freedoms and how to exercise these safely, for example through our E-Safety, Life Education sessions, RE lessons and worships, and menu choices. Pupils are taught to respect the rights of others and to consider their responsibilities toward other people including taking responsibility for their behaviour. Within school, pupils are actively encouraged to make choices. As a school we educate and provide boundaries for pupils to make choices safely through provision of a safe and secure environment and empowering education. Whether it is through choice of challenge, or of participation in our numerous extra-curricular clubs and opportunities, pupils are given the freedom to make choices. We welcome freedom of speech through pupil participation, while ensuring protection of vulnerable pupils and challenging stereotyping of others. We implement and actively promote a strong dignity and respect culture and invite visitors into school to support our policy.
Part of our school ethos and behaviour policy revolves around our Christian Values and are used as themes for worship (courage, peace, forgiveness, humility, respect, hope, love etc.). In our recent SIAM’s inspection it was stated that ‘Collective worship is central to the life of the school. It is rooted in Christian values and biblical teaching and impacts positively on the behaviour, attitudes and relationships of the whole school community.’ Pupils are expected to show mutual respect towards everything and everyone, regardless of individual differences, at all times. Ofsted said of our pupils ‘In lessons most behave well and give close attention to teachers. They appreciate opportunities to talk to a partner and show respect for the opinions of others.’
All children, adults and visitors are expected to behave respectfully and we will challenge anybody who displays prejudicial or discriminatory behaviour. Pupils take part in worships and class discussions related to what this means and how it is shown.
TOLERANCE OF THOSE OF DIFFERENT FAITHS AND BELIEFS
We help pupils to acquire an understanding of, and respect for, their own and other cultures and ways of life. This is achieved through enhancing pupils understanding, through the curriculum, of their place in a culturally diverse society and by giving pupils opportunities to experience such diversity, for example through exploring stories and celebrations from a variety of faiths and cultures. Members of different faiths or religions are encouraged to share their knowledge to enhance learning within classes and the school. Children visit places of worship that are important to different faiths. Worships and discussions involving identifying and combating discrimination, prejudices and prejudice-based bullying have been followed and supported by learning in RE and Life Education. Our school is part of a local network of schools which enables children of different faiths, cultures and backgrounds to meet and socialise through a range of different learning opportunities such as sports, music and enterprise events. We encourage children to participate in a wide range of events and provide opportunities for pupils to serve the wider community in order to nurture tolerance and harmony, understanding and respect between all members of our society.
We promote British Values in a variety of ways; we hold elections for our school council representatives, remember the heroes who have fought for our country, raise money for a variety of charities, hold special theme days/weeks for example, ‘Lancashire Day’ and many more events...