At St Mary's Catholic Primary School, we aspire for our pupils to play a positive role in contributing to the school and wider community. We live in a constantly changing and evolving society. It is therefore important that we teach our pupils British Values which give them the skills they need to develop as citizens for modern Britain.
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.”
The Government set out its definition of British values in the 2011 Prevent Strategy, and these values have been reiterated in 2014. At St. Mary’s these values are reinforced regularly and in the following ways.
We intend to do this by teaching the key values of:
Children have many opportunities for their voices to be heard. We are proud of the various pupil leadership groups that we have in school, for example, school council, eco-warriors, school samaritans, play leaders. These all meet regularly to discuss issues raised in school as well as the wider community and world. Several of these groups are voted in by their class following an election campaign. We also run an afterschool debating club for our pupils which is highly popular.
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 assemblies. Pupils are taught the value and reasons behind laws, that they govern and protect us, the responsibilities that this involves and the consequences when laws are broken.
Within school, 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 choices safely, through provision of a safe environment and empowering education. Pupils are encouraged to know, understand and exercise their rights and personal freedoms and advised how to exercise these safely, for example through our – Safety, RE and PSHE lessons. Whether it be through choice of learning challenge, of participation in our numerous extra-curricular clubs and opportunities, pupils are given the freedom to make choices.
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 and live out the Gospel Values.
Tolerance of those of Different Faiths and Beliefs
St. Mary’s is situated in an area which is not greatly culturally diverse; therefore we place a great emphasis on promoting diversity with the children. Assemblies are regularly planned to address this issue either directly or through the inclusion of stories and celebrations from a variety of faiths and cultures. Our RE scheme, Come and See and PSHE teaching reinforce this. 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. At St. Mary’s we will actively challenge pupils, staff or parents expressing opinions contrary to fundamental British Values, including ‘extremist’ views.