British Values Policy
The Department for Education 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”.
‘So in everything, do to others what you would have them do to you, for this
sums up the Law and the Prophets. (Matthew 7:12)
As a school we work hard to ensure that all of our children are cherished and accepted in a school family that encourages and celebrates diversity. Our school offers many opportunities for the development of the whole child, developing personally and academically, encouraging a lifestyle based on Christian values and teaching.
Our school works hard to preserve its cultural roots, teaching children to know their own heritage, but at the same time learning to understand and respect the different racial, religious, cultural and language backgrounds of others.
Loving and valuing everyone is a central element of living out the Christian faith and is at the heart of the life of our school. We strive to nurture among everyone within our school community a real sense of purpose, of who we are in the world and how special and unique we are in the eyes of God.
We aim to be a Christian family where all are appreciated and respected, and we endeavour to inspire our children to create a better world through respect, acceptance and understanding.
Through our programme of ‘Values of the Month’ we engage children in learning that supports them in developing an awareness of their own feelings, emotions and beliefs.
We also aim to help the children to understand the role of British values in society including democracy, the rule of law, individual liberty and mutual respect and tolerance of those with different faiths and beliefs. This happens overtly through our curriculum, which also threads Spiritual, Moral, Social and Cultural (SMSC) learning across all other areas of learning and school life and ensures children are aware of the history and values of Britain, preparing them for life in modern Britain. We develop children’s knowledge of Christianity, as the predominant religion in Great Britain, and of the other principle religions represented in this country.
Democracy is firmly embedded in the life of the school. The children have the opportunity to have their voices heard through School Council and a variety of other opportunities to share their views respectfully about a range of matters. Curriculum coverage of ‘Ancient Greece’ explores the concept of democracy. Each child, whilst in Key Stage 2, is given the opportunity to visit the Houses of Parliament in London to learn about the nation’s democratic process. Our member of Parliament, the Prime Minister, the Government and the local and district Councillors are all remembered in our weekly prayers of intercession.
Rule of Law.
The importance of rules and laws, whether they apply to a class, a school or the nation itself, are consistently reinforced, both in the classroom and within the wider life of the school. Children are taught the value and reasons behind laws: that they govern and protect us; that there is an unbreakable link between ‘rights’ and ‘responsibilities’; that there are consequences when laws are broken. We have established a five-point Code of Conduct clearly setting out our collective school 'rules', which apply to all of our pupils. We expect the children to: Be kind and respectful; Listen; Share; Be truthful; Be responsible. We see these as the children’s responsibilities, ‘responsibilities’ that come with their ‘rights’: To be treated kindly and respected; To be listened to; To have things shared fairly; To be told the truth; To be given responsibility. Consequences, in line with the school’s behaviour policy, remind the children that breaking the rules (as when breaking the law) may impact upon themselves and others. As a Christian school we recognise that within our school community and in our relationships with others servanthood, repentance, forgiveness and reconciliation are key. We seek to live out Christ’s ‘Golden Rule’ by doing unto others what we would have them do to ourselves. We endeavour to follow the commandment to love our neighbour and we aim to follow Christ’s example by asking ourselves the question, “What Would Jesus Do?” Within Collective Worship we explore the Ten Commandments, reinforcing with the children that these laws or rules were for God’s people and that Christians believe that they are rules for us today.
Within school, the children 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 the children to make choices safely, through the provision of a safe environment and an empowering education. Children are encouraged to know, understand and exercise their rights (reinforcing the strong link between their rights and their responsibilities) and personal freedoms, including the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, and are advised how to exercise these safely and with an awareness of the rights of others.
Running through everything that the school represents, through its vision and values, particularly through its ethos as a ‘Take Care School’, is a strong sense of respect. This is consistently and frequently discussed with the children through Collective Worship, class SEAL (Social and Emotional Aspects of Learning) lessons and School Council meetings. Our behaviour philosophy is based around ensuring that all children take care of and respect one another and that they should value everyone as individuals.
Whilst, as a school, we have deliberately eschewed any sense of mere ‘toleration’ of others within the content of our monthly values programme, we have thoroughly embraced all of the positive aspects of tolerance, including respect, acceptance and understanding. We set out to enhance each child’s understanding of their place in a culturally diverse society and to give them opportunities to experience such diversity. As a voluntary aided Church of England school we welcome children of all faiths. A range of faiths, beliefs and festivals are explored through Religious Education and a commitment has been made for each child in school, at some point in their primary years, to visit a Synagogue, a Mandir and a Mosque, alongside Church and Cathedral visits. This commitment is now embedded in the school’s programme of visits. A number of charities are supported by the school, both locally and globally, and these are chosen regardless of faith and belief. Prejudice of any kind is treated with the highest priority in accordance with the school’s policies and ethos.