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 were reiterated by the Government in 2014.
At St John’s CE VA J&I School, British Values and our Christian Values are embedded in everyday school life and are regularly promoted through high quality teaching, a broad and balanced curriculum, Collective Worship and a positive behaviour policy. Fundamental British Values are also promoted through our Spiritual, Moral, Social and Cultural (SMSC) development of pupils and during our SEAL and RE lessons. Pupils are provided with opportunities to develop and demonstrate skills and attitudes that will allow them to participate fully in and contribute positively to life in modern Britain.
Our school behaviour policy is clear that children are expected to contribute and co-operate, taking into account the views of others. This policy clearly includes the need for rewards and sanctions.
Pupils have the opportunity to have their voices heard through different groups within the school, which include the School Council, Collective Worship and Sports Council. These groups meet regularly to discuss issues, put forward their ideas and opinions and participate in decision making for the school. The School Council consists of two members from each class from year 2 to year 5 and eight colour team captains from year 6 who are nominated and voted for. They are involved in the organisation of raising money to support our link school in Mara, Tanzania.
Our Collective Worship Committee plays an important role in the planning, delivery and evaluation of Collective Worship.
Rule of Law
Pupils are continually taught to recognise the difference between right and wrong and the importance of applying this in their daily lives. Visits from authorities such as the Police and Fire Service are a regular part of our curriculum events and help reinforce this message.
We have a behaviour policy, which reflects the rights of a child. We consistently reinforce our high expectations of all children. Children are taught the value and reasons behind our rights and responsibilities (our rules). They know that these rights are here to protect us, that everyone has a responsibility and that there are consequences when rules are broken.
Our Main School Rules are
respect the Christian ethos of the school
attend school regularly, on time and participate appropriately in class and school activities
work to the best of their ability
allow others to work to the best of their abilities
treat other people and their belongings with respect
care for others and behave in a way which keeps them and others safe
follow staff instructions the first time
listen to the person who should be talking
be kind and friendly to others
take care of school property and the school environment
contribute to writing their class agreement/rules
Within school, pupils are encouraged to make choices, knowing that they are in a safe and supportive environment to enable them to do this. Through our SEAL curriculum we discuss different choices that the children can make and we encourage them to make the right choices. Pupils are encouraged to reflect on their choices and are taught about the effect that this has on both their peers and adults. They are given opportunities to resolve conflicts effectively and fairly. Through e-safety we teach the importance of keeping safe when using technology. Visitors, such as the Police and the NSPCC, talk about the importance of safety and how important it is to protect people from harm.
Our whole school ethos is built around the Christian Values of Friendship, Thankfulness, Reverence, Service, Justice, Humility, Creation, Endurance, Quality of Relationships, Forgiveness, Hope, Compassion, Wisdom, Peace and Trust. We believe that respect for others is a vital component of moral development. We are an inclusive school where everyone is highly valued and respected. Adults act as positive role models and they demonstrate and promote respect for others. Staff help children to understand how to respect each other by talking about how actions and words can impact on the feelings of others. We value the teaching ‘love your neighbour as yourself’ (Matthew 22:39).
We encourage open discussions in all areas but particularly in lessons which promote citizenship such as SEAL and through circle time. Pupils are encouraged to discuss and debate global and local issues. Our global partnerships have provided opportunities for pupils to appreciate similarity and difference and to build relationships between children in different parts of the world. We have strong links with the local community and pupils take part in events such as Harvest festival deliveries, carol concerts at the local care home and an annual Shoe Box Appeal.
Tolerance of those of different Faiths and Beliefs
Through our teaching we help pupils to understand, accept, respect and celebrate diversity. Our reflection areas, including our Reflective Garden, provide opportunities for pupils to be still, reflect, think and ask and answer their own questions.
Pupils are provided with opportunities, through our RE curriculum and our local and global links, to learn from each other by sharing and celebrating different faiths, cultures and beliefs. Our curriculum incorporates teaching and learning opportunities for pupils to explore aspects of the wider world and develop an appreciation of cultural diversity. We celebrate a range of different festivals within the school such as Chinese New Year, Diwali, Hanukah, Eid and Christmas.
Members of different faiths or religions are invited into the school to share their knowledge to enhance learning. Visits to places of worship, such as different Churches and the Mosque, also take place across each year group and provide valuable first hand experiences. We have a very close relationship with our church and members of the church lead Collective Worship and participate in school events.