British Values at St. Thomas the Martyr CE Primary School
The DfE have 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 by the Prime Minister in 2015. At St Thomas the Martyr Primary School we ensure children explore these values through the curriculum, our worship and the daily life of our school. Our Christian values of Friendship, Kindness, Forgiveness, Perseverance, Trust, Respect and Service run through all the schools life and strongly support the promotion of British Values:
- Democracy is deeply embedded within the school. Pupils have the opportunity to have their voices heard through our school council which has representation on our local Pupil Parliament and Sports Council. Children work together within the Parliament to undertake projects which they decide upon. As part of their activities they visit the Houses of Parliament and the recent election of the Prime Minister of the Parliament was held in the local Council chambers with the Mayor leading the election. Our representative was elected as the deputy Prime Minister. Children complete pupil questionnaires and have been involved in interviews for key appointments in school, such as the Headteacher. In Year 5 children vote for the colour of jumper they will wear in Year 6 which is given in recognition of their role as models of excellence in the school. Children also vote each term for the child who is ‘Always a Child of Excellence’ in their class. All children, staff, parents and Governors were involved in identifying our Christian Values. As a school which is able to operate when acting as a polling station our children have the opportunity to see national democracy at work first hand.
The Rule Of Law:
- The school’s positive behaviour policy is consistently applied across the school and shared with parents and carers via our school brochure and website. Careful teaching is undertaken at the start of every year to examine our rules and the reason they are needed to ensure we have a safe and happy school. Children and staff agree to abide by the rules during a collective worship at the beginning of each year. Our restorative approach affords children the opportunity to reflect upon any less than good behaviour, the resulting consequences and it encourage them to identify ways to make amends. Other opportunities to discuss the need for rules are discussed through PSHE, ICT, road safety and fire safety activities. Visits from authorities such as the Police and Fire Service are a regular part of our curriculum and help reinforce this message. School further engages parents by the use of a home school agreement.
- Within school, pupils are actively encouraged to make informed choices, knowing that they are in a safe and supportive environment. As a school we educate and provide boundaries for all pupils to make choices, through provision of a safe environment and an empowering approach through the education. Pupils are encouraged to know, understand and exercise their rights and personal freedoms and are advised how to exercise these safely, for example through our E-Safety lessons. Pupils are given the freedom to make a wide range of choices and this begins in the very earliest stage when our youngest children make choices during continuous provision activities and take responsibility for these choices by sharing within these areas and tidying away afterwards. We feel it is essential to develop the children’s ability to assess and manage risk. As children progress through school they choose to take on roles of responsibility for example becoming playground leaders, attending extra-curricular clubs and residential visits, making their meal choices and supporting fund raising events.
- As a school which holds values at the core of its ethos, our school Values and Behaviour policies have evolved around the Christian Values of Friendship, Kindness, Forgiveness, Perseverance, Trust, Respect and Service. Pupils have been part of discussions and collective worship related to what these mean and how they are lived out. Values, including respect, are taught explicitly within lessons, they are shared with home through invitations to collective worship, newsletters and website information. Adults throughout the school model, demonstrate and promote respect and this is reiterated through our daily engagement with each other.
Tolerance Of Those Of Different Faiths And Beliefs:
- At St Thomas The Martyr Church of England Primary School, children have opportunities to learn about different faiths and cultures. Through our Diocesan Religious Education curriculum, the children learn about and discuss a variety of faiths and beliefs in Britain and across the world. The curriculum gives time for reflection and discussion about Christianity and other faiths, looking for common ground and acknowledging differences in a positive way. Following our outstanding SIAMs report (School Inspection of Anglican and Methodist Schools) in February 2015, it has been a key area of school development to enhance the children’s first hand experiences of other faiths and culture through visits and visitors in our school and links to other communities. For example arrangements have been made for members of other faiths visit school to discuss how they celebrate their festivals and what it is like to live as a follower of their faith. Our new history curriculum has introduced a unit of work about Baghdad in the 9th Century, enabling children to explore the wealth of advancements of ideas in this period of history and their impact on the current day.