At St Mary’s Primary School, we develop and promote British Values throughout our school and within our curriculum.
“We want every school to promote the basic British Values of democracy, the rule of law, individual liberty, and mutual respect and tolerance for those of different faiths and beliefs.” Lord Nash
A key part of our plan for education is to ensure children become valuable and fully rounded members of society who treat others with respect and leave school fully prepared for life in modern Britain.
- The Rule of Law
- Individual Liberty
- Mutual Respect
- Tolerance for those of different faiths and beliefs
To do this our children will develop:
- An understanding of how citizens can influence decision-making through the democratic process
- An understanding that the freedom to hold other faiths and beliefs is protected in law
- An acceptance that people having different faiths and beliefs to oneself (or having none) should be accepted and tolerated, and should not be the cause of discriminatory behaviour
- An understanding of the importance or identifying and combating discrimination
Our School Aims
Our aims stand upon three fundamental principles:
- To provide every child with the life skills to become successful learners who reach their full potential.
- To provide a safe, supportive, stimulating and inclusive environment where every child is recognised, cared for, encouraged and valued.
- St Mary’s will actively ensure the involvement of the whole community, particularly families, who have a vital role in supporting their children’s education. This partnership will encourage healthy and positive attitudes motivating children to become life-long learners.
As a school, we value and celebrate the diverse heritages of everybody at St Mary’s. Alongside this, we value and celebrate being part of Britain. In general terms, this means that we celebrate traditions and customs in the course of the year; for example, Harvest Festival during the Autumn term and trips to the pantomime in at Christmas. We also value and celebrate national focusses, recent examples being; Macmillan Coffee Morning, Roald Dahl Day, Chinese New Year and Safer Internet Day, with many more opportunities planned in throughout the year to collaborate with the wider community and world e.g. Children in Need.
Further to this, children learn about being part of Britain from different perspectives. Two specific examples of when we teach about being part of Britain are:
Geographically: Our rivers, coasts and seaside holiday topics ensure that children have a better understanding of what Britain is, learning more about:
- its coasts, rivers and mountains
- where Britain is in relation to the rest of Europe and other countries in the world
Historically: Key moments in British history are studied in the topics such as ‘London’s Burning’ and significant historical figures.
We ensure each value is promoted in our school by:
An obvious example is our School Council. The election of the School Council members reflects our British electoral system and demonstrates democracy in action: candidates make speeches, pupils consider characteristics important for an elected representative, pupils vote in secret using ballot boxes etc. Made up of one representative from each class, the School Council meets regularly to discuss issues raised by the different classes. The council has its own budget and is able to effect change within the school; in the past, the School Council has hosted fundraising activities and helped to provide equipment for our school grounds as selected by the children. The Council are actively involved in providing teachers with feedback.
Another example of ‘pupil voice’ is:
- Children are asked to respond and reflect on the teaching and learning they receive as well as make suggestions for the School Council to consider.
Pupils are always listened to by adults and are taught to listen carefully and with concern to each other, respecting the right of every individual to have their opinions and voices heard. We encourage pupils to take ownership of not only their school but also of their own learning and progress. This
encourages a heightened sense of both personal and social responsibility and is demonstrated on a daily basis by our pupils.
Parents’ opinions are welcomed at St Mary’s Primary through methods such as questionnaires, surveys at parent’s evenings and opportunities to comment on whole school matters e.g. After school provision.
The Rule of Law
The importance of rules and laws, whether they be those that govern our school or our country, are referred to and reinforced often, such as in assemblies and when reflecting on behaviour choices. At the start of the school year, each class discusses the school rules and class routines, principles that are clearly understood by all and seen to be necessary to ensure that every class member is able to learn in a safe and ordered environment, these rules are displayed in each class along with the Friendship Charter. These rules play a fundamental role in our behaviour sanctions and rewards and are linked to our Golden Time throughout school.
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. These values are reinforced in different ways:
- Visits from authorities such as the police and fire service
- Cycling Proficiency lessons enable children to understand the rules of the road and the potential dangers encountered should they break those rules.
- During Religious Education, when rules for particular faiths are thought about
- During other school subjects, where there is respect and appreciation for different rules
Our pupils are encouraged to know, understand and exercise their rights and personal freedoms and are taught how to exercise these safely, such as in our PSHE JIGSAW lessons. We use the JIGSAW resource across the whole school which also links to assemblies.
Collective worship is used to both explore and support the school’s values. By teaching the children how to manage and understand emotions they will be motivated and equipped to:
- Be effective and successful learners
- Make and sustain friendships
- Deal with and resolve conflict evenly and fairly
- Solve problems with others by themselves
- Manage strong feelings such as frustration, anger or anxiety
- Be able to promote calm and optimistic states that promote the achievement of goals
- Recover from setbacks and persist in the face of difficulties
- Work and play cooperatively
- Compete fairly and win or lose with dignity and respect for all competitors
- Recognise and stand up for their rights and the rights of others
- Understand the value the differences and commonalities between people, respecting the rights of others to have beliefs and values different to their own.
- To respect and value our world, and the things, both material and alive that exist within it.
Children in Year 5 and 6 are given key roles and responsibilities such as Play leaders, Playground Buddies, Reading Buddies, Sports ambassadors and School Ambassadors.
Through opportunities such as our extra-curricular and Lunch Time clubs, Golden Time and Residential Trips, pupils are given the freedom to make safe choices. Children at St Mary’s are encouraged to make choices knowing they are in a safe and supportive environment.
We have high expectations of achievement and behaviour. Children and staff are polite and kind. We believe everyone has their own special gifts and we are expected to use them.
We listen and respect each other. We teach the children that conflict will be dealt with calmly and fairly. All members of the school family are valued equally. We celebrate lunch time behaviour and taking care of our school environment through:
- Litter picking crews and gardening groups.
- All children take an active role in caring for our school animals.
- We celebrate each other’s achievements whether that be in or out of school through our weekly Star of the Week Assembly.
- Teachers plan exciting, interesting, challenging and innovative lessons where everybody is expected to do their best and respect others.
- When our older children are given key roles and responsibilities to work alongside younger children this helps to promote mutual respect across the age phases. E.g. Reading buddies and Playground Buddies
Tolerance for those of different faiths and beliefs
Our central aim to 'Prepare children for the future' drives us towards ensuring that our pupils are able to live and work alongside people from all backgrounds and cultures. This will be particularly necessary in a future where due to technological advances will make the 'world a smaller place.'
Our pupils know and understand that it is expected that respect is shown to everyone and to everything, whatever differences we may have. Children learn that their behaviour choices have an effect on their own rights and those of others. All members of the school community are encouraged to treat each other with respect.
Specific examples of how we at St Mary’s Primary enhance pupils’ understanding and respect for different faiths and beliefs are:
- Through Religious Education, PSHE and other lessons where we develop awareness and appreciation of other cultures – in English through fiction and in art and music by considering cultures from other parts of the world.
- Celebrating cultural differences through assemblies, themed weeks, noticeboards and displays.
Children are encouraged to share their own experiences when celebrating their own faith. Daily worship reflects and teaches the children tolerance for different faiths and beliefs. We have our ‘St Mary’s Prayer’ which the children collaborated on and which encompasses a shared belief and value.
Activities within school support both children and adults of different or no faith, the children are taught respect and tolerance of these groups and the opinions of the groups are taken into account with all activities.
Whilst instances contrary to our values are relatively rare, each is treated seriously in line with our policies and expectations.