Teaching and Promoting British Values (BV) at St Mary's Church of England School
The curriculum in all British primary schools must now actively promote fundamental British values. This means that the BV agenda must permeate all areas of school life. At St Mary's these are linked and integrated into our curriculum, our Spiritual, Moral, Social Cultural curriculum and our Christian value teaching.
The Department for Education has 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 BV agenda arose from the Government’s Prevent Strategy (2011) and these values were reiterated in 2014. At St Mary's these values are reinforced regularly and in the following ways:
Democracy; a respect for democracy and support for participation in the democratic process
Junior Leadership Team; Each year each class decides by vote which pupils they wish to have on the JLT.
The JLT meets at least every month with to discuss school improvement and issues that have been raised. They are able to effect change within the school.
Children have a twice yearly questionnaire where they are able to put forward their views about the school. The JLT administrates the questionnaire and reports on the findings to the Learning & Teaching Committee of Governors.
Playground buddies; the playground buddies are trained to support all children in the school during lunchtime.
Eco Warriors; these pupils are voted for by the pupils and have the responsibility of ensuring the school is ‘eco-friendly’. We use rain water to water our school garden. We try to recycle and to minimise our waste. We ensure that all lights and computers are turned off, windows are closed if the heating is on to reduce power wastage.
Curriculum; pupils learn how to share and defend their points of view and how this can be peacefully challenged. Pupils learn about the advantages and disadvantages of democracy and how it works in Britain.
The Rule of Law; respect for the basis on which the law is made and applies in England and supports equality of opportunity for all
School rules and Values; the importance of laws, whether they are those that govern the class, the school, or the country, is consistently reinforced at St Mary's.
Pupils are taught from an early age the rules of the school. These are our Golden Rules, Playground Rules, Classroom Rules and our Christian values. Pupils are taught the value and reasons behind rules and laws, that they govern and protect us, the responsibilities that this involves and the consequences when laws are broken. Visits from authorities such as the Police and Fire Service help reinforce this message.
Curriculum; pupils learn to be able to distinguish right from wrong and how to resolve conflict. They understand how to be moral and what this looks like in our school.
Ethos; our Equalities and Cohesion policy states the expectations for all members of our school community to promote equality, the principle of equal treatment for all people irrespective of their gender, ethnicity, disability, religious belief/non-belief, sexual orientation, age, marriage or civil partnership and pregnancy or maternity status. To promote and celebrate diversity, the acceptance that we are all different but we are all equal. We also expect staff to challenge discrimination.
Individual Liberty; support and respect for the liberties of all within the law
Curriculum; At St Mary's, pupils are actively encouraged and supported to make choices, knowing that they are in a safe environment. As a school we teach and provide boundaries for young pupils to make informed choices, through a safe environment and an 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 e-Safety, Computing and PSHE lessons.
Anti-bullying; the school has a strong anti-bullying culture in which the JLT is involved in policy writing and promoting this across the school.
Mutual Respect; respect for and tolerance of different faiths and religious and other beliefs
School rules; 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.
Friendship buddies; Year 4 and Year 5 work with Reception and Year 1 class to form friendships that help the KS1 pupils feel safe and happy in our school environment. These friendships are built on compassion and respect for each other.
Tolerance of those of Different Faiths and Beliefs
Curriculum; St Mary's is a large school, with pupils from a range of heritage. We feel it is important to educate our pupils on the diversity of their locality and the world around them. We actively promote diversity through our celebrations of different faiths and cultures. Religious Education lessons and PSHE lessons reinforce messages of tolerance and respect for others. Members of different faiths and religions are encouraged to share their knowledge to enhance learning within classes and the school. The children visit places of worship that are important to different faiths.
Our Golden Rules are:
- We are gentle
- We are kind and helpful
- We listen
- We work hard
- We are honest
- We look after property
Our School Values are: