Promoting British Values at St Joseph’s Catholic Primary School
The Department for Education states that there is a 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 Prime Minister in 2014. At St Joseph’s Catholic Primary School, these values are reinforced in the following ways: As a Catholic school we actively promote values, virtues and ethics that shape our pupils’ character and moral perspective, through the teachings of the Church. We are confident that our continued focus on the Gospel Values will give our pupils the necessary awareness of what it means to be a good citizen in Britain today, and embed in them the building blocks of a future successful and productive life. We believe through the teaching of our school curriculum, we promote tolerance, acceptance, peace, being non-judgmental, humility, justice, the dignity of each human being, forgiveness, generosity, fairness, discipline and hope.
Democracy is embedded at our school. 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 own opinions and voices heard. Pupils also have the opportunity to air their opinions and ideas through our School Council, Eco council and pupil questionnaires. Elections for the School Council and charities to be supported, reflect our British electoral system and demonstrating democracy in action.
The Rule of Law
The importance of laws, whether they are those that govern the class, the school or the country, are consistently reinforced. Our school rules are evident in the daily life off the school. As a school, we discuss and display the school and class rules which are clearly understood by all and seen to be necessary to ensure that every pupil is able to learn in a safe and ordered environment. Our 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. Details about school rewards and sanctions, choice and consequences are detailed in our Behaviour Policy.
Within school, pupils 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 our pupils to make choices safely, through the provision of a safe environment, an empowering education and a curriculum based upon clear Christian values. Our pupils are encouraged to know, understand and exercise their rights and personal freedoms and are advised how to exercise these safely; examples of this can be clearly see in our e-safety and Kidsafe curriculum.
Respect is one of our core values and key to our one school rule “Love God, Love one another”. Our pupils are involved in reviewing classroom /school rules and these are embedded in school life. The pupils know and understand that it is expected that respect is shown to everyone, whatever differences we may have. This is evident in the school’s restorative approach to dealing with disagreements. The core value of respect at St Joseph’s Catholic Primary School underpins our work every day both in and out of the classroom.
Tolerance of those with Different Faiths and Beliefs
Our pupils understanding about different faiths is taught through our R.E. curriculum which enhances our pupils’ knowledge and demonstrates the importance of tolerance and respect. Visitors from other faiths are welcomed into school to talk to our pupils about their beliefs and pupils go out on day visits to different places of worship. Through assemblies, worship, themed weeks and days our children learn about different cultures, traditions and faiths.