Promoting British Values at St Joseph and St Bede RC Primary School
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 thesevalues have been reiterated this year (2014). At St Joseph and St Bede, these values are reinforced regularly and in the following ways:
Each year the children decide upon their class rules, and their rights associated with these. We have a school council, elected by members of each class, which aims to meet every week with the Head-teacher to discuss issues raised in class council meetings. The council genuinely able to effect change within the school. Every child on the student council is valued and important. The council elects a chair and a vice chair. Children have an annual questionnaire where they are able to put forward their views about the school.
In addition to school councillors, we also have school chaplains that were elected by their peers. Our chaplains work together to promote both the values of God’s kingdom and our British values such as democracy, justice and tolerance in school.
- The Rule of Law
The importance of laws, whether they be those that govern the class, the school, or the country, are consistently reinforced at St Joseph and St Bede. We have a comprehensive system of rewards and sanctions within school. We promote and rewards consistently good behaviour, both through in class rewards, personal rewards and Head-teacher awards.
Pupils are taught from an early age the rules of the school and they are displayed in each classroom. We use the ‘traffic light’ behaviour system in class to reinforce our school rules and classroom expectations. 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. Messages and key themes are reinforced through school worship and assemblies, as well as in topic work, PSHE and in class worship.
Each year, Year 6 attend the ‘Crucial Crew’ workshops in Bury, introducing them to law enforcement teams and other agencies in Bury that they will come across and work with, as they transition to High School.
- Individual Liberty
At St Joseph and St Bede, 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 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 eSafety and PSHE lessons. Children have an annual questionnaire where they are able to put forward their views about the school.
Pupils are encouraged to submit ideas for change to their class councillors, who can take the issues to school council meetings and add them to the regular agenda.
- Mutual Respect
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. Children are encouraged to show respect to all adults and members of our school community. Children are also encouraged, through our school rules, to show respect for their environment and the school property. This again, will promote values that the children can transfer to life outside school, and later life. We strive to support our children in becoming well rounded and positive British and Global citizens.
- Tolerance of those of Different Faiths and Beliefs
St Joseph and St Bede is a catholic school, with a diverse school community. We actively promote diversity through our celebrations of different faiths and cultures. We celebrate inter-faith week, international week, and have a global link with the ABC Lower Basic School in the Gambia. Religious Education lessons and PSHE lessons reinforce messages of tolerance and respect for others. These themes are celebrated and promoted through the gospel values weekly during whole school worship, class worship and key stage worship. Members of different faiths and religions are encouraged to share their knowledge to enhance learning within classes and the school.
All members of our school community aim to work together towards ‘…love, tolerance and justice.’