Promoting British Values at St Mary and St Andrew’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 it’s definition of British values in the 2011 Prevent Strategy and these values were reiterated by the Prime Minister in 2014.
At St Mary and St Andrew’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 for each other, respecting the right of every individual to have their opinions and voices heard. Pupils also have the opportunity to air their opinions and ideas through our Pupil Council and regular questionnaires. Elections for the Pupil Council are based on pupil votes, reflecting our British electoral system and demonstrating democracy in action.
For the past four years, Year 6 pupils have visited Parliament as part of their summer term curriculum. They have learnt about the British electoral system and how different groups of people have won the vote. In July 2016, Ben Wallace, our local MP visited St Mary and St Andrew’s School and talked to all the children about what his job as an MP entailed and how ordinary people working together can make a difference to society.
The Rule of Law
To encourage and promote good behaviour, attitude and work, we have devised a reward system which is consistently followed throughout the school. We are committed to praising children’s efforts. We endeavour to praise the children informally, individually, during group work, in front of the whole class and the whole school. Rewards are given in the form of stickers and certificates and children’s good work and behaviour is recognised by moving up the ‘traffic lights’ and getting ‘golden tickets’. Children’s achievements are also recognised during Celebration Assemblies to which family members are invited. We have very good relations with our local police officers and they make frequent informal visits as well as leading planned curriculum extension activities. Visits from the fire service are also regular parts of our calendar and help reinforce messages of rules of law and safety.
Pupils are encouraged to be independent learners, constantly making choices, within a safe and supportive environment. Developing their self-esteem and self-confidence is very important. Pupils are encouraged to understand their personal freedoms and are taught how to use these rights to best effect. All pupils are keen to support charities, whether local, national or global. They are taught consideration for others through our Religious Education curriculum and PSHE lessons in particular. E-safety teaching enables them to make choices in a safe manner.
Respect is one of our core values and key to our school rules. Our pupils are fully involved in the review of our school rules and Mission statement and these are deeply embedded in all that we do at the school. The pupils know and understand that it is expected and imperative that respect is shown to everyone, whatever differences we may have and to everything, however big or small. The core value of respect at St Mary and St Andrew’s Catholic Primary School underpins our work every day both in and out of the classroom.
Tolerance of Those with Different Faiths and Beliefs
This is achieved through enhancing pupils’ understanding of their place in a culturally diverse society and by giving children opportunities to experience such diversity in our local community which is by largely white British.
RE and PSHE discussions, about prejudices and prejudice-based bullying, support children in understanding the similarities and differences of people in our multi-cultural and multi-faith society.
Our Religious Education curriculum provides pupils with a deep understanding of their own faith and opportunities to see similarities and differences of other faiths and traditions as a basis for understanding and respecting them.
We use opportunities such as the Olympics and World Cup to study and learn about life and culture in other countries. We hold individual days where we study other world faiths and learn about their customs, practices and celebrations. In the last few years we have visited two Mosques in Preston as well as the Hindu Temple.
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. Through RE, PSHE, Geography and promoting The Common Good we are able to make real links between the values of our pupils and the lives of others in their community, country and the world in general. Through our Creative Curriculum we teach about democracy, civic responsibility, rules and laws, the monarchy, equality, values and virtues, environmental awareness and understanding of other faiths.