At St Mary's School we promote ‘British Values’ through our spiritual, moral, social and cultural education which permeates through the school’s creative topic based curriculum and is an essential element of our Personal, Social and Health Education (PSHE) curriculum.
We ensure that through our school vision, ethos, agreed rules, curriculum and teaching we promote respect and tolerance for all cultures, faiths and lifestyles.
‘British Values’ were set out in the Government’s 2011 ‘Prevent Strategy‘ and the British Values are identified as:
Pupils, parents and staff at St Mary's are always being given the opportunity for their voice to be heard and when making decisions in our school, everyone is involved. An important part of this learning for our pupils is how we are heard in a polite, precise and respectful way. We provide opportunities in class to discuss and debate where appropriate and this is built around listening to and respecting others’ views – this is reflected in our school golden rules.
An example of Democracy in action in our school is our School Council. Here class representatives are voted for by their peers and attend regular meetings where decisions and ideas are shared in two way communication – from the pupils and to the pupils. Each meeting is chaired by the elected Year 6 chairperson and there is a clear agenda and actions that arise from each meeting. Our School Council doesn’t stop at this though; Council members lead class and whole school assembly inputs, they work across the school planning and delivering activities for themed weeks such as National Anti-Bullying week and help to decide on the charities and local events that we support as a school.
Parents’ views are vital to us. When new initiatives have been made or are being considered, we actively seek parents’ views with opportunities to share ideas, praise and concern. It’s important to know that at St Mary's, everyone is part of everything.
Rule of Law
We involve pupils in setting codes of behaviour; helping pupils to make decisions and choices that are acceptable to the school community and society at large. Within our classrooms and other areas of the school, when ‘rules’ need to be put in place to help keep us all safe and learning, the pupils are part of this decision (showing clear Democracy) and importantly, are helped to learn ‘why’ rules are important. From having a sound understanding of the need for rules in our school environment, they appreciate the importance for the local, national and international communities too. We promote respect for the law through regular visits from the Police and PCSO's in school.
Pupils are helped to learn to manage their behaviour and take responsibility for their actions. Staff are committed to providing a consistent, welcoming and predicable environment within the school and beyond and model our expectations to pupils. Being part of an environment like this ensures that our pupils feel safe, secure and happy and as such – being ready to learn.
Pupils at St Mary's are encouraged to become good and valued citizens. We do this by supporting each pupil to become as independent as possible and considering what we, as citizens, expect from each other. Some pupils will be able to take responsibility for particular roles and to understand that with certain rights comes a level of responsibility such as members of our School Council, Eco-monitors, Buddies and as Sports leaders. Learning to do things independently is an important part of learning to understand yourself. We support others by participating in charitable events such as, Comic Relief, Children in Need and other local community events.
Alongside rules and laws, we promote freedom of choice and the right to respectfully express views and beliefs. Through the provision of a safe, supportive environment and empowering education, we provide boundaries for our young pupils to make choices safely; for example:
- Choosing activities to take part in during lessons or break times
- Choosing the extra-curricular clubs to take part in
- Choosing groups to work on a task and dividing roles and responsibilities
- Choices about how they show their learning in class and through homework
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 online safety and P.S.H.E. lessons.
At the heart of our Gospel teachings from Jesus Christ is:
‘To love one another as I have loved you’.
This is at the core of our school and we expect all to adhere to this teaching regardless of their background, faith, or race. Everyone is treated with respect in our school.
At St Mary's we have school golden rules and these rules are not simply ‘enforced’, they are modelled and understood. We consider what they mean to us and what they mean to others too. Our golden rules are: Follow instructions with thought and care, show good manners at all times and care and respect everyone and everything.
Through our curriculum we learn about other cultures, beliefs and the differences that make each person and community different, special and important. As a Catholic School, respect is central to our work as a school and it’s a central theme to our whole school collective worship programme.
Tolerance of those of different faiths and beliefs
St Mary's School serves an increasingly multi-cultural community where each person is respected and valued equally without regard to ability, gender, faith, heritage or race.
Cultural appreciation and development forms part of our curriculum. We place great emphasis on providing encounters and participation in events and celebrations to broaden all pupils’ experiences and awareness of others.
Through our Religious Education, Geography, History and PSHE curricula, we learn about others and ensure that where possible, there are opportunities to learn ‘from’ not just ‘about’ other cultures, beliefs and people.
Tolerance is actively taught though our creative curriculum in topics such as 'Contrasts' in Year 5, 'Bringing the World Together' in Year 6, 'Other Cultures' in the EYFS and 'Food and Festivals around the World'in Year 2. In all these topics we enhance pupils understanding of their place in a culturally diverse society and give them opportunities to experience such diversity.
This is achieved through enhancing pupils understanding of their place in a culturally diverse society and by giving them opportunities to experience such diversity.