As a school we follow ‘Values Education’ through our worship times and reflections in class. As part of these times together and in class PSHE we also look at wider issues which dovetail with the Governments PREVENT and British Values agenda.
We will be conducting a values audit soon to enable all members of our school community to explore the values that are importaqnt to our school.
At St Mary’s Church of England School we recognise not only the importance of allowing students to flourish academically, but we also embrace our wider role in preparing them for their adult life beyond the formal examined curriculum. Part of our role in that preparation is ensuring that we promote and reinforce British values to our students.
The government set out its definition of British values in the 2011 Prevent Strategy and considered them to be democracy, rule of law, individual liberty, mutual respect and tolerance of those of different faiths and beliefs. At St Mary’s Church of England School these values are reinforced in a pervasive manner and permeate the school community.
The examples that follow are an indication of some of the many ways we seek to embed British values at St Mary’s Church of England School and should be seen as an indication of our approach rather than an exhaustive list.
At St Mary’s Church of England School the principle of democracy is consistently reinforced, with the democratic process being employed for important decisions within the school community and beyond, for instance the nomination and election of students to the School Council, Eco-Council and House and Vice Captains. The principle of democracy is through topic work, PSHE. Our pupils are part of the South Lakes Pupil Parliament, we have had Q and A sessions with our M.P., Tim Farron as well as engaging with the Outreach Team from the Houses of Parliament. .
The Rule of Law
The importance of laws, whether they be those that govern the class, the school, or the country, are consistently reinforced throughout regular school days, as well as when dealing with behaviour and through school assemblies. Students are taught the values and reasons behind 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. The children are well aware of the laws in school and class and work with the teacher to formulate these.
Within St Mary’s Church of England School students are actively encouraged to make independent choices knowing that they are in a safe, secure and supportive environment. As a school we educate and provide boundaries for students to make choices safely, through the provision of a safe environment and an empowering education. Students are encouraged to know, understand and exercise their rights, responsibilities and personal freedoms and receive advice about how to exercise these safely, for example through our exploration of E-Safety in computing.
Respect is at the core of our school and is modelled by students and staff alike. The school promotes respect for others and this is reiterated through our classroom and learning environments as well as extra-curricular activities such as sport.
In line with our commitment to democracy students at St Mary’s Church of England School are always able to voice their opinions and we foster an environment where students are safe to disagree with each other. Our traffic light system encourages the values of respect and responsibility. The school council also provides the students with an arena where they can bring up and discuss any issues that may undermine the school ethos. We also follow a Values Education system through our Worship times and reflection times in class.
Tolerance of those of Different Faiths and Beliefs
This is achieved through equipping students with the ability to understand their place in a culturally diverse society and by giving them opportunities to experience such diversity within the school community. All students across the school learn about those of different faiths and beliefs as part of the creative curriculum. At different times, our topics focuses on Britain’s cultural diversity. The creative curriculum is also used to focus in great detail on another religion/culture. The religion/culture studied varies from class to class so that the school as a whole explores many different religions/cultures from Buddhism to Islam. Our Religious Education curriculum provides a broad and balanced education on a range of faiths, religions and cultures. Each year, the children look in depth at two other religions.
Should you feel that the school is not meeting this requirement, you should contact the School Office and request to express your concerns with the Head teacher. Likewise, if you feel that anyone working at the school is undermining these values you should report this to the Head teacher.
Nominated PREVENT lead – Mr Brian Jones, Headteacher
Useful Link: PREVENT
Above are examples of our children exploring different issues throughout the year. These have included, our children looking at reducing racism in sport, celebrating Indian culture in Year 5 and our school council presenting at the Pupil Parliament about ‘What makes Britain Great’.