Promoting British Values
Promoting British Values at St Thomas More Catholic Primary School
The DfE have 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.
St Thomas More Catholic Primary School strongly believes that Christian values and British values are mutually supportive. We also promote Catholic Social Teaching addressing all 7 themes which has a direct link to this agenda.
At St Thomas More Catholic Primary School these values are reinforced regularly and in the following ways:
Democracy is richly embedded within the school. Pupils have the opportunity to have their voices heard through our pupil elected School Council, pupil questionnaires, being part of planning meetings for their provision, by being House Captains and part of one of four House teams within the school, who take responsibility for supporting charities. Our positive school behaviour and values policies involve rewards and consequences; this is shared through all aspects of school life and also shared and consulted with children, parents, carers, staff and governors.
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 collective worship time. 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. The schools’ behaviour policy and strategy reinforces this through the implementation of our collectively-agreed therapeutic approach to behaviour management.
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 all pupils to make choices safely, through provision of a safe environment and an empowering approach through education. Pupils are encouraged to know, understand and exercise their rights and personal freedoms and are advised how to exercise these safely, for example through our work on Anti-Bullying, E-Safety and in RE lessons though our gospel values.
Pupils are further empowered through being part of a school council. Pupils are given the freedom to make a wide range of choices from attending extra-curricular clubs to supporting fund raising events.
Our Mission statement reads “Learning to love, live and celebrate as we grow in the knowledge and love of Christ." We hold such values at the core of our ethos. Respect is one of our values taught throughout school, in collective worship, assemblies, through Anti-Bullying work and within our therapeutic behaviour system, which was collectively created by children, staff, parents and governors. Adults throughout the school model, demonstrate and promote respect for others as do older children who have suitable, age related, tasks and responsibilities and this is reiterated through our classroom and learning rules, as well as our behaviour.
Understanding of those of Different Faiths and Beliefs:
Our Mission Statement reads reminds us that “Learning to love, live and celebrate as we grow in the knowledge and love of Christ." We encourage our pupils to celebrate difference and 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. Assemblies and discussions involving prejudices and prejudice-based bullying have been followed and supported by learning in RE and PSHE. Members of different faiths or religions are welcomed into our school and encouraged to share their knowledge to enhance the understanding of our pupils.
Welcome one another as Christ welcomed you…
A reading from the Letter of Saint Paul to the Romans 15:1b-3a, 57, 13
Brothers and sisters: We ought to put up with the failings of the weak and not to please ourselves; let each of us please our neighbour for the good, for building up. For Christ did not please himself. May the God of endurance and encouragement grant you to think in harmony with one another, in keeping with Christ Jesus, that with one accord you may with one voice glorify the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. Welcome one another, then, as Christ welcomed you, or the glory of God. May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that you may abound in hope by the power of the Holy Spirit. The word of the Lord.
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. Following the example of Jesus and trusting God, we share the Gospel Values (What Jesus said and what he told us to do).