The government has set out its definition of British values in the 'Prevent Strategy' and emphasises that schools are required to ensure these values are taught across the United Kingdom.
At St Mary's Church of England Primary School we have always recognised the importance of educating our children so that they understand the multi-faith and multi-cultural Britain we live in today. We provide opportunities and life experiences that will help our children to contribute to an ever changing, diverse society throughout their lives.
Democracy is embedded at our school. Pupils are taught to listen carefully and with concern for each other, respecting the right of every individual to have their opinions and voices heard. Our pupils are taught the value of respecting themselves and others around them, as well as their belongings and world around them. Children have the opportunity to express their opinions and ideas through our School Council, for example, which is made up of elected members from each class by pupil votes, reflecting our British electoral system and demonstrating democracy in action. Our robust behaviour policy, devised by the children with staff, governors and parents, involves both rewards and sanctions; children are clear about the expectations at our school as they were all involved in creating the school rules.
The Rule of Law
The importance of laws, whether they are those that govern the class, the school or the country, is consistently reinforced through our curriculum, behaviour system and through Collective Worship. We expect our children to behave impeccably when they are on trips and visits outside of school. Our children are always praised for their excellent behaviour and attitude when out of school or when we receive visitors.
Within school, pupils are actively encouraged to make choices, knowing that they are in a safe and supportive environment. As a school we provide boundaries for our pupils to make choices safely, through the provision of a secure environment and an empowering education. Our pupils are encouraged to know, understand and exercise their rights and personal freedoms and are advised how to exercise these safely and sensibly; examples of this can be seen in our teaching of e-safety, for example. Whether it is through the curriculum or through participation in our extra- curricular activities, our pupils are given the freedom to make choices. Pupils are also given the opportunity to engage in their own learning through setting their own personal targets with their teacher and through self-assessment of their work.
Respect is one of the core values that is tangible at our school. The teaching and learning of Christian values is inherent in all we do, but specifically taught through Religious Education, Collective Worship and Personal Social Health and Citizenship Education (PSHCE). This helps to develop self-esteem and positive relationships with others. Children embrace leadership roles such as Assembly Monitors and Young Governors where they put together presentations for the rest of school and influence policy and practice. Other children respond respectfully and willingly and eagerly answer questions and respond readily to evaluations which the leaders incorporate in to their plenaries.
Tolerance of those with Different Faiths and Beliefs
Our school enhances pupils understanding of different faiths and beliefs through a broad approach to Religious Education, using the Leicester Syllabus for RE/Understanding Christianity, through our daily acts of Collective Worship and our varied PSHCE curriculum. Our worship time includes sharing ideas, events, prayer, music and stories to learn about diversity. We visit a variety of different places of worship and we participate in sporting events across Leicestershire and music festivals which enable them to meet and work with people from many different backgrounds.