“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.” - DfE.
Each year the children decide upon their class rules and the rights associated with these. All children contribute to the drawing up of the rules.
Children have many opportunities for their voices to be heard. We have a school council which meets regularly to discuss issues raised in class council meetings. The council has its own budget and is able to genuinely effect change within the school. Two of the council members for each year group are voted in by their class. Children have an annual questionnaire with which they are able to put forward their views about the school.
As a Catholic school, mutual respect is at the heart of our Mission Statement ‘We serve one another with love and respect’. Children learn that their behaviours have an effect on their own rights and those of others. All members of the school community treat each other with respect.
Respect for Different Faiths
We are situated in an area which is culturally diverse, therefore we place a great emphasis on promoting diversity with the children. Assemblies are regularly planned to address this issue either directly or through the inclusion of stories and celebrations from a variety of faiths and cultures. Our RE and PSHE teaching reinforce this with world faith weeks every term. Members of different faiths or religions are encouraged to share their knowledge to enhance learning within classes and the school. Children visit places of worship that are important to different faiths.
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. 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. Visits from authorities such as the Police and Fire Service help reinforce this message.
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 young pupils to make choices safely, through provision of a safe environment and empowering education. Pupils are encouraged to know, understand and exercise their rights and personal freedoms and advised how to exercise these safely, for example through our E-Safety and PSHE lessons. Whether it be through choice of learning challenge, of how they record, of participation in our numerous extra-curricular clubs and opportunities, pupils are given the freedom to make choices.
At St Mary’s...
- We teach pupils how they can influence decision-making through the democratic process such as House Captain election, school council elections and locality school council days (October 2015);
- We challenge pupils, staff or parents who express opinions contrary to British values (we keep Behaviour and Racist incident logs);
- We provide pupils with a broad general knowledge of, and promote respect for, public institutions and services by inviting local Magistrates, police officers and doctors into school;
- Through the School Council we encourage pupils to become involved in decision-making processes and ensure they are listened to in school;
- By teaching the children about each other’s culture and by raising money for Glenlogie homeless shelter in Bognor we demonstrate how perceived injustice can be peacefully challenged;
- We help children learn about the rule of law and ensure school rules and expectations are clear and fair;
- We help pupils to distinguish right from wrong by drawing up class rules based upon the Beatitudes;
- We help pupils to understand that living under the rule of law protects individuals by inviting the NSPCC to talk about children’s rights in Years 5 and 6;
- We are developing restorative justice approaches to resolve conflicts. We use ‘Working With Others’ to help the children understand peaceful conflict resolution;
- We support pupils to develop their self-knowledge, self-esteem and self-confidence and by having 6 ‘Fantastic Finishes’ per year;
- We encourage pupils to take responsibility for their behaviour, as well as knowing their rights, by using the seven school rules based on the golden rule ‘Treat others how you wish to be treated’;
- We model freedom of speech through pupil participation, while ensuring protection of vulnerable pupils and promoting critical analysis of evidence;
- We challenge stereotypes and implement a strong anti-bullying culture by following the Beatitudes Behaviour policy;
- We promote respect for individual differences by helping pupils to acquire an understanding of, and respect for, their own and other cultures and ways of life.