St. Mary’s CE Primary School is committed to serving its community and surrounding areas. It recognises the multi-cultural, multi-faith and ever-changing nature of the United Kingdom. It also understands the vital role it has in ensuring that groups or individuals within the school are not subjected to intimidation or radicalisation by those wishing to unduly, or illegally, influence them.
The school accepts admissions from all those entitled to an education under British law, including pupils of all faiths or none. It follows the policies outlined by its governing body regarding equal opportunities, which guarantee that there will be no discrimination against any individual or group, regardless of faith, ethnicity, gender, sexuality, political or financial status, or similar. It seeks to serve all.
The Government emphasises that schools are required to ensure that key ‘British Values’ are taught in all UK schools. The government set out its definition of British values in the ‘Prevent Strategy’ - values of:
• the rule of law
• individual liberty
• mutual respect
• tolerance of those of different faiths and beliefs
Democracy is common within the school where the promotion of democratic processes, fostering the concept and application of freedom of speech and group action to address needs and concerns are heard through our School Council and Pupil questionnaires. Also key to this is the concept of holding others to account, including those in positions of authority and influence. Our school offers pupils choices regularly such as voting for Author of the Month and selecting the way in which they approach work. The Year 6 recently had the opportunity to hold a mock election in line with the General Election, writing manifestos and leading speeches.
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. 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, Fire Service etc. are regular parts of our calendar and 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 safety, through of provision of a safe environment and empowering education. Pupils are encouraged to make choices in their learning, whether it be through choice of challenge, of how they record, of participation in our numerous extra-curricular clubs and opportunities. Pupils are empowered to organise events in school, such as sports crew competitions or fund raising events such as talent shows.
Our school ethos and behaviour is evolving around Core Values such as ‘Respect’, and pupils have been part of discussions and assemblies related to what this means and how it is shown. These ideas are reiterated through the school and classroom rules, as well as our behaviour policy. Additional support is given to individual children to help develop self – esteem and the concept of respect.
Pupils participate in a range of celebrations and events such as Black History and Remembrance, they support local charities and networks such as Dementia Friends.
Tolerance of those of Different Faiths and Beliefs
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 encouraged to share their knowledge to enhance learning within classes and the school.
The school does, through a wide range of activities, secure such standards and uses strategies within the National Curriculum and beyond to secure such outcomes for children. The list below outlines samples of when and where such British Values are shared. The list is not exhaustive, and represents only some of what we do.
Studies: Developing the skill base required to access/share information, make/express decisions and apply themselves to society and the world. These include the understanding and use of money, effective writing and reading skills, collaborative work, to discuss and research ideas and concepts, and gain a broad and balanced understanding of the society in which they live. Aspects of study beyond core skills include historical and geographical context of the United Kingdom, incorporating local and national evolution, as well as international comparisons.
In KS2, pupils undertake an intense topic about World War Two and the impact that the military had in fighting for the British Empire. This is linked with the annual Poppy Day celebrations where all children throughout the school purchase poppies and a special remembrance service is held in the church.
In KS1, there has been a strong focus on the work of Florence Nightingale and how she assisted British soldiers in Scutari so they could convalesce after being injured.
Whole school daily acts of collective worship: The sharing of stories, images, events, music and expectations that, with clarity and precision, promote the values expressed. Such proceedings vary in the methodology of delivery in order to secure interest and understanding and are designed to impact on children regardless of knowledge, experience or cognitive maturity.
Religious Education: Gaining a greater understanding of religious diversity and practices, which covers key religions represented in the UK. We follow the Brighton and Hove Agreed syllabus for RE and use Philosophy for Children to enhance PSHE teaching.
Physical Education: Promotion of the concept of ‘fair play’, following and developing rules, inclusion, celebrating and rewarding success, being magnanimous in defeat and participation in activities that promote kinship and affiliation with others.
For more information about how the school seeks to represent key British Values, contact the school office and a member of the School Leadership Team will be happy to provide further information.