As a Church of England
Primary School we hold very strong Christian values. These marry very well with the government’s
definition of British Values.
Continue reading to see how
we promote this within our school.
The Department of Education have recently
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 Counter-Terrorism and Security Act 2015 and
the Prevent Duty Guidance for England and Wales.
At St Thomas CE Primary School we recognise the
importance of teaching our pupils mutual respect for those of different or of
no faith. Our Religious Education Programme follows the syllabus agreed by
Manchester Diocesan – produced by Blackburn and Darwin Diocesan.
At St Thomas, British values are reinforced on a
day to day basis through what is sometimes known as "the hidden
curriculum". This is where the school's ethos influences more abstract
areas of personal development such as forming and maintaining relationships, self-esteem
and patterns of behaviour.
We also offer regular activities and opportunities
to our pupils which promote British Values in a more explicit and deliberate
At the beginning of the school year the children
vote on who should represent their class ‘family’ within the school council.
Unlike some schools, we allow pupils to stand for election again. This reflects
an underpinning principle of the democratic system - "If you do a good
job, people will vote for you again! If you don't do a good job, it is not
likely you will be voted in!"
The school council meets regularly to discuss
issues in class, around the school and on the playground as well as looking at
ways we can support our local community. They take these back to their classes to
gather opinion and bring back to the school council.
The school also votes for the 4 team captains,
their deputies and their sports captains.
Nominations are taken, speeches are given and voters are cast to see who
from Year 6 will lead each house.
Members of the Governing Body of the school are elected
following democratic principles.
Regular surveys of parents and carers, pupils and
staff inform the School's Self Evaluation and priorities for development each
Staff encourage children to see their role in the
bigger picture, encouraging children to know their views count, value each
other's views and values and talk about their feelings, for example when they
do or do not need help. In EYFS this is demonstrated by children sharing views
on what the theme of their role play area could be with a show of hands.
Staff support the decisions that children make and
provide activities that involve turn-taking, sharing and collaboration.
Children are given the opportunities to develop enquiring minds in an
atmosphere where questions are valued.
THE RULE OF LAW
The importance of laws whether they are those that
govern the class, the school or the country are consistently reinforced
throughout the school day, when dealing with behaviour and through school
assemblies. Each class can be involved in developing their own set of
"rules" thus enabling pupils to engage in how decisions and laws come
about under a democratic system.
Pupils are taught the value and reason behind the
laws that govern and protect us, the responsibility that this involves and the
consequences when laws are broken.
Specific roles in society relating to the rule of
law are explored in various year groups. For example, EYFS explore the role of
police officers and community support officers during their topics and other
year groups have talks from visiting key people from within the community. Annually magistrates carry out a workshop
with our Year 6 children helping them to understand the judicial system.
Within school, pupils are actively encouraged to
make choices - knowing they are in a safe and supportive environment. As a school we educate and provide boundaries
for young children to make safe choices through the provision of a safe
environment and empowering education.
Pupils are encouraged to know, understand and
exercise their rights and personal freedoms for example through PSCHE and
Many of our worship themes explore issues around individual
liberty, for example "Is it good to be different?" and another
"Are equal rights important?"
Children develop a positive sense of themselves.
Staff provide opportunities for children to develop their self-knowledge,
self-esteem and increase their confidence in their own abilities, for example
allowing children to take risks on an obstacle course, mixing colours, talking
about their experiences and learning.
Mutual respect is at the heart of all our aims and
code of conduct. Children learn that their behaviours have an effect on their
own right and the rights of others. All members of the school community are
expected to treat each other with respect. Staff are expected to be good role
models at all times. Respect regularly features as one of our assembly themes
and circle times.
TOLERANCE OF THOSE OF DIFFERENT FAITHS AND BELIEFS
Thomas we will actively challenge pupils, parents or staff expressing opinions
contrary to fundamental British values, including extremist views. Tolerating
and indeed embracing individuals of differing faiths and beliefs (including
those who follow no faith) enriches our school family by broadening our
horizons and exploring our commonalities.