St Mary’s Catholic Primary School & British Values
In June 2014 the government emphasised the important role schools can play in the teaching of British values. It has since integrated this into the school inspection process to evaluate how well a school is promoting these values.
At St Mary’s we strongly believe that our ‘Christian Ethos’ is very much aligned to the values being promoted by the government as British.
These values are:
Justice/Rule of Law
These values with guidance outlined by the Department for Education on the 27th November 2014 are not new and build upon the work of the ‘Prevent Strategy 2011’. At St Mary’s we also acknowledge that these British values are not uniquely British. They are not in conflict with our community focus of being accepting of other cultures and welcoming to those of different faiths.
There are numerous examples throughout our curriculum where we would share and display these moral values:
- Links are made with our PSHE curriculum, with a specific focus like ‘Anti Bullying’ week.
- Our children are taught RE for 2 hours per week, our new curriculum has a strong focus on children relating examples of Christ’s teaching to their life. Children freely express their feelings and views and any extreme views are challenged. In Year 6 for example Justice is taught as a specific topic.
- In our Creative Curriculum Britain’s place historically and geographically is taught.
- Democracy is very much in action with our elected class councillors sitting on a school council. Before meetings they canvas the views of their peers and have real influence on school decision making and fund raising. Classes even run fundraising stalls at the school fetes.
- There are pupil surveys which are carried out through the school council. They also have suggestion boxes which they monitor. Our school Governors have seen this in action.
- At the start of every year the children write their mission statements and are at liberty to sign up to their class values. This balance of rights and responsibilities, (based on ‘The Children’s UNICEF Charter’) is displayed in the classrooms signed by the pupils.
- Mutual respect and tolerance is developed during class circle times which happen at least one a month in every class. Children are encouraged to discuss issues and problems, understand the impact of behaviours on others and give solutions to problems that benefit the whole school community.
Actions Going Forward
Rather than respond in haste to what is perceived as a recent development, St Mary’s are carrying out the following actions:
- In Nov 2014 we have instigated an audit to map the quality and breadth of coverage within our existing curriculum; this will be completed in January 2015.
- At Christmas the focus will be ‘Christian Traditions around the World at Christmas’. This will celebrate our Faith in the context of learning about other cultures.
- From Term 3, the ‘Star of the Week’ will be explicitly given to children displaying one of the ‘British Values’. The teacher will write their contribution towards getting the award on a leaf which will be added to ‘Our Value Tree’. This will be displayed communally in the school hall.
- Our Tuesday Assembly will explicitly teach British Values alongside our Catholic teachings. Each month will have a specific focus: January/Justice & The rule of Law, February/Tolerance, March & April/Democracy, May/ Liberty and June/Respect.
- In Term 5, the school will hold a Multi-Cultural day where the diversity of Britain and the rest of the world will be celebrated.
At St Mary’s we are proud of our ethos and values. We will pass them on to our children through teachings, but most importantly through our actions!