Promoting British Values at St Mary’s
In accordance with the 2014 document: “Promoting fundamental British values as part of SMSC in schools” schools should “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.” At St Mary’s these values are embedded in our whole school ethos and approach.
Democracy: Pupils have the opportunity to have their voices heard through our Pupil Council and regular pupil questionnaires and pupil conferencing. Each class learns about the democratic process and votes for their school councillors every year. The school council operates to show democracy in action with consultation, gathering views and voting on a wide range of school issues. In addition classes often vote on their class treats and rewards. During the Year 6 London Trip, the children learn and experience first-hand the role of The Houses of Parliament within our British Democratic System.
The Rule of Law: The importance of Laws that govern the class, the school, or the country, are consistently reinforced when dealing with behaviour and through school assemblies. Our three ‘Rules for Life’ underpin our Behaviour policy and are discussed and referred to on a daily basis. Golden Token Certificates are awarded to children in each class who have displayed one of our Rules for Life at lunch times. 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. Children are taught to distinguish right from wrong. Visits from authorities such as the Police, Fire Service and Lifeguards help to regularly reinforce this message.
Individual Liberty: Within our 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 provision of a safe environment. Pupils are encouraged to know, understand and exercise their rights and personal freedoms and are advised how to exercise these safely, for example through our E-Safety and PSHE lessons. Our numerous extra-curricular clubs is another example of how our pupils are given the freedom to make choices. ·
Mutual Respect: Our school ethos and Behaviour policy revolves around Christian values such as: friendship, forgiveness, justice, peace, respect and reverence. Pupils discuss what these value mean and reflect on how they can display them in their every-day lives. “Care and respect everyone and everything” is one of our Rules for Life which form a key part of our behaviour policy on a daily basis.
Tolerance of those of Different Faiths and Beliefs: This is achieved through enhancing pupils understanding of our culturally diverse society and by giving them opportunities to learn about the diversity of Britain in the 21st century. Assemblies and our PSHE curriculum addresses prejudice and prejudice-based bullying e.g. Anti Bullying Week and Black History month. Resources and images around the school celebrate and reflect the diversity of our society. Each class has a Language of the Year” linking with that particular cohort of children. The Cornwall Agreed Syllabus for RE ensures that the children will have studied four multi-faiths (Islam, Judaism, Hinduism and Sikhism) by the time they leave Key Stage Two. Where appropriate, visitors have been invited in from different faiths and cultures to further enhance our provision. Children from other faiths have authorised leave of absence to celebrate religious observances when requested and are actively encouraged to share their celebrations with their peers on their return. Our school expects not only tolerance but acceptance and respect towards those of different faiths and beliefs aspiring to be a harmonious school community built on mutual respect.