The Department for Education state that there is a 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 2011 Prevent Strategy and these values were reiterated by the Prime Minister in 2014.
At St. Joseph’s, these values are reinforced regularly through Religious Education (RE) and Personal, Social, Health and Emotional (PSHE). We also teach British Values by planning and delivering a broad and balanced curriculum. We have achieved the following external accreditation which demonstrates evidence of our commitment to British Values:
- Ofsted grade of ‘Good’ for Personal Development, Behaviour and Welfare– July 2019
- Denomination Inspection Report – March 2020
The school takes opportunities to actively promote British Values through our assemblies and whole school systems and structures such as electing and running a successful School Council. We also actively promote the British Values through ensuring our curriculum planning and delivery includes real opportunities for exploring these values. Actively promoting British Values also means challenging pupils, staff or parents expressing opinions contrary to fundamental British Values, including ‘extremist’ views.
We uphold and teach pupils about the British Values which are defined as:
Rule of Law
Tolerance of those with different faiths and beliefs
Democracy is an important value at our school. Within each class, behaviour expectations are set at the beginning of the year, and once agreed by the class members, are displayed for all to see.
Pupils have the opportunity to have their voices heard through our School Council. The elections of members of the council are based on pupil votes. The children work on whole school issues and respond to the thoughts and wishes of their classmates.
The Rule of Law
The importance of laws and rules, whether they are those that govern the class, the school or the country, are consistently reinforced throughout regular school days. There is a clear system for behaviour management, which is set against class behaviour agreements and the whole school behaviour policy. 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.
The home school agreement enables all the stakeholders in school to be aware of the expectations we have for the children, parents and staff in school, and enable us to work together.
Visits from authorities such as the police and fire service 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. We educate and provide boundaries for our pupils to make choices safely, through the provision of a safe environment, a planned curriculum and an empowering education. 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 teaching and PSHE lessons. Pupils are given the freedom to make choices, e.g. choosing their own lunches each morning, selecting after school clubs, pick and mix homework and individual topics.
Respect is one of the core values of our school. This can be seen and felt in our pervading ethos in school. The pupils know and understand that it is expected and imperative that respect is shown to everyone, whatever differences we may have and to everything, however big or small. The core value of respect at St. Joseph’s, underpins our work every day both in and out of the classroom. Values are highly visible around the school and can be seen in posters, certificates and as part of our agreed codes.
Specific work, such as on Anti-Bullying, E-Safety and safeguarding, support the children to understand the effects their actions could have on others and what they must do if they feel unsafe. Regular messages through activities such as these help to support the children in school to make the correct choices and to make everyone feel happy.
Tolerance of Those with 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 in our local community where there is increasing number of families from other countries. Assemblies and discussions involving prejudices and prejudiced-based bullying have been followed and supported by learning in RE and PSHE. We undertake regular charity work, such as through CAFOD, Fairtrade or Wateraid, spending time to research where our money would be going and who it would be supporting. Across school we celebrate some of the major festivals, using technology to find information and video clips. We then look at the various aspects of the celebration, such as the food or the art.
Visits from school to places of worship help children to see the similarities between the various religions and beliefs.
Visitors into school teach the children about life in different countries and where the similarities and differences lie.
Likewise we use opportunities such as the Olympics and World Cup to study and learn about life and culture in countries who participate. We also work with our local secondary school, who provides us with a French teacher to work with various classes throughout Key Stage 2.