Promoting British Values at English Martyrs’ Catholic Primary School
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 English Martyrs’ Catholic Primary School these values are reinforced regularly and in the following ways.
Democracy is embedded at the school. Pupils are always listened to by adults and are taught to listen carefully and with concern to each other, respecting the right of every individual to have their opinions and voices heard. Pupils also have the opportunity to air their opinions and ideas through our School Council. The elections of the School Council are based solely on pupil votes (following presentations), reflecting our British electoral system and demonstrating democracy in action.
The Rule of Law
The importance of laws whether they are those that govern the school or the country, are consistently reinforced. Our school has 5 Expectations which are deeply embedded in our work every day. Each class discusses and displays the school rules and Expectations which are clearly understood by all and seen to be necessary to ensure that every pupil is able to learn in a safe and ordered environment. Our 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. Details about school rewards and sanctions, choice and consequences are detailed in our behaviour policy.
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 our pupils to make choices safely, through the provision of a safe environment, an empowering education and a curriculum based upon clear values of the Catholic Faith. Our pupils are encouraged to know, understand and exercise their rights and personal freedoms and are advised how to exercise these safely; examples of this can be clearly seen in our RE, Online Safety, HRSE and PSHE lessons. Whether it is through choice of challenge; of how they record; of participation in our numerous extra- curricular activities; our pupils are given the freedom to make choices.
Respect is one of our core values and key to our school rules. Our pupils have been fully involved in the creation of ‘mission statement’ key words in the Spring Term 2015 and it is deeply embedded in all that we do at the 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 English Martyrs’ Catholic Primary School underpins our work every day both in and out of the classroom.
Tolerance of Those With Different Faiths And Beliefs
Our core value of respect ensures tolerance of those who have different faiths and beliefs. English Martyrs’ Catholic Primary School enhances pupils' understanding of different faiths and beliefs through religious education studies following The Way, The Truth and The Life scheme of work and is reinforced by supplementary work through CAFOD. Through our PSHE work, visits to places of worship, welcoming visitors of other faiths, respecting the different faiths and beliefs of our own members of staff and enjoying in-depth of study during themed weeks our pupils understanding is enhanced further and they gain an enhanced understanding of their place in a culturally diverse society.