Promoting British Values at St. Anne's Catholic Primary School
The DfE have 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."
As a Catholic school our ethos is to uphold the values of the Gospel: respect for the life and dignity of each individual; trust in God; honesty; compassion; forgiveness; mercy; community; servant leadership; equality; simplicity; justice and peace. These values are embedded in all that we teach and are promoted in all of our interactions with others in the school and the wider community.
We fully recognise and embrace the multi-cultural, multi-faith and ever-changing nature of the United Kingdom and are committed to ensuring that groups or individuals within the school are not subjected to intimidation or pressured towards radicalisation by those wishing to unduly, or illegally, influence them.
St Anne’s has a clear Equality Policy which aims to prevent discrimination against any individual or group, regardless of faith, ethnicity, gender, sexuality, political or financial status or similar. St Anne’s also seeks to lay the foundations for our pupils’ future lives, beyond the formal curriculum, preparing them for the diverse and dynamic society in which they will live and work. An understanding of British values is a critical part of this education.
The Government set out its definition of British Values in the 2011 ‘Prevent’ strategy and the Department for Education has reinforced the need ‘to create and enforce a clear and rigorous expectation on all schools to promote the fundamental British values’. Actively promoting the values means challenging opinions or behaviours in school that are contrary to these values, which are:
Many of these values are embedded within our Catholic Ethos and Mission, but in addition St Anne’s uses strategies within the National Curriculum and beyond to secure pupils’ understanding of the wider implications of British values. The examples that follow show some of the ways in which we seek to embed British values.
At Saint Anne's we promote the importance of democracy. An example of this is through the School Council. The School Council meets with the Senior Leadership Team on behalf of their class to discuss ideas and make suggestions linked to school improvement. Suggestions for improvement have included the school grounds, more playtime equipment, more equipment for indoor playtime. Another example are the Liturgical Leaders who meet with the Senior Leadership Team to discuss ideas and make suggestions linked to improving the Catholic life of school.
The Rule of Law
The importance of laws, whether they are those that govern the class, the school, or the country, is consistently reinforced at St. Anne's. Pupils are taught from an early age the values of our school, which are centred around our school mission. Pupils are taught the value and reasons behind rules and laws, that they govern and protect us, the responsibilities that this involves and the consequences when laws are broken. Visits from authorities such as the Police and Fire Service help reinforce this message. ‘Right and Wrong’ and ‘Laws’ are taught and embedded as part of our PSHE scheme of work which is delivered throughout the whole school. Children also learn about the rule of law through the curriculum.
The school has a clear set of behaviour principles and the highest standards of behaviour of both pupils and staff are lived out. The rights and responsibilities of every pupil are emphasised through our class-based behaviour principles which are developed by the whole group, and through the use of Restorative Approaches to serious or protracted issues, which focus on the harm that has been done and on how it might be mended. Our RE and PSHE curricula recognise and underline the importance of the ideas, feelings and needs of others. Assemblies emphasise that we are all equal under the law and that it is not only wrong, but illegal to discriminate against others on the basis of characteristics such as disability, gender, race or faith. Visits from authorities such as the PCSO help to reinforce the message that our laws are for the protection of all.
We aim to ensure that our pupils have the knowledge and confidence to withstand attempts to radicalise them by alerting them to the intolerance that is inherent in all extremist viewpoints.
At St. Anne's pupils are actively encouraged to make choices, knowing that they are in a safe and supportive environment. We educate and provide boundaries for young pupils to make informed choices, through a safe environment and an empowering education. Pupils are given the freedom to make choices, for example, whether it is through choice of challenge, or simply by choosing to participate in our numerous extra-curricular clubs and opportunities. Our creative home learning projects allow children to partake in activities that interest them and present them in interesting ways. Pupils at St Anne’s are encouraged to know and understand their rights and personal freedoms and advised how to exercise these safely, e.g. through our E-Safety policy, PSHE curriculum, circle times and assemblies. Pupils are encouraged to exercise their right to free speech by articulating their views to their School Council Representatives. Pupils can also share concerns about issues with class teachers and alert school leaders. This has built up a strong sense of trust, because pupils know that adults take their concerns seriously, that they will listen and, where necessary, take action.
We aim to ensure that pupils know their rights, but also that they are aware of the responsibilities that they entail. Teachers and other staff endeavour to set clear, consistent boundaries so that pupils can make informed choices in a safe, secure and supportive environment. St Anne’s has clear Anti-bullying and Behaviour Management policies that are openly shared with every member of our community.
Part of our ethos and behaviour policy has revolved around Core Values such as 'Respect', and pupils have been part of discussions and assemblies related to what this means and how it is shown. The school ethos and aims promote respect for others and this is reiterated through our inclusive mission, as well as our behaviour policy. Linked to our PSHE/RSE curriculum, as a school we fully embrace all different types of families. Our extra-curriculum clubs and enrichment activities focus on building self-esteem and respect.
Mutual respect is at the heart of our faith: Jesus said, ‘You shall love your neighbour as yourself.’ At St Anne’s we recognise the need to value the unique contribution of each person in our school. We expect all members of the St Anne’s community to treat each other with respect, consideration and integrity. Pupils learn through their interactions with staff and each other, in the curriculum and assemblies that their behaviour has an impact on others. They frequently work collaboratively and are encouraged to listen to and value the opinions of others.
Pupils are encouraged to understand and reach out to communities who are less fortunate than themselves and each year raise significant amounts for charity, demonstrating their respect for those who live in very different circumstances to ours. Pupils are encouraged to organise their own fundraising events for charities that they wish to support.
Respect of those of Different Faiths and Beliefs
St. Anne's is a Catholic school. We are proud of our Religion and its teachings. Jesus taught us to “Love one another as I have loved you.” Due to this we have respect for all regardless, religion or background. All our Religious Education lessons, PSHE lessons and resources (including texts) reinforce messages of respect for others. Members of different faiths and religions are encouraged to share their knowledge to enhance learning within classes and the school.
Despite being a faith school, we welcome pupils from other faiths or none. As we grow, our intake is becoming more ethnically diverse which is adding to the richness of our community. Tolerance is emphasised through our curriculum and our assemblies.
Pupils benefit from the opportunity of hearing about different communities and faith traditions in the UK and the world, and we encourage parents and others to share their culture and customs with the children.
We encourage pupils to understand their place within a culturally diverse society and above all to ensure that they leave St Anne’s with a set of values which will ensure they will contribute positively to society in the future.
A Guide for Families