Fostering British Values
‘Keeping our children safe and ensuring schools prepare them for life in modern Britain could not be more important.’
Department for Education (2014).
The government set out its definition of British values in the 2011 Prevent Strategy – values of:
- the rule of law
- individual liberty
- mutual respect
- tolerance of those of different faiths and beliefs
At St Mary’s, we actively promote these values across school life. Our collective worship plan reinforces this and is based on the ‘Nurturing Values and Virtues’ programme, where a value is a key focus for us during each term. It is through this programme that the values really come to life. British values are also fostered through our daily work in school.
Each year the children discuss their class rules and the rights associated with these. All the children contribute to the drawing up of the charter.
We have a school council which meets termly to discuss any issues. Every child on the school council is voted in by their class.
The Rule of Law
The importance of laws and rules, whether they are class, school, or the country, are consistently reinforced at St Mary’s.
Pupils are taught from an early age the rules of the school. Pupils are taught the value and reasons behind rules, the responsibilities that this involves and the consequences when laws are broken.
At St Mary’s, 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 informed choices, through a safe environment. Pupils are encouraged to know, understand and exercise their rights and personal freedoms and advised how to exercise these safely, for example through our eSafety and PSHE lessons.
Mutual respect is at the heart of our values. Children learn that their behaviours have an effect on their own rights and those of others. All members of the school community treat each other with respect.
Tolerance of those of Different Faiths and Beliefs
St Mary’s is a Catholic School, however we learn about other faiths each year during our other faiths focus week. This may involve visits to other places of worship or inviting visitors from other faiths to our school. Religious Education lessons and PSHE lessons reinforce messages of tolerance and respect for others. Members of different faiths and religions are encouraged to share their knowledge to enhance learning within classes and the school.