Supporting British Values at St James’s
The DFE outline that education should:
► ensure children become valuable and fully rounded members of society who treat others with respect and tolerance, regardless of background. We want every school to promote the basic British values of democracy, the rule of law, individual liberty, and mutual respect and tolerance for those of different faiths and beliefs. This ensures young people understand the importance of respect and leave school fully prepared for life in modern Britain.’
The definition of British Values
At St James’s Catholic Primary School we are committed to promoting British Values. Our School Mission Statement, Put out into the Deep, has implications for all of us that go beyond our school environment.
► We recognise that each one of our pupils exist as part of society and we ensure that we fully prepare children for life in modern Britain enabling children to make the strongest possible contribution to the Common Good of all whilst seeking to base all that we do on the teachings of Jesus Christ.
At St James’s British Values are embedded within our schools our broad and balanced curriculum. Values are reinforced through daily worship and promoted within our opportunities for pupil leadership and pupil voice. Pupil voice is valued, encouraged and celebrated. Pupils’ views and opinions are sought through discussion groups, questionnaires and focus groups. We encourage pupils to take ownership of not only their school but also of their own learning and progress.
► All stakeholders of St James’s have opportunities for their voices to be heard. St James’s is committed to working in partnership with the whole school community and promotes Democracy as part of our school’s mission statement.
Each year children work collaboratively to create a class charter. Every class charter is linked directly to children’s rights and ensures that each pupil can take ownership of their classroom environment. The school is an accredited Rights Respecting School.
Our Pupil Council serves as a democratically elected body and a voice for the children in our school. Pupil Council runs from Year 2 – 6. Candidates wishing to be part of the Pupil Council have to deliver a speech and give reasons as to why they are the best candidates to represent their class. Classes vote for two representatives. This system of election is held each year with an opportunity for new members to run for a position.
‘Mini Vinnies’ is the name for a St Vincent de Paul Group for primary aged children. Each week Mini Vinnies meet to organise and talk about helping others in need within our school community.
Inspired by the teachings of the Church, and Pope Francis' letter to all of humanity Laudato Si, St James's pupils have set up their own Eco Team. The Eco-team meet every week to discuss, plan and action new eco-initiatives they can carry out around the school and the local community.
Rule of Law
The importance of Laws, whether they be those that govern the class, the school, or the country, are consistently reinforced through collective worship, assemblies and the school’s behaviour policies. High expectations are modelled by staff and children’s achievements are praised and celebrated.
► St James’s adopts a restorative approach to behaviour where children are encouraged to reflect on their actions and consider if they are making the best choices possible. Children are taught the value and reasons behind rules and laws, that they govern and protect us, the responsibility this involves and the consequences when laws are broken.
St James’s invites authorities such as police and local fire fighters to work alongside children to reinforce these important messages.
Children are encouraged to consider their choices and take responsible risks whilst feeling safe and secure in the school environment. The curriculum delivered at St James’s allows children to know, understand and exercise their rights. This is taught explicitly within PSHE lessons whilst also being reinforced as part of our commitment as a Rights Respecting School. Children recognise and celebrate ‘rights respecters’ within weekly collective worships. St James’s facilitates a variety of extra-curricular opportunities where children are encouraged to try new activities and are given the freedom to make individual choices.
The school’s mission statement outlines our commitment to working in partnership with the whole school community. Mutual respect is at the heart of this commitment. All stakeholders at St James’s are expected to treat each other with respect. Children are taught to celebrate individual’s differences whilst championing diversity.
At St James's, our Catholic faith is at the centre of our school. Our Mission Statement permeates all that we do. Religious Education at St James’s not only provides pupils with a deep understanding of their own faith but also an awareness of the faith and traditions of other religious communities.
Pupils at St James’s have the opportunity to visit places of worship that are important in different religions. This provides a basis for understanding and respecting those with different faiths and beliefs.
► At St James's we actively challenge pupils, staff or parents expressing opinions contrary to fundamental British Values, including ‘extremist’ views.