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.”
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 and regular questionnaires. Our School council meets on a weekly basis, and is involved in enabling Pupil Voice, including organising fund raising events and competitions. The elections of the School Council members and Head Boy and Head Girl are based solely on pupil votes, 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 class, the school or the country, are consistently reinforced. Our school has a ‘Golden Rule’, which is deeply embedded in our work every day. Each class also discusses and sets its own rules that are clearly understood by all and seen to be necessary to ensure that every class member 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.
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 and an empowering education. 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 e-safety and P.S.H.E. 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 the core values of our school 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 St. Matthew’s 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. St. Matthew’s Catholic Primary School enhances pupils understanding of different faiths and beliefs through religious education studies; P.S.H.E. work; visitors from other faiths; welcoming visitors from other schools that are not predominately white British and enjoying a depth of study during themed weeks. Beliefs, traditions and customs will be studied in depth, with visitors being invited in to our school to enrich and extend understanding. Through this our pupils gain an enhanced understanding of their place in a culturally diverse society.
This vision is based on the truth revealed by God about ourselves and our life together in community. This gives rise to an educational endeavour centered on the person of Jesus Christ who is our Way, Truth and Life. The educational Mission of the Catholic Church entails the on-going development of the entire potential of every person. It seeks to provide the well-being and freedom of every person made in the image and likeness of God and finding fulfilment in God alone. This is the Vision which shapes the daily life of St Matthew’s Catholic Primary School as a community in which faith is expressed and shared through every aspect of its activities.
These values are echoed in our School Mission Statement, which is built upon the Gospel Values, and with Christ at the centre of everything that we do.
Laws and regulations
Here at St Matthews our children are encouraged to follow rules and regulations but they always have a say in what they should be, and why we should follow them.
This is How we Develop SMSC AND BRITISH VALUES at St Matthew’s…
At St Matthew’s Catholic Primary school we seek to develop well rounded individuals who understand the core British Values and who have social, moral, spiritual and cultural awareness.
The Government emphasises that schools are required to ensure that key ‘British Values’ are taught in all UK schools. The government set out its definition of British values in the ‘Prevent Strategy’ – values of:
Democracy (contribute to the decision making process),
The rule of law (protect and keep us safe),
Individual liberty (freedom to act within the law),
Mutual respect (respect other points of view),
Tolerance (of those of different faiths and beliefs).
Through our positive behaviour for learning policy, PSHE sessions, teacher time activities, assemblies and our curricula we:
enable students to develop their self-knowledge, self-esteem and self-confidence
encourage respect for other people, and
encourage respect for democracy and support for participation in the democratic processes
enable students to learn right from wrong and to respect rules and understand the law
encourage students to accept responsibility for their behaviour, show initiative, and to understand how they can contribute positively to society
develop tolerance and harmony between different cultural traditions by enabling students to acquire an appreciation for and respect for their own and other cultures
Here are some examples of when British values are discussed and / or shared:
Curriculum themes and topics
Our curriculum prepares children for life in today’s multicultural British Society; this includes developing the understanding and use of money, effective reading and writing skills, collaboration and discussion to research ideas and concepts.
Daily acts of collective worship Our assemblies uphold the schools values of listen, engage and respect. Each week is ‘themed’ and covers key PSHE, SMSC and British Values topics. Each theme is followed up in tutor time with an individual, paired or group task to explore it further. Successes are celebrated through rewards assemblies half termly.
PSHE and Tutor Time
Mutual respect is also taught within tutor time and on an informal nature throughout the school days. Students are encouraged to know, understand and exercise their rights and personal freedoms and advised how to exercise these safely, for example through our E-Safety policy and PSHE work on keeping myself safe.
Tolerance of those of different faiths and beliefs is promoted in RE as students gain a greater understanding of religious diversity and practices for those religions represented in the UK.
PE Promotion of the concept of “fair play”, following and developing rules, celebrating and rewarding success, accepting defeat and participating in activities that promote cooperation with others and inclusion for all form an integral part of the PE curriculum.
Prefects and the School Council
The School promotes democratic processes through the selection of prefects, senior prefects, Head Boy and Head Girl and through the election of school council members. The school and year group councils foster the concept of freedom of speech and group action to address need and concerns.