The DfE have outlined the need ‘to create and enforce a clear and rigorous expectation on all schools to promote 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 in 2014 within the introduction of the new Curriculum. St James’ Church of England Primary School upholds and continually teaches pupils about the British Values which are defined as:-
2. Rule of law
3. Individual liberty
4. Mutual respect
5. Tolerance of those of different faiths and beliefs
These values are taught through the whole school curriculum and explicitly within Religious Education and PSHE (Personal, Social and Health Education). British Values are explored through worship and the planning and delivery of a broad and balanced curriculum which promotes the spiritual, moral, cultural, mental and physical development of pupils.
The school achieved ‘outstanding behaviour’ (OFSTED, 2017) and ‘excellent’ in the School Inspection of Anglican and Methodist Schools (SIAMS, 2019) which demonstrates the schools commitment to British Values. The school takes opportunities to actively promote British Values through daily worship and whole school systems and structures. The school has a strong school ethos which is underpinned by the Christian based school values of Love, Courage and Respect.
At St James’ Church of England Primary School, these values are reinforced continuously and we address the British Values in the following ways-
Pupils have many opportunities for their voices to be heard. A school council meets regularly to discuss issues raised in class council meetings. The council suggest changes within school and over the previous year contributed significantly to the improvement of the lunch time experience in school. Children stand for election by expressing their ideas for the role and are voted for by their classmates. Pupils in the school are often asked for their opinions through other groups, such as the Worship Committee, Carbon Neutral Pioneers and Online Safety Champions and regularly evaluate school through discussions and questionnaires. Children in Year 6 have the opportunity to be elected as Head Girl/ Boy and Deputy Head Girl/Boy and Prefects. This process involves a written application and an interview led by members of the Senior Leadership Team and the existing Head girl and boy.
Rule of Law
The importance of laws and rules, whether they are those that govern the class, the school or the country, are consistently reinforced through regular school days. The school has extremely high expectations of behaviour and a whole school behaviour policy which reinforces this. Pupils are taught the value and reasons behind laws, how they govern and protect us, the responsibilities that this involves and the consequences when laws are broken. School actively tries to promote these through encouraging visitors into school from authorities such as the Police and Fire Service to help reinforce this message.
Within school, pupils are activity encouraged to make choices, knowing that they are in a safe and supportive environment. As a school we educate and provide boundaries for children to make choices safely, through the provision of a safe environment and planned curriculum. Children are encouraged to know, understand and exercise their rights and personal freedoms and are advised how to do so safely, for example through our Online Safety teaching and PSHE lessons. Pupils are given the freedom to make choices, e.g. signing up for extra-curricular clubs and making choices about their learning. The school are committed to developing opportunities for pupils to manage and evaluate their own learning.
The school ethos, and behaviour policy, is based around the Christian values of Love, Courage and Respect and these values determine how we live as a community at St James’. Worship is based on the School Values and is central to how we expect everyone to go about their life at school. The children who display these values are celebrated every week. Children and adults alike are challenged if they are disrespectful in any way. Values are highly visible around the school and can be seen on display, through certificates and as part of the agreed codes.
Respect of those of different faiths and beliefs
This is achieved through enhancing pupils’ understanding of their place in a culturally diverse society and by giving them opportunities to experience such diversity in our local community. Worship and discussions involving prejudices and prejudice-based bullying have been supported by learning in RE and PSHE. Links with local high schools and primary schools across the country allow children to enhance their experiences of the local and wider community. The school celebrates many festivals, national and religious events through Project Days as a whole school encouraging children to research and discover differences and similarities between different religions and communities. Members of different faiths or religions are encouraged to share their knowledge and enhance learning in class and worship. Daily worship sessions also explore various festivals throughout the year.
For further information on British Values and how they are shared at St James', please see the guidance document: Guidance on British Values