Promoting British Values at St Joseph’s Catholic Primary School
In June, 2014 Michael Gove set out plans for all school children to be taught ‘British values’. The then Education Secretary announced that from September 2014, England’s 20,000 primary and secondary schools would be required to actively promote tolerance, fairness, respect for other faiths, and the rule of law and democracy.
At St Joseph’s, these values are reinforced regularly and in the following ways:
We have a school council which meets regularly to discuss issues raised in class council meetings. The council is genuinely able to effect change within the school. Every child on the school council is voted in by their class. Children have an annual questionnaire where they are able to put forward their views about the school.
The Rule of Law
The importance of laws, whether they be those that govern the class, the school, or the country, are consistently reinforced at St Joseph’s. Pupils are taught from an early age the rules of the school. 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.
At St Joseph’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 and an empowering education. Pupils are encouraged to know, understand and exercise their rights and personal freedoms and advised how to exercise these safely, for example through our Kidsafe and PSHCE lessons.
Mutual respect is at the heart of our school. 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 and are taught to be considerate. Part of our school ethos and behaviour policy revolves 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. Pupils have taken part in anti – bullying week and our school promotes four Golden Rules, communication, respect, learning and safety, to help guide the children’s attitudes and behaviour.
Tolerance of those of Different Faiths and Beliefs
St Joseph’s actively promote diversity through our celebrations of different faiths and cultures. 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. The children visit places of worship that are important to different faiths.