British and Church Values
Our British and Church Values
The DfE have recently reinforced the 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.”
The Government set out its definition of British values in the 2011 Prevent Strategy, and these values have been reiterated annually.
At St Martin’s, we actively promote British values.
Pupils have the opportunity to have their voices heard through our School Council and pupil questionnaires, both within school. The elections of school councillors are based solely on pupil votes. The ‘Howie Cup’, presented at the end of the school year to a Year 6 pupil, is also based on pupil votes. School Council members are involved in the interview process for new appointments to the school. Our school behaviour policy involves rewards. We encourage pupils to become involved in decision-making processes and ensure they are listened to in school. We take part in classroom debates so pupils learn how to argue and defend points of view. We regularly engage in community issues that directly affect our school. Other stakeholders model democracy through parent/staff consultations and parent/staff governor elections. Through our Christian value of tolerance we model how perceived injustice can be peacefully challenged.
Rule of law:
The importance of rules, whether they are those that govern the class, the school, or the country, are consistently reinforced throughout regular school day. We also deal with behaviour through school collective worship and our Christian values. Children know that rules are there to govern and protect us, the responsibilities that this involves and the consequences when laws are broken. Visits from authorities such as the Police, Fire Service etc., as well as the Year 6 participating in Crucial Crew, are regular parts of our calendar and help reinforce this message. We ensure school rules and expectations are clear and fair, they were agreed and developed by all stakeholders. We help pupils to distinguish right from wrong and encourage them to make the right choices. Staff model the rule of law by managing the school in accordance with DFE rules and regulations.
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 young pupils to make choices safely, through provision of a safe environment. Pupils are encouraged to know, understand and exercise their rights and personal freedoms and are advised how to exercise these safely, for example through our E-Safety and PSHE lessons. We implement a strong anti-bullying culture. Staff are also encouraged to be proactive in their decision making and are managed fairly through LA policies and procedures.
Part of our school ethos and behaviour policy has revolved around our Christian values like respect, tolerance, friendship and forgiveness. Pupils are part of discussions and assemblies based on these themes each half term. All members of the school community treat each other with respect. Displays around the school promote respect for others and this is reiterated through our classroom and learning rules, as well as our behaviour policy. All adults in school model positive behaviours.
Tolerance of those of Different Faiths and Beliefs:
As a Church of England school our priority values are reflected throughout our school and our policies. This year our priority values are service, reverence and courage. We are enhancing pupils understanding of their place in a culturally diverse society and by giving them opportunities to experience such diversity. Collective worship and discussions involving prejudices and prejudice-based bullying have been followed and supported by learning in RE and PSHE. Members of different faiths or religions, and those who speak languages other than English, are encouraged to share their knowledge to enhance learning within classes and the school. We organise visits to places of worship like the mosque and Hindu temple in Bradford and York Minster. We promote respect for individual differences and the children are very respectful and tolerant of those with different needs. During Lent, the whole school participated in the 40 Acts of Kindness scheme, which links directly with British Values. During the forty days of Lent, the children were invited to take part in forty simple acts of generosity which challenged them to ‘do Lent generously’.