Promoting British 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 were reiterated in 2014. At St Thomas’ School these values are reinforced regularly throughout the curriculum.
Each year the children consider our school rules and the rights associated with these. All the children agree to follow these throughout the year.
Children have many opportunities for their voices to be heard. We have a school council which meets regularly to discuss issues raised in class council meetings. Council members for each year group are voted in by their class.
The Senior Leadership Team regularly listens and responds to the thoughts and ideas of our pupils.
Children complete questionnaires during the school year in which they are able to put forward their views about the school.
Children, parents and school sign a Home – School Agreement which sets out the expectations we all have and responsibilities which we agree to abide by.
The Rule of Law
The importance of Laws, whether they be those that govern the class, the school, or the country, are consistently reinforced throughout regular school days, as well as when dealing with behaviour and through school assemblies and acts or worship. The school’s Christian values also promote the rule of law.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. Visits from authorities such as the Police and Fire Service help reinforce this message.
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 and 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 E-Safety and PSHE lessons. Whether it be through choice of learning challenge, of how they record, of participation in our numerous extra-curricular clubs and opportunities, pupils are given the freedom to make choices.
Our Christian values guide our school, pupils and community.Mutual respect is at the heart of our values. 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.
Tolerance of those of Different Faiths and Beliefs
We feel privileged to be part of a rich and varied community and place a great emphasis on promoting diversity with the children. Worship, our RE and PSHE teaching addresses and teaches tolerance of different faiths and beliefs. Members of different faiths or religions are encouraged to share their knowledge to enhance learning within classes and the school. Children visit places of worship that are important to a range of faiths.
At St Thomas’ CE J & I School we will actively challenge pupils, staff or parents expressing opinions contrary to fundamental British Values, including ‘extremist’ views.