Promoting British Values at St Jude’s
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. At St Jude’s these values are reinforced regularly.
As a Church of England school, Christian values underpin our ethos. Our school aim of; 'Learning for life, Aiming for excellence, Ready to take our place in God’s world’ and our four core values of Love, Hope, Honesty and Forgiveness, permeate all areas of school life.
Reflection time is an important part of our school life. As a Church school, we re-enforce British Values through our collective worship which is strongly Christian. We have close links with our local church (St. Jude’s) and the Cathedral, where children experience British Christian church services throughout the year.
Throughout our RE curriculum, we promote British Christian values and also educate our pupils about the faiths and beliefs of people from different countries and organisations.
We believe that our Christian identity plays an important role in upholding British Values within our school community.
The Rule of the Law
Tolerance of those of different faiths and beliefs
Article 15 “Children have the right to meet together and to join groups and organisations, as long as this does not stop other people from enjoying their rights.
Democracy is widespread within the school. Each year the children decide upon their class charter and the rights associated with these. All the children contribute to the drawing up of the charter. Children have many opportunities for their voices to be heard including the opportunity to express their opinions and vote on other issues in class. We have a school council which meets regularly to discuss a variety of issues. Each class has a school council representative and they are nominated by and voted for by their class. Candidates in KS2 give a speech to their peers outlining why they should be elected on to the council. The school council have been instrumental in deciding upon and voting for a charity to support and in organising charity activities to raise money.
The Rule of Law
Article 28 Children have a right to an education. Discipline in schools should respect children’s human dignity.”
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. 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. Children also take part in 'Bikeability' and 'Scootability' training which teaches road safety and law.
Article 12 “ Children have the right to say what they think should happen when adults are making decisions that affect them, and have their opinions taken into account.”
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.
Article 30 “Children have a right to learn the language and customs of their families whether these are shared by the majority of people in the country or not.”
As a Church of England school, Christian values underpin our ethos. We re-enforce British Values through our collective worship which is strongly Christian. The pupils know and understand that it is expected and imperative that respect is shown to everyone, whatever differences we may have. Our school values of Love, Hope, Honesty and Forgiveness place mutual respect at the very centre of our school. Our school values form our themes for our collective worship throughout the year. 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
Article 14 “Children have the right to think and believe what they want and to practise their religion, as long as they are not stopping other people from enjoying their rights. Parents should guide their children on these matters.”
This is achieved through enhancing pupils understanding of their place in a culturally diverse society and by giving them opportunities to experience such diversity. As a heart of Portsmouth school St Jude’s is situated in an area of considerable cultural diversity, including both children from forces families and children whose parents have travelled from other countries and cultures to study at the university. Therefore we place a great emphasis on promoting diversity within the school. Assemblies are regularly planned to address this issue either directly or through the inclusion of stories and celebrations from a variety of faiths and cultures. Our RE and PSHE teaching reinforce this. Members of different faiths or religions are encouraged to share their knowledge to enhance learning within classes and the school. Children make regular visits to our local church and cathedral to take part in acts of collective worship and also visit other places of worship that are important to different faiths.
At St Jude’s we will actively challenge pupils, staff or parents expressing opinions contrary to fundamental British Values, including ‘extremist’ views.