BRITISH VALUES At St Mark’s primary School
At St Mark’s Primary School, we ensure that through our school ethos, values, rules, curriculum, collective worship assemblies and teaching, we promote respect for all cultures, faiths and people. We value the ethnicity and backgrounds of all our pupils and families and undertake a variety of events and lessons to celebrate and explore these alongside other cultures in our country. Through this approach we teach understanding of, and respect for the differences in our community and the wider world.
We have a duty to prepare our children for life in modern Britain and to keep them safe.
In June 2014, the DfE reinforced the need for “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.”
As defined by the government 2011 Prevent Strategy, these are the values of:
• The rule of law
• Individual Liberty
• Mutual Respect
• Tolerance of those of different faiths and beliefs
The school’s core values are summarised as CHART
- HARD WORK
At St Mark’s, British Values are reinforced regularly in the following ways:
Pupils have many opportunities for their voices to be heard and to express themselves through the choices and decisions that they make. At the beginning of each school year, children can choose to run to be a candidate for School Council or s school monitor position and are involved in the selection process. Each half term, children participate in ‘Pupil Voice’ interviews in which they provide feedback to members of the school leadership team and subject leaders about their learning, preferences and how things could be improved. Throughout the year, meetings are held with members of the school council and other school monitors to find out how things could be improved in different areas of the school. Feedback and votes from pupils are also used to determine how money is spent; which class rewards will be received and what fundraising events will take place. Meetings are also undertaken with pupils about how they can contribute to the local and wider community. Each year our local MP for Vauxhall visits the school, engages with pupils and talks about her role and responsibilities. Children regularly hear about other forms of government which limit and restrict freedom of choice.
The Rule of Law
The importance of laws (and rules), whether they be those that govern the class, the school, or the country, are consistently reinforced at St Mark’s throughout school days and lessons, as well as when dealing with behaviour and through school collective worship assemblies.
At the beginning of the year, Pupils help to formulate and contribute to their own ‘class charters’ which recognise the pupils’ own understanding of the reasoning behind their class rules. As a school, we also place a large emphasis on being accountable for actions when things go wrong. This can then lead to acknowledgement, forgiveness and a fresh start.
PSHE lessons and collective worship assemblies support pupils with strategies and guidance to help them to distinguish right from wrong and to resolve conflicts when they arise.
Our school behaviour system provides positive recognition for positive behaviours, qualities and attitudes and clear consequences associated with making the wrong choices by not following the school’s expectations. Our Christian foundation enables us explain to the children that law and order comes from God and exists for our good and wellbeing – to show us the right way, to protect us from harm and to bring joy and happiness into our lives.
We support pupils in developing their self-knowledge, self-esteem and self-confidence. Within school, pupils are actively encouraged to make choices, knowing that they are in a safe and supportive environment. Our school strapline is ‘Unique and Valued by God’ which recognises that each individual is special and highly valued. Within our PSHE curriculum and Collective Worship outline, we emphasise that each individual has specific gifts and talents which they can utilise and develop in order to truly flourish as individuals. Pupils have the opportunity to exercise their liberty and freedoms to make choices about themselves and their school
Homework tasks, participation in extra-curricular clubs and other enrichments opportunities also enable pupils to express their individual liberty. Children are regularly made aware of those in the world who do not enjoy their freedoms, in order to increase their personal sense of gratitude for what they have, but also to develop their sense of empathy and prayerfulness for others. We work with a number of external partners and agencies that contribute to helping children to developing this area and are committed to charity work in order to make a difference in our society.
Respect is one of our core values. We encourage children to follow the golden rule of ‘Treat others as you would like to be treated.’ Our PSHE and Collective Worship curriculums focus on children flourishing individually, in friendship, in their families, as members of the community and in society. Emphasis is regularly placed on our individual responsibility in ensuring this happens, through being careful towards others with our speech, body language and actions. Our school values, school strapline and school curriculum reinforce that respect should be given to all, irrespective of their background.
Children learn that their behaviours have an effect on themselves and others. Our Behaviour Policy engenders our basic belief in mutual respect. This is integral in school and within our classroom rules and is reinforced in day-to-day teaching and assemblies. All school staff are aware of their role in modelling respect and promoting and demonstrating respect to all pupils, parents and staff across the school.
Understanding of and respect for those of Different Faiths and Beliefs
St Mark’s is a culturally diverse school, set within a culturally diverse area of South London. Whilst we are a Church of England school that promotes the distinctives of the Christian faith, we are fully inclusive and cater for pupils of other faiths and no faith. Our RE curriculum from the SDBE, enables pupils to learn about and learn from all main world religions and children are provided with the opportunity to visit a range of different places of worship. Our school curriculum seeks to mirror the representation and the histories of families within the school community, the local community and the wider society. Whilst we do take advantage of some special dates and events across the academic year, we do endeavour to embed areas of focus across our school curriculum, in order to make the learning about differences, diversity, cultures and faith more purposeful.
Our strapline of Unique and valued by God, enables us to have a culture of ‘disagreeing well’ and continuing to show respect and value for each other, even though we may have differing views, opinions or beliefs.