British Values…Gospel Values…Our 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 world of tomorrow belongs to the person who has the vision today.” (Robert Schuller)
Christ gave us a set of values as His legacy when he proclaimed the Beatitudes at His Sermon in the Mount. As a Catholic school, we have always had these values which form our school’s mission. They are integral to every aspect of the life of our school. The teachings of the Catholic Church and the promotion of Gospel values are at the heart of St.Francis.’ Christ taught us to have tolerance, be kind, love one another and to show our love for one another by respecting others. We do this on a daily basis and British values and Gospel values are bound together. The children learn about British values in school through a variety of initiatives, assemblies and active experience.
The Government set out its definition of British values in the 2011 Prevent Strategy. At St.Francis’ these values are reinforced regularly and in the following ways.
Democracy is an important value at our school. Pupils have the opportunity to have their voices heard through our School Council. The council has its own budget and is genuinely able to effect change within the school. Every child on the student council is voted in by their class. 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 an annual questionnaire where they are able to put forward their views about the school. We help pupils to express and present their views and model how perceived injustice can be peacefully challenged.
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. 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. We nurture the develop of approaches focused on reconciliation and justice to resolve conflicts.
To encourage and promote good behaviour, attitude and work, we have devised a reward system which is consistently followed throughout the school. We are committed to praising children’s efforts. Our Head boy and Head girl present awards in assembly for children who have ‘stood out’ to them within the school week. This is led by the children and logged in their own behaviour celebration book. We endeavour to praise the children informally, individually, during group work, in front of the whole class and the whole school. Rewards are given in the form of stickers, house points and certificates and always informally by giving a ‘well done’ with a smile. Children’s achievements are also recognised during Celebration Assemblies. Visits from authorities such as the police, fire service etc. are regular parts of our calendar and help reinforce this message. The children visit ‘Safety Town’ with other schools to learn about law and rules of our Country.
Pupils are encouraged to be independent learners, constantly making choices, within a safe and supportive environment. Developing their self-esteem and self-confidence is very important. Pupils are encouraged to understand their personal freedoms and are taught how to use these rights to best effect. All pupils are keen to support charities, whether local, national or global. They are taught consideration for others through our Religious Education curriculum and PSHE lessons in particular. E-safety teaching enables them to make choices in a safe manner.
Our school’s ethos and behaviour policy are based on Gospel values, with the important commandment being, ‘Love one another as I have loved you’. Assemblies constantly promote respect for others and the importance of good manners. All pupils are taught the importance of self-respect, honest and open communication with others and fair play. The message that every child is ‘created in the image of God’ is constantly reinforced and permeates all aspects of life at St.Francis.’ Children learn that their behaviours have an effect on their own rights and those of others. Pupils work collaboratively and value others’ opinions. Mutual respect is at the heart of our values.
Tolerance of those of Different Faiths and Beliefs
This is achieved through enhancing pupils’ understanding of their place in a culturally diverse society and by giving them opportunities to experience such diversity in our local community which is by large white British. Collective Worship and discussions involving prejudices and prejudice-based bullying have been followed and supported by learning in RE and PSHE. Our Religious Education curriculum provides pupils with a deep understanding of their own faith as well as awareness of the faith and traditions of other religious communities as a basis for understanding and respecting them. We use opportunities such as the Olympics and World Cup to study and learn about life and culture in countries other countries. We hold World Faith Celebration Weeks and individual days where we study another world faith and learn about their customs, practises and celebrations. We enjoy working with other faith schools.
As a Catholic School we actively promote values, virtues and ethics that shape our pupils’ character and moral perspective, through the teachings of the Church. We are confident that our continued focus on the Gospel Values will give our pupils the necessary awareness of what it means to be a good citizen in Britain today, and embed in them the building blocks of a future success and a productive life. Through our RE, PSHE, SEAL, Geography and promoting the common good we are able to make real links between the values of our pupils and the lives of others in their community, country and the world in general. Through our Creative Curriculum we teach about democracy, civic responsibility, rules and laws, the monarchy, equality, values and virtues, environmental awareness and understanding of other faiths.
”Be the living expression of God’s kindness: kindness in your face, kindness in your eyes, kindness in your smile.” (Mother Teresa)
In Reception class, Year 1 and Year 2:
-Children vote to select class representatives for their school council.
-Children vote to select Head Boy and Head Girl.
-Children are ‘Mini-Mediator’s’ and learn alongside the older children who are their ‘Peer Mediator’ role models.
-Children lead assemblies supported by the class teacher focusing on a British/Gospel value of the month.
-Children learn to make positive choices that have impact upon eachother’s feelings. They learn to distinguish right from wrong and learn about how to look after self, their friends and their world.
– Children commemorate Remembrance Day understanding the symbol of the poppy. They learn about the importance of reconciliation.
-Children use opportunities to discuss British values as significant occasions or events arise e.g The Queen’s Jubilee.
-Children learn about different faiths, religions and cultures: Chinese New Year and Diwali.
-Children debate and make decisions about their school through their school council.
-Children in Year 2 study Florence Nightingale and her impact on modern nursing.
– Children receive a visit from the school community’s police officer for a question and answer session.
-Children plan and are involved in Community Care action groups held every Friday afternoon.
-Children commemorate Remembrance Day understanding the importance of reconciliation and the lessons to be learned from history (linked to work on Anne Frank).
-Children visit the local Mosque
-Children use opportunities to discuss and celebrate British values as significant occasions or events arise e.g Queen’s Jubilee, The Royal Wedding, a general election etc.
-Children democratically select class representatives for their school council.
-Children debate and make decisions about their school through their school council.
-Children create and lead their own assemblies on British Value of the month to link with Gospel Value of the month.
– Children study Martin Luther King and the American civil rights movement.
– Children study democracy in Britain at a national level to include an interview with their MP (if available).
-Through many topics in our creative curriculum, pupils develop a set of rules for their community. – Children study the justice system in Britain and the role of a jury.
-Children study the life of Anne Frank and the lessons we can learn from history.
“Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted” Value: Dignity and Compassion
“Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven” Value: Faithfulness and Integrity
“Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth” Value: Humility and Gentleness
“Blessed are the merciful, for they shall obtain mercy” Value: Forgiveness and Mercy
“Blessed are the pure in heart, for they will see God” Value: Purity and Holiness
“Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called children of God” Value: Tolerance and Peace
“Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness’ sake, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Blessed are you when they insult you and persecute you and utter every kind of slander against you because of me. Be glad and rejoice for your reward is great in heaven” Value: Service and Sacrifice