Since September 2014 schools must actively promote what the Government defines as ‘fundamental British values of democracy, the rule of law, individual liberty and mutual respect and tolerance of those with different faiths and beliefs.’
At St. Vincent’s Roman Catholic Primary School we are dedicated to promoting values which ensure our pupils develop a strong sense of social and moral responsibility which will prepare them for modern life. By our words and actions we live out the ‘British’ values listed by the government. However, we do much more than that, seeking to base all that we do on the teachings of Jesus Christ, as summarised in our school mission statement, ‘Together through Christ we grow and learn’.
“Demos” is the Greek word for “people”. “Crat” is the Greek word for “power” so democracy is “people power”.
The school values the pupils’ voice and we have a School Council with representatives from every year group. At the start of each year, pupils stand for election and write a manifesto, then vote for their class representatives through an election process. The representatives hold their term for year during which time they meet regularly to share their ideas about the school and work to bring about improvements. They visit the Houses of Parliament and local councillors are invited to the school to lead assemblies. Pupil also share their opinions through annual pupil questionnaires.
Other pupil groups include the Chaplaincy Team, Green Team and Rights Respecting Sports Ambassadors, ensuring a range of opportunities for taking on additional school responsibilities and making a positive difference to the school. Children know their views are valued and that they are listened to.
Within the curriculum children have the opportunity to debate ideas and to explore these ideas further for example in the Year 5 the topic of Invaders and Settlers.
The Rule of Law
Everyone has to obey the law. Anyone who breaks the law will be held to account fairly. The rich and powerful do not get special treatment.
The school follows a Rainbow Behaviour system. Pupils understand the Behaviour Policy and are clear about the expectations. They understand that there are school rules and consequences if these rules are not followed. We are a Rights Respecting School and at the start of each year, classes and agree a charter to abide by.
During lessons and assemblies pupils learn about the importance of having rules and how these relate to laws. The local police are regular visitors to the school and support our pupils in learning about their responsibility to be law abiding citizens.
Within the curriculum children learn about the development of rules for examples the 10 commandments.
The right of people to decide how they choose to live their lives, as long as this does not have a negative impact on the lives of others.
Alongside rules and laws, we promote freedom of choice and the right to respectfully express views and beliefs. Through the provision of a safe, supportive environment and empowering education, we provide boundaries for our pupil’s, to make choices safely; for example choices around the participation in extra-curricular activities.
Our behaviour policy encourages pupils to take responsibility for their own actions and choices and to know that these have consequences. When they have made a wrong choice, pupils are encouraged to reflect on their choices and to think about the impact of their choices. This is emphasised in assemblies and children are taught to be kind and to follow the teaching of Christ. Online Safety is embedded into the curriculum and regularly revisited in assemblies. Pupils are taught how to keep themselves safe whilst they exercise their rights and personal freedoms. Safeguarding is embedded in every aspect of life at the school. Every classroom includes a Worry Box and the lunchtime Hub provides respite from the playground. Children can choose to attend and spend quieter time inside –this can support pupil wellbeing for a variety of reasons.
Mutual Respect and Tolerance of those with different faiths and beliefs
People listening to and valuing the views of each other.
Respecting people’s right to freely practice any religion they choose or to live without any religion at all.
Our ethos at St. Vincent’s Catholic Primary School is based on following Jesus’ example by being friendly, kind and loving to your neighbour. We welcome new arrivals to our school and celebrate that we are all different.
Adults model good manners and we teach our pupils to show respect and good manners.
Following in the footsteps of St. Vincent De Paul, we try to support those less fortunate than ourselves, with regular fundraising for charity such as the Catholic Children’s Society and helping others, for example singing for the elderly at a residential home, and respecting our elders.
We support Anti-Bullying Week and ensure children understand that these principles should be followed all year round. All staff model a tolerant and accepting attitude. We use assemblies to raise and discuss issues of bullying and prejudice and reinforce learning during curriculum time.
At St. Vincent’s Catholic Primary School, we will actively challenge pupils, parents or staff who express opinions contrary to fundamental British Values, including extremist views.
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 welcome visitors to the school to lead assemblies and workshops for example Judaism In Schools and we visit places of worship such as the Hindu Temple. In assemblies we explore how Jesus encouraged tolerance for example in stories such as The Good Samaritan .
We celebrate different cultures further during our annual World Week and International Evening. We also have links with schools in other countries such as Germany and Nepal, as well as links with local schools e.g. playing friendly sports matches.