The DfE have 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 have been reiterated by the Prime Minister this year.
- The rule of law
- Individual liberty
- Mutual respect and tolerance of those with different faiths and beliefs
At St James, these values are reinforced regularly and in the following ways:
Democracy is an integral part of our school. Pupils have the opportunity to have their voices heard through our Pupil Council and Pupil questionnaires. The elections of councillors and Junior Health & Safety representatives are based solely on the democratic process, with children writing personal profiles, giving speeches and elections then occurring. During election years, children in Y6 carry out a ‘mock election’, with prospective candidates writing manifestos, campaigning and KS2 voting for their chosen candidate. Our school behaviour policy involves rewards which the pupils vote on as a class. The majority of policies are debated widely and incorporate pupil voice as children, parents, governors and staff work together to put policy into practice.
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 lessons, as well as when discussing behaviour and through whole 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 the Fire Service; are regular parts of our calendar and help reinforce this message. Pupils are involved in deciding class rules and play an active role in the formulation e.g positive behaviour policy and SMSC outcomes. The school actively promotes the UN Charter of the Child.
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 safety, through of provision of a safe environment and empowering education. Pupils are encouraged to know, understand and exercise their rights and personal freedoms and advise how to exercise these safely, for example through our E-Safety and PSHE lessons. Whether it be through choice of challenge, of how they record, of participation in our numerous extra-curricular clubs and opportunities, pupils are given the freedom to make choices and to respect the decisions and choices of others. Upper Key Stage 2 pupils also undertake Sex Education lessons – discussing issues such as puberty, emotional and hormonal changes and keeping ourselves clean.
Our whole school ethos is firmly rooted in respectful relationships – child to child, adult to child, child to adult and adult to adult. We vigorously challenge those, including parents/carers and members of the wider community, who fail to demonstrate respect. We undertake regular assemblies and discussions relating to what this means and how it is shown. Posters around the school promote respect and positive behaviour for others and this is reiterated through our classroom and learning rules, as well as our behaviour policy. Pupils will challenge each other when not showing respect and encourage each other to be respectful. They will work particularly hard to support new members of the school to understand and follow our expectation.
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. Assemblies and discussions involving prejudices and prejudice-based bullying have been followed and supported by learning in RE and PSHE. Children and family members of different faiths or religions are encouraged to share their knowledge to enhance learning within classes and the school. This has also included family members coming in to talk to children. Through our RE curriculum, which teachers the main faiths and focuses upon learning about religion and learning from religion, we promote tolerance of the beliefs of others. The Chair of Governors is also the local Vicar and holds monthly whole-school assemblies.
The curriculum is regularly reviewed to ensure that it promotes the areas above. It also ensures that pupils are taught about key events and figures in history. Events during the year celebrate culturally diverse occasions and memorable events taking place in the country.
At St James Primary School we will actively challenge children, staff or parents who express opinions that are contrary to fundamental British values including extremists views.
The school curriculum has been based on the National Curriculum directives. The core subjects of English, Maths, Science and ICT will follow the programmes of study laid down by the Government. As we also include the foundation subjects Art, PE, Music, History, Geography, PSHE and Design Technology, the curriculum will be broadly based. In RE, we cover the areas set out in the local Agreed Syllabus. Children have access to computers from their earliest days in Reception. We have policies for all areas of the curriculum which can be viewed in the school office.
There is a developmental plan for the whole school that is constantly updated as objectives are achieved.
Children are all individuals and learn at different rates, therefore teachers plan their teaching and organise the learning environment to ensure that all children are working at the right level. During the day children may be found working by themselves, in small groups or larger groups or as a class.
Parents are often asked to support the school in special programmes of work for their child. This often proves to be successful in helping a child overcome a specific difficulty. Parents who show a keen interest in their child’s work show their children that school and learning is important.
The reading scheme currently used at St James to support our pupils is Read, Write Inc.
If you would like any more information relating to our curriculum, please ask your child’s teacher or Mr Nicholls. If you would like to know what topics we cover on a termly basis please click HERE