British Values

British Values

St. Francis approaches the promotion of fundamental British values in line with the Government’s PREVENT theme of the anti-terrorist strategy CONTEST. These British Values are: democracy; individual liberty; the rule of law; mutual respect and tolerance of those with different faiths and belief. Each is defined below and placed in a school context through the usage of examples. It is, without question, everyone’s duty to ensure they do not undermine these fundamental British values.

Democracy

Democracy can be seen as a state of society characterised by equality of rights and privileges. It can also refer to our nation’s electoral systems.

 

Children, parents and staff have many opportunities for their voices to be heard. Democracy is central to how we operate. 

 

An obvious example is our School Council. The election of the School Council members reflects our British electoral system and demonstrates democracy in action. Candidates make speeches, pupils consider characteristics important for an elected representative, pupils vote in secret using ballot boxes. The School Council is made up of two representatives from each class and meets regularly to discuss issues raised by the different classes. The council is able to genuinely effect change within the school. In the past, the School Council has helped plan the paintings on the school playground.

 

Other examples of ‘pupil voice’ are:

  • Children agree their Class Rules, collectively, at the beginning of each year;
  • Children in Year 6 hold elections for positions of responsibility, e.g. Head Boy and Head Girl;
  • Pupil perception surveys in each subject area allow children to reflect on the teaching and learning;
  • Children in each class select a charity to donate the proceeds of their Business Enterprise projects to;
  • Pupils are elected as core subject ambassadors to work alongside English and Mathematics Subject Leaders in monitoring the effectiveness of each subject by gathering the views of other pupils;
  • The R.E. Pupil Leadership Team take responsibility for leading liturgies and acts of worship.

Pupils are always listened to by adults and are taught to listen carefully and with concern to each other, respecting the right of every individual to have their opinions and voices heard. We encourage pupils to take ownership of not only their school but also of their own learning and progress. This encourages a heightened sense of both personal and social responsibility and is demonstrated on a daily basis by our pupils.

Individual Liberty

Individual liberty suggests the free exercise of rights generally seen as outside Government control.

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 young pupils to make choices safely; for example:

  • The profusion of extra-curricular activities and clubs;
  • Pupils are supported to develop their self-knowledge, self-esteem and self-confidence;
  • Pupils are encouraged to take responsibility for their behaviour;
  • Challenge stereotypes;
  • The Implementation of a strong anti-bullying culture;
  • The aims and ethos statement are embodied in all that we do;
  • Children have key roles and responsibilities in school, such as children in Key Stage 2 who take on the roles of Sports Captain, Librarian Prefects and Liturgy Prefects, as well as subject ambassadors.

Our pupils are encouraged to know, understand and exercise their rights and personal freedoms and are taught how to exercise these safely, for example, in our e-safety lessons.

Rule of Law

All people and institutions are subject to and accountable to law that is fairly applied and enforced.

The importance of rules and laws, whether they be those that govern our school or our country, are referred to and reinforced often, such as in assemblies and when reflecting on behaviour choices. At the start of the school year, each class discusses and sets its own Class Rules, a set of principles that are clearly understood by all and seen to be necessary to ensure that every class member is able to learn in a safe and ordered environment. Pupils are taught the value and reasons behind laws, that they govern and protect us, alongside the responsibilities that this involves, and the consequences when laws are broken. These values are reinforced in different ways:

  • Visits from authorities such as the police and fire service;
  • During Religious Education, when rules for particular faiths are thought about;
  • During other school subjects, where there is respect and appreciation for different rules, for example, in Sports lessons;
  • We help pupils to understand that living under the rule of law protects individuals;
  • We have a clearly structured behaviour policy, which all stakeholders understand and follow.
  • Restorative justice approaches used to resolve conflicts
  • Assemblies are delivered with a focus on the law e.g. Safety Awareness and E-safety Awareness.

Mutual Respect and Tolerance of those with Different Faith and Beliefs

The proper regard for an individual’s dignity, which is reciprocated. 

A fair, objective, and permissive attitude to those whose faith and beliefs may differ from one’s own.

 

Mutual respect is at the heart of our aims and ethos – To develop understanding of and respect for a wide range of religious values, languages and cultural traditions and different ways of life – we respect everyone and everything.

 

Our pupils know and understand that it is expected and imperative that respect is shown to everyone, whatever differences we may have, and to everything. All members of the school community should treat each other with respect.

 

Examples include:

  • Our PSHE curriculum embodies values of mutual respect through units of learning such as relationships and being a responsible citizen;
  • Respect is embedded within our whole school Golden Code of Conduct;
  • Our RE curriculum provides a broad and balanced education on a range of faiths, religions and cultures;
  • At St. Francis there is a strong focus on the Gospel values;
  • The promotion of respect for individual differences is;
  • Help pupils to acquire an understanding of, and respect for, their own and other cultures and ways of life;
  • Challenge prejudicial or discriminatory behaviour;
  • Visits to places of worship are an integral part of our Religious Education Programme;
  • Strong links have been developed with faith communities in our locality and further afield, through a variety of International School Projects;
  • Through our curriculum, children have many opportunities to develop critical personal thinking skills at an age appropriate level.