British Values at St. Philip’s
The Department of Education 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 Government set out its definition of British values in the 2011 Prevent Strategy, and these values have been reiterated more recently by the Prime Minister.
St. Philip’s is a voluntary aided Church of England Primary School and we recognise the importance of teaching our pupils mutual respect for those of different or of no faith. Our Religious Education Programme follows the agreed diocesan syllabus.
At St. Philip’s, British values are reinforced on a day to day basis. This is where the school's ethos influences areas of personal development such as forming and maintaining relationships, self-esteem and patterns of behaviour and working together as one community.
We also offer regular activities and opportunities to our pupils which promote British Values in a more explicit and deliberate way.
At the beginning of the school year the children vote on who should represent their class within the school council. Unlike some schools, we allow pupils to stand for election again, this follows our own political system which allows the Prime Minister to serve for more than one term as long as he/ she is elected via the people. Once elected our School Council also go on an annual visit to the Houses of Parliament to learn about their role and how the democratic system for voting for a Prime Minister works.
The school council meets half termly at regular intervals to discuss issues in class, school as a wider community and issues on the playground. They take these back to their classes to gather opinion and bring back to the school council. All members of our teaching staff are involved within the School Council and visit throughout the year to ensure our community is all committed to working as one.
Members of the Governing Body of the school are elected following democratic principles.
As a school, we regularly survey parents and carers, pupils and staff inform the School's Self Evaluation and priorities for development each year.
Staff encourage children to see their role in the bigger picture, encouraging children to know their views count, value each other's views and values and talk about their feelings, for example when they do or do not need help. In EYFS this is demonstrated by children sharing views on what the theme of their role play area could be with a show of hands, they also put forward two members of the class that have done something kind throughout the week to take the class teddy home with them over the weekend. This is then put to a vote within the class.
Children are also given the opportunity to take ownership of their learning particularly within Theme lessons where they decide where they would like to take their topic and what they would like to learn about.
THE RULE OF LAW
The importance of laws whether they are those that govern the class, the school or the country are consistently reinforced throughout the school day, when dealing with behaviour and through school worship. As a school, all staff consistently uphold our behaviour policy and we are currently introducing Class Dojo which also emphasises the rule of law. Each class develops their own set of "rules" at the beginning of each academic year, thus enabling pupils to engage in how decisions and laws come about under a democratic system.
Pupils are taught the value and reason behind the laws that govern and protect us, the responsibility that this involves and the consequences when laws are broken. This is done through everyday teaching but also within specific subjects such as Computing, which has a big focus on E-safety, PSHE which discusses themes such as bullying, drugs, relationships and valuing differences and the laws regarding these topics.
Visits and visitors also take part in re-enforcing the rule of law such as Road Safety Officers, fire-fighters and local MPs.
At St. Philip’s pupils are actively encouraged to make choices, knowing that they are in a safe and supportive environment. Positive choices are rewarded in our Friday Celebration Worship. For academic choices children are usually rewarded through certificates and for personal and social choices children are awarded through our VIP table at lunch.
Pupils are encouraged to know, understand and exercise their rights and personal freedoms for example through PSHE and e-safety lessons.
Our Worship Council works alongside the clergy to plan our Worships, themes explored through this careful planning revolve around issues individual liberty. This was also quoted in our recent SIAMS inspection ‘There has been a real impact upon the children’s social, moral, spiritual and cultural development due to the inspirational and inclusive nature of worship and RE teaching in the life of the school’
Children develop a positive sense of themselves. Staff provide opportunities for children to develop their self-knowledge, self-esteem and increase their confidence in their own abilities, for example allowing children to take risks on an obstacle course, mixing colours, talking about their experiences and learning.
TOLERANCE OF THOSE OF DIFFERENT FAITHS AND BELIEFS
At St. Philip’s we will actively challenge pupils, parents or staff expressing opinions contrary to fundamental British values, including extremist views. Tolerating and indeed embracing individuals of differing faiths and beliefs (including those who follow no faith) enriches our school family by broadening our horizons and exploring our commonalities. In school, our Key stage 1 and 2 libraries contain a range of books that reflect the diverse voices present in our society as well as tales from other cultures; which the children can access at any time.
This is re-enforced by regular P4C lessons which are usually linked with the PSHE curriculum where everyone has a chance to express their views regarding a particular subject matter. In the EYFS children look at other cultures as part of the curriculum and study Diwali, they also study Chinese New Year and as the school is situated close to Manchester, visit Chinatown and experience the Chinese New Year celebrations.
We also regularly donate items for the Samaritan's Purse Shoebox appeal along with other local schools and have raised money for communities. Our school has close ties to Namibia and as a school we have raised money for a community within Namibia and members of the church community and some previous staff members have visited Namibia.
St. Philip’s is situated in an area which is not greatly culturally diverse, therefore we place a great emphasis on promoting diversity with the children. Worships, themed weeks or days are regularly planned to address this issue either directly or through the inclusion of stories and celebrations from a variety of faiths and cultures. Members of different faiths, religions or cultures are encouraged to share their knowledge to enhance learning within classes and the school. Children visit places of worship that are important to different faiths.Mutual respect is at the heart of all our aims and code of conduct. Children learn that their behaviours have an effect on their own right and the rights of others. All members of the school community are expected to treat each other with respect. Staff are expected to be good role models at all times. Respect regularly features as one of our Worship themes and throughout all lessons.