Statement of intent
Through our daily school life at Mary’s Church of England Primary School we encourage our children to build respectful friendships and demonstrate compassion towards others. Through this we build a strong community spirit, as together we are a family. Our teaching and learning provides the children with the wisdom and endurance they need to expand their minds socially, morally and academically so allowing them to achieve and flourish and fulfil ‘Life in all its fullness.’ (John 10:10). We encourage our children to demonstrate and develop a dignity in their work and themselves which enables them to hope to aspire to be the best they can possibly be.
Our government believes that, ‘British society is founded on fundamental values and principles, which all those living in the UK should respect and support. These values are reflected in the responsibilities, rights and privileges of being a British citizen or permanent resident of the UK. They are based on history and traditions and are protected by law, customs and expectations. There is no place in British society for extremism or intolerance.’
The values we support are not unique to Britain and are shared by many people in the world represented by the diverse families at St. Mary’s CE primary School community.
We support the values of democracy, rules of law, individual liberty, mutual respect and tolerance of different faiths and beliefs and these are embedded within our curriculum and celebrated through our collective worship and UNICEF’s Rights Respecting School’s program so allowing the children to flourish, aspire and achieve. These values are found in our own school values identified by the children, staff, governors and parents as, community, friendship, compassion, wisdom, endurance and hope.
We plan Collective worship and our curriculum, particularly in PSHE, P4C and RE, to teach the children about our values, respecting similarities and differences, tackling stereotypes and understanding why some people discriminate in order to develop our Christian values of compassion, friendship and wisdom.
We aim to empower children to have a voice and to stand up against discrimination, valuing equality, tolerance and mutual respect. The topics and lessons in the school’s curriculum are designed carefully and planned by teachers to provide a rich learning experience that will have a positive impact on pupils’ spiritual, moral, social and cultural development and provide them with the Church of England’s belief of ‘Life in all its fullness (John 10:10). Whilst focusing on all children developing good skills in English and Maths and all other subjects, we ensure they experience extra-curricular clubs such as music, a variety of sports, the arts, Ict and outdoor learning to develop our community’s aspirations and achievements.
Visits are planned linking with the class topic to provide children with further understanding of the world they live in. We also link with other schools to take part in singing and sporting events. Competitions provide the opportunity for children to meet other children from different schools whilst experiencing the process of decision making, showing endurance and understanding rules and fairness.
As well as promoting British values we would actively challenge pupils, staff or parents expressing opinions contrary to fundamental British values, including ‘extremist’ views and principles.
Being part of Britain
As a school, we value and celebrate the diverse heritages of everybody at St. Mary’s CE primary school. Alongside this, we value and celebrate being part of Britain. In general terms, this means that we celebrate traditions and customs in the course of the year; for example, Patron Saints Days, Easter, Pentecost, Christmas and festivals of other faiths. We also value and commemorate national events such as Remembrance Day.
Further, children learn about being part of Britain from different perspectives. Two specific examples of when we teach about being part of Britain are:
Geographically: Our rivers topic ensure that children have a better understanding of what Britain is like, learning more about:
- its coasts, rivers and mountains
- where Britain is in relation to the rest of Europe and other countries in the world
Historically: Key moments in British history are studied in the topics such as “London through World War II, Roman Britain and Tudor London”.
British values at St. Mary’s CE Primary School
Democracy is embedded in the school. Pupils are 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. UNICEF’s Rights respecting Schools and our School Council programs provide a more formal platform for class representatives to raise issues such as how we can improve our education, nurture children, fundraise for our local and worldwide initiatives and improve our local community. Also, our Peer mediators help those children who are struggling in the playground, lunch room or classroom through discussion and offering advice on how to make the right choices. We believe that encouraging our children to take on responsibilities and to work together for the good of the school creates positive relationships and is a valuable preparation for future life in our democratic society.
Parents’ opinions are welcomed at St. Mary’s CE Primary School through methods such as questionnaires, feedback at parent’s consultations and regular liaison with the PSA.
The rule of law
In order to help our children understand how society cannot operate without a set of laws, we teach them how our school rules and classroom rules create an ordered, fair and safe place in which to learn. The class rules are agreed by the children and are display in classrooms. We help children to distinguish right from wrong and adopt a positive behaviour approach to resolve conflicts.
Our children have the opportunity to make individual choices and express opinions that develop their character and self-belief. However, they are encouraged to develop these qualities in the context of the rights and needs of other members of our school community. We model freedom of speech through pupil participation in class in the context of a safe, fair, supportive and ordered learning environment. We discuss and challenge stereotypes and implement a strong anti-bullying culture.
Through UNICEF’s Rights Respecting Schools program, a program which is centred around human rights, we look to promote liberty by looking at ways to improve our local and global community. It empowers are children to explore cases of injustice around the world and in our local community and provides them with dignity and respect when they have resolved an issue or helped fundraise to support a global injustice. These UNICEF rights of each child are at the heart of our school.
Mutual respect and tolerance of those with different faiths and beliefs
Respect is one of the core values of our school as can be seen in our strapline, Jesus said, “Love one another as I have loved you.” (John 15:12) Children are encouraged to respect themselves and to respect individual differences. This is a fundamental principle that is put into practice in the classroom, around school, in the playground and in collective worship. We are lucky to have a diverse school community encompassing different languages, backgrounds and faiths. We help our children to acquire an understanding of, and respect for their own and other cultures and ways of life. We celebrate the languages spoken by some children in the school and the festivals celebrated by some of our families, visit different places of worship and welcome visitors who can widen our children’s horizons even further. We believe that through our formal and “hidden curriculum” our children gain an enhanced understanding of their place in a culturally diverse society. Our aim to prepare children for the future, drives us towards ensuring that our pupils are able to live and work alongside people from all backgrounds and cultures. This will be particularly necessary in a future where due to technological advances will make the ‘world a smaller place.’
The school is aware of the need to be vigilant when it comes to extreme attitudes or behaviour of any kind and appropriate actions will be taken accordingly. All staff are aware of the need to alert the Senior Leadership Team and Governing Body if they have any concerns of this nature. Our overriding aim is to teach children to be resilient to such attitudes. This involves pupils being taught how to ask probing questions and make sound judgements for themselves about what is right and wrong.
Religious Education policy
Collective worship policy
Equality and inclusion policy
Wellbeing and mental health policy