British Values at St. Wulstan's
The Department for Education has 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."
As a Catholic school, St. Wulstan’s actively promotes Gospel values, and believes that these and British values are mutually supportive.
We reinforce British Values regularly and in the following ways:
Links to UN CRC Article 12: Children have the right to say what they think should happen, when adults are making decisions that affect them, and to have their opinions taken into account.
All adults listen to the views of the children and value their opinions. The school is clear in demonstrating how children should contribute and co-operate and consider the views and needs of others. The School Council, whose members are elected by their peers following an election build up, meets regularly and takes part in decision making on a range of topics. We encourage volunteerism in and out of school. This includes things like playground pals, the GIFT team, prefects, Reading Ambassadors, luncheon club helpers, and also raising money for local and national charities.
The children have further opportunities to have their voices heard through our Pupil Voice interviews and surveys. Our Junior Leadership team also contribute to the school improvement plan, reflecting the views of the children and meet monthly with the Head. Our Parent Voice forum and parental questionnaires allow our community to have a say. Where it fits, lessons are taught where the children’s views are taken into account. Restorative justice is used to sort out any problems between children. Children discuss a suitable solution that fits all parties.
The Rule of Law
Links to UN CRC Article 19: Governments should ensure that children are properly cared for, and protect them from violence, abuse and neglect by their parents, or anyone else who looks after them.
At St. Wulstan’s we have a positive behaviour for learning policy. Staff consistently reinforce high expectations of pupils and the children are reminded of the importance of rules in the classroom, as well as in school assemblies. There are rewards for exhibiting good and caring behaviour and consistent demonstration of our school virtues is recognised through such things as ‘Star of the Week’ award and special mentions. Weekly awards are also given to children displaying our school values and virtues. They clearly understand the rewards and sanctions that are used. Pupils are taught to understand the need for laws - that they are there for individual protection, the responsibilities that this involves and the consequences when laws are broken. Visits from authorities such as the police community support officer help reinforce this message.
Assemblies and discussions in class focus on recognising right from wrong. Through our school assemblies, PSHE and theme days children are taught how to earn trust and respect and are supported to develop a strong sense of morality; knowing right from wrong and doing the right thing even when it’s difficult Assemblies are delivered with a focus on the law e.g. Safety Awareness and E-Safety awareness. In PE lessons, children are taught to accept the decisions of the referees, learn about fair play, the laws of the games and understanding the spirit of the games and how they are played. We have rules governing computer usage and website rules.
Links to UN CRC Article 31: All children have a right to relax and play, and to join in a wide range of activities.
Links to UN CRC Article 15: Children have the right to meet together and to join groups and organisations, as long as this does not stop other people from enjoying their rights.
The children are encouraged to be independent learners, constantly making choices, within a safe and supportive environment. They are encouraged to express their views, and teaching and learning incorporates their preferences and interests They are helped to understand their personal freedoms and are taught how to use these rights to best effect. They are provided with opportunities to learn about what makes a good choice, while E-Safety teaching enables them to make choices in a safe manner. Whether it be through choice of challenge, of how they record, of participation in extracurricular clubs and opportunities, pupils are given the freedom to make choices. Our curriculum covers lessons in which it is discussed how important people sacrificed themselves to ensure we get the freedom we have today. We look at other cultures and compare our own cultures and discuss ways in which we can help so that they can have the same individual liberties we have. Lessons explore children’s opinions and their opinions are taken into account. Children can express themselves in art, singing and drama.
Our Reconciliation programme develops the children’s ability to take responsibility for the choices they make. Children make their weekly Golden Time choices and take part in an annual anti-Bullying focus week/ assemblies and workshops. Our residential trips promote pupils to make choices in a safe environment.
Links to UN CRC Article 2: The Convention applies to everyone whatever their race, religion, abilities, whatever they think or say and whatever type of family they come from.
Links to UN CRC Article 30: Children have a right to learn and use the language and customs of their families, whether these are shared by the majority of people in the country or not.
At the heart of our Gospel teachings is Jesus’ commandment:
‘To love one another as I have loved you’.
All pupils are taught the importance of self-respect, honest and open communication with others and fair play. Pupils work collaboratively and value others’ opinions.
At St. Wulstan’s, our Christian values of respect and tolerance permeate all areas of school life. Our school ethos encourages everyone to consider and support each other and to celebrate the worth and individuality of every member of the school community. This engenders a climate within which the children feel safe and secure and facilitates the fulfilment of potential. All staff demonstrate respect to everyone with whom they come into contact. They consistently model and promote the behaviours and attitudes that are the foundation of positive relationships.
Assemblies and class work promote the diversity of society and the right for each person to be respected and valued equally regardless of ability, gender, faith, heritage or race. Our school and playtime rules reiterate our mutual respect for others. Use of talk partners, working in pairs and groups, sharing resources, team work, respecting the opposition in PE as well as learning to be good winners and good losers ensure that mutual respect is evident at all levels of our daily work.
Tolerance of those of Different Faiths and Beliefs
Links to UN CRC Article 14: Children have the right to think and believe what they want, and to practise their religion, as long as they are not stopping other people from enjoying their rights. Parents should guide their children on these matters.
The school’s curriculum aims to develop understanding of the world and the children are reminded of their place in a culturally diverse society. The RE and PSHCE schemes of work provide opportunities for pupils to develop tolerance of and empathy towards those from different faiths and beliefs. Assemblies and discussions involving prejudices and prejudice-based bullying are followed and supported by learning in RE and PSHE. We use whole school knowledge assemblies as a chance to introduce the children to a range of different celebrations and religious festivals e.g. Chinese New Year, Christmas, Easter, Diwali, Eid etc. At St. Wulstan's we take part in annual Poppy Day commemorations where children have made or can purchase poppies and a minute’s silence is held in special assemblies for the school. On a more general level, the school undertakes daily collective worship/circle times which uphold traditional values of empathy, respect and tolerance. These are also taught within formal PSHE and RE lessons and on an informal nature throughout the school days.
Actively promoting these values, which are also integral to many other countries throughout the world, means challenging pupils, staff or parents/carers who express opinions contrary to fundamental British values, including ‘extremist’ views.
School has the duty to have due regard to the need to prevent people from being drawn into terrorism. Being drawn into terrorism includes not just violent extremism but also non-violent extremism, which can create an atmosphere conducive to terrorism and can popularise views which terrorists exploit. Schools must be safe spaces in which children and young people can understand and discuss sensitive topics, including terrorism and the extremist ideas that are part of terrorist ideology, and learn how to challenge these ideas.
We, as a school, need to be mindful of our existing duties to forbid political indoctrination and secure a balanced presentation of political issues. These duties are imposed on maintained schools by sections 406 and 407 of the Education Act 1996.
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