In 2013 the Department for Education said,
Keeping our children safe and ensuring schools prepare them for life in modern Britain could not be more important. This change is an important step towards ensuring we have a strong legal basis for intervening in those schools where this is an issue.
Schools are required to actively promote “British Values”
The 5 British Values promoted by the government are:
- The Rule of Law
- Individual Liberty
- Mutual Respect
- Tolerance of those of different faiths and beliefs
As a Catholic School we actively promote values, virtues and ethics that shape our pupils' character and moral perspective, through the teachings of the Church.
We are confident that our continued focus on the Gospel Values will give our pupils the necessary awareness of what it means to be a good citizen in Britain today, and embed in them the building blocks of a future successful and productive life.
Through our RE, PSHE and the Cornerstones Curriculum we are able to make real links between the values of our pupils and the lives of others in their community, country and the world in general. Through our Creative Curriculum we teach about democracy, civic responsibility, rules and laws, the monarchy, equality, values and virtues, environmental awareness and understanding of other faiths.
Pupils at Our Lady of the Rosary are aware of the term ‘democracy’ and recognise that they have the ability to voice their opinions.
Communication is a key skill which permeates the curriculum; pupils are able to share their views, listen and support others or constructively challenge others in their views.
Pupils recognise democracy at work in our school when they have the opportunity to elect School Council, Green Council and Faith Council representatives. The school councils meet regularly to discuss issues of concern to pupils which have been raised in class discussions.
The School Council has had the opportunity to meet with local politicians and have planned and led assemblies to share their experiences with the whole school. On a national scale, pupils are aware that the Prime Minister is democratically elected every four years. Activities are planned to develop pupils’ knowledge and understanding when local, regional and nationally important events take place such as the general election. Children at Our Lady of the Rosary watch Newsround daily to keep abreast of current affairs and issues.
The Rule of Law
Pupils at Our Lady of the Rosary School are taught to recognise that there are laws in the UK which they are expected to follow and that there are consequences for breaking the law.
Pupils are given the opportunity to explore the benefits of living in a law-abiding society and debate what life would be like if there were no laws.
They recognise that laws both govern and protect us as citizens. Visits from authorities such as the police, fire service, etc. help to reinforce this message. Each class decides on rules that are appropriate for their class at the start of the school year. Rules are upheld by all staff and pupils and the School’s guidelines are followed by everyone. The ‘Politeness Pot’ and ‘Good to be Green’ systems teach children about working as a collective group for rewards and has also had a positive impact on behaviour and learning.
Pupils have been introduced to the term ‘individual liberty’ and understand it to mean having rights which they are able to exercise.
They value these rights and acknowledge that they also include the right to say ‘no’ to any activities or ideas that they object to or think are wrong. Pupils understand that they need to be good citizens and develop their independence as well as their skills of co-operation and mutual support of others. Throughout the year pupils are engaged in making charitable contributions to a range of causes, this allows them to recognise that they can make a positive contribution to society. The aims of the curriculum include teaching the children how to make informed choices.
Pupils are encouraged to know, understand and exercise their rights and personal freedoms and are advised how to exercise these safely, for example through the teaching of e-safety. The ethos of the school allied to our work in RE and PSHE/SMSC ensures that all pupils develop self-esteem and confidence; recognise right from wrong; recognise the laws of the land and uphold them within the community. Pupils’ opinions are valued and children have individual Pupil Voice books where they can express their thoughts freely.
Mutual Respect and Tolerance of those of Different Faiths and Beliefs
Our Catholic Faith underpins mutual respect and tolerance of others.
Pupils are taught about different faiths and cultures through the RE and Cornerstones Curriculums.
Links are made between different religions and cover themes such as beliefs, practices and tolerance/respect.
Assemblies are used to explore the many varied roles that people play within society and outside agencies are regularly invited in to talk to the children about what they do. Weekly assemblies are also used as teaching tools to discuss topics such as anti bullying, cyber safety and child protection.
Pupils are given insights into the importance of the Equalities Act and recognise that discrimination in any form is not acceptable. Our curriculum is designed to develop cultural appreciation, including many aspects of British heritage such as art and music, as well as taking into account the cultural heritage of our pupils’ families e.g. Black History Month. We provide a wide range of opportunities for our children to have experiences outside of the classroom and build these into the curriculum where appropriate.