Promoting Fundamental British Values.
In accordance with The Department for Education we aim to actively promote British values in schools to ensure young people leave school prepared for life in modern Britain.
Pupils are encouraged to regard people of all faiths, races and cultures with respect and tolerance and understand that while different people may hold different views about what is ‘right’ and ‘wrong’, all people living in England are subject to its law.
The Key Values are:
• rule of law
• individual liberty
• mutual respect
• tolerance of those of different faiths and beliefs
At St Robert Southwell we actively promote Christian values, virtues and ethics that shape our children’s character and moral perspective based on the Gospel values and teachings of the Catholic Church. We are confident that this gives our children the awareness of what it means to be a good citizen in Britain today and embeds in them the skills to be an active citizen in the future.
At St Robert's we are committed to serving our community, our local area and beyond by promoting ‘The Common Good’. We are able to make real links between the values of our pupils and the lives of others and in doing so we reinforce British values regularly and in the following ways:
We actively promote and model democracy by making democratic values an explicit part of our school ethos. Adults listen to the views of children and value their opinions. In all classes the children have votes in order to make decisions ranging from which book to read to which resources might be used for specific activities. Elections for School Councillors and other key roles teach children about democratic processes including the importance of voting and respecting the result of the majority. Children have further opportunity to have their voices heard through our School Councils, class decisions or votes and various pupil questionnaires. Children also learn that they can help resolve problems peacefully e.g. playground squabbles and other issues through class circle time and class, key stage and whole school assemblies. We teach the importance of listening to and respecting all voices – including high profile significant figures as well as those in the minority.
Rule of Law
We actively promote and model the rule of law by constantly reinforcing the importance of rules and law in the classroom and playground and through school assemblies and circle time. Children are taught to understand the difference between right and wrong and that we should follow Christ’s example by following God’s rules which are the basis for our behaviour policy and expectations. Children are taught about the need for rules and laws and that they are there for personal protection, the responsibilities that this involves and the consequences when rules are broken both for themselves and others; we aim to ensure that children learn how to take responsibility for their own choices, actions and behaviour and understand how these can impact on others both positively and negatively. Our behaviour policy sets out our expectations clearly and encourages children to respect and obey the rules through a positive approach. Our history curriculum covers the basis of democracy through the study of ancient societies. When appropriate links are made within the school’s topics and visits and visitors are arranged to support this area of learning.
Within school and on School outings, our children are actively encouraged to make choices, knowing that they are in a safe and supportive environment. It is a key element of being a positive and confident learner that we welcome challenges and take risks in meeting them and that we can learn, think and act as individuals. This sense of independence begins in Early Years with child initiated learning and is developed throughout the school’s curriculum, SMSC and EPR. Children are encouraged to understand their rights and personal freedoms and are taught how to use these rights to best effect, for example E-safety teaching enables the children to make choices in a safe manner. The children also know that these liberties carry responsibilities and in our work on World War 1 we highlighted the fact that these values that we take for granted come at a price and must be protected. We also teach children consideration of others through the RE and PSHE curriculum in particular and help them to challenge stereotypes, and focus on for example, anti-bullying, reinforces this message.
Our school ethos and behaviour policy revolve around the Gospel Values which demand each of us to show love and respect to others. We live this throughout our school day and it is taught specifically through circle in and RE. In working in different pupil groups with changing learning partners and groups children are encouraged and learn how to be tolerant. This is particularly important in preparing children for the School Residential Visits in Years 4 and 6 when they are living and working alongside their peers as well as other groups of pupils and the public. The same goes in sport, especially when we are taking part in competitive sport both in school and in external competitions and leagues. In our daily interactions with each other and with those we meet we teach and expect respect regardless of our traditions. Children are always keen to support local charities whether local, national or global and this is often done through their own suggestions and initiatives, some particularly pertinent to the school community – e.g. Horsham Churches Night Shelter.
Tolerance of those of Different Faiths and Beliefs
We are a Catholic School and are very proud of this shared belief but acknowledge that this comes with responsibility. Our faith is central to all that we do but it is a living faith, a faith that lives in our world. Our school community is diverse and we cherish that. We help our children understand that we live in a richly diverse society and do what we can to bring that diversity into the school. Worship and discussions around and about prejudices and prejudice-based bullying have been followed and supported by learning in RE and PSHE. Members of different faiths or religions are encouraged to share their knowledge to enhance learning within classes and the school. As part of our RE learning we look at different world faiths and have planned visits to other places of worship and welcome visitors from other faiths. Our work with the wider community has no barriers – we raise and donate money to charity each year and help a wide and varied set of causes, sometimes selected by our School Council. We always look to treat others as we would like to be treated.