The Department for Education state there is a 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.”
At St Joseph’s we are committed to these values and regularly reinforce them in the following ways:
Democracy is embedded at the school. Pupils are always 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. Pupils also have the opportunity to air their opinions and ideas through our School Council and regular questionnaires. The elections of the School Council, House captains and Head boy and girl are based solely on pupil votes, reflecting our British electoral system and demonstrating democracy in action.
The Rule of Law
The importance of laws whether they are those that govern the class, the school or the country, are consistently reinforced. Our school has rules, which are embedded in our work every day. Each class also discusses and sets its own rules that are clearly understood by all and seen to be necessary to ensure that every class member is able to learn in a safe and ordered environment. Our pupils are taught the value and reasons behind laws. They understand that they govern and protect us, the responsibilities that this involves and the consequences when laws or rules are broken. Visits from authorities such as the Police and Fire Service help reinforce this message.
Within school, pupils are actively encouraged to make choices, knowing that they are in a safe and supportive environment. As a school we educate and provide boundaries for our pupils to make choices safely, through the provision of a safe environment and an empowering education. Our pupils are encouraged to know, understand and exercise their rights and personal freedoms and are advised how to exercise these safely; examples of this can be clearly seen in our e-safety and P.S.H.E. lessons. Whether it is through choice of challenge; of how they record; of participation in our numerous extra- curricular activities; our pupils are given the freedom to make choices.
Respect is one of the core values of our school. The pupils know and understand that it is expected and imperative that respect is shown to everyone, whatever differences we may have. The core value of Respect at St Joseph’s underpins our work every day both in and out of the classroom. Our school is committed to developing respect for other cultures. We believe that this respect is fostered through our international curriculum. As well as developing intercultural understanding through the vehicle of RE, our broad curriculum incorporates a range of cross-curricular opportunities to learn about, and thereby develop greater tolerance of, and respect for, other cultures.
Tolerance of Those With Different Faiths And Beliefs
Our mission statement of ‘We value all in the name of Jesus the Christ’ ensures tolerance of those who have different faiths and beliefs. St Joseph’s enhances pupils’ understanding of different faiths and beliefs through religious education, P.S.H.E. work and visits to other places of worship to deepen understanding of different celebrations and beliefs. Each term we focus on a different religion for a week in our RE including Islam, Hinduism, Buddhism, Sikhism and Judaism. During regular termly International Days the whole school focuses on a different country, exploring its culture and traditions. These are studied in depth, with visitors being invited in to our school to enrich and extend understanding.