The DfE has produced guidance which outlines that “All have a duty to ‘actively 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.
These values were first set out by the government in the ‘Prevent’ strategy in 2011.”
Our intent at St John’s is to promote the spiritual, moral, social and cultural (SMSC) development of our children and to ensure that, when they leave school, they are well-prepared for life in modern Britain.
At St John’s, these values are firmly embedded in the ethos of the school. Our St John’s Ways align with British values as follows:
- LOVE : as we are gentle and loving to one another and have a love of learning;
- HOPE: as we challenge ourselves to be the best we can be;
- TRUST: as we trust in God and become trustworthy global citizens;
The Jigsaw curriculum, which is used to teach PSHE throughout the school, cross-references the content of lessons with British values. In this way teachers are able to plan their teaching to reinforce messages being promoted in the whole school, for example, the Jigsaw module on ‘Celebrating Difference’ is taught to coincide with Anti-Bullying Week.
In addition, the school actively promotes individual British values, in the following ways:
Democracy - government by the people especially : rule of the majority
Children have many opportunities for their voices to be heard. Each class elects representatives to the School Council and one to children’s Spirituality Group each year. The Councils meet regularly and representatives will voice suggestions and concerns from their classmates. The Councils are genuinely able to effect change within the school. Our Spirituality Group feedback has led collective worship being ‘interactive’ more frequently, as well as increased use of images and videos to support pupil understanding. They evaluate worships and help to structure future worships.
Our School Council makes many decisions about school life, including which charitable acts to engage in (such as the MacMillan, Sports Relief, Children in Need and NSPCC), and which charities we prioritise for support (such as JDRF and the Warminster Food Bank).
House Captains and Vice-captains are also directly voted for by the children. As well as Head boy and Head girl, once they have given a speech outlining why they would make good candidates to represent the school.
There is an annual Pupil Survey, which provides another opportunity for children to voice their opinions. The Senior Leadership Team and Governing Body take into account the results of these surveys, when reviewing progress against the School Development Plan. In our most recent survey 99.4% of pupils reported that they enjoy school, whilst we also learned about the impact of our verbal feedback given to children during lessons:
“Regular on the spot live feedback helps me to progress in my learning immediately. I am also more reflective... I would not have made progress at all if it weren't for me checking and my teacher giving me feedback.”
The Rule of Law - the restriction of the arbitrary exercise of power by subordinating it to well-defined and established laws.
The importance of laws, whether they be the school rules or the laws of the land, is consistently reinforced throughout the school. Pupils are taught that while laws govern us, they also keep us safe and about the consequences when laws are broken. Children learn the school rules from Reception onwards and are encouraged to reflect on their behaviour, with reference to those rules.
When resolving conflicts, children are asked to reflect on which of the school rules or values they have not followed and how the situation might be different if they had. Individual assemblies and visits from legal experts help to reinforce the importance of the Rule of Law.
Our children are actively encouraged to make choices for themselves and the school provides a safe environment for them to learn and understand that their behaviour and the choices they make have consequences.
The concept of making good and poor choices is reinforced from an early age through the school rules and the Behaviour and Anti-Bullying Policy. Cause and effect maps are used, when poor choices are made, so that children understand the effects of their behaviour on others. Conversely, good choices are praised and reinforced. Children are also taught how to make safe choices in PSHE and E-safety lessons.
Mutual Respect and Tolerance for those with different Faiths and Beliefs
Children, staff, governors and volunteers treat each other with respect and this is underpinned by the school values and Ways, as well as the Behaviour and Anti Bullying Policy.
Members of the school community are encouraged to reflect regularly on the impact of their behaviour and its consequences.
RE lessons provide children with a secure grounding in the major world religions and following feedback from parents/carers and the CofE guidance, we are now in the process of building in other worldviews.
The school has strong links with St John’s church: members of the clergy lead collective worship each week and the children regularly attend services at the churches. In addition, visits are arranged to other religions’ places of worship.
At St John’s we act as courageous advocates and learn to challenge and support anyone expressing opinions contrary to fundamental British Values or and/or those of the school.