British Values Statement
In 2011 the government set out its definition of ‘British Values’ in the ‘Prevent Strategy’, which was introduced to actively promote the fundamental British Values of democracy, rule of law, individual liberty, mutual respect and tolerance of those of different faiths and beliefs.
“We are proud that Catholic schools promote values that are both Catholic and British, including: respect for the individual, democracy, individual liberty, respect, tolerance and inclusiveness. Our schools promote cohesion by serving more ethnically diverse and poorer communities. Catholic schools provide high standards of education which are popular with parents from all social, economic and faith backgrounds.” Paul Barber (Catholic Education Service 15th December 2014).
St. Joseph’s Catholic Primary School actively promotes British Values through our Christian ethos and Christian values that underpin our curriculum. We are confident that through our mission statement and the education we provide focuses on the development of the whole child; we deliver our children with an awareness of what makes a good British Citizen. We focus this explicitly through our school mission statement:
St. Joseph’s Catholic Primary School is…
- A calm, holy place where we pray, think and celebrate God’s world
- Where we share a true love of learning through our creative curriculum
- Where we celebrate the gifts and talents of every person as uniquely created in the image of God
- A supportive community where home, school and church work together
- Living, learning and laughing together in the light of God’s
Democracy at St. Joseph’s is an integral part of our school. Adults listen to children’s opinions and ideas and children know that their ideas are valued by adults who work with them. Pupils are able to volunteer themselves to be elected as a member of the School Council. This teaches pupils democratic processes including the importance of voting and respecting the result of the majority. Children also have opportunities to voice their opinions through School Council, class decisions and pupil voice questionnaires conducted by subject leaders. We also have an ethos at St. Joseph’s that enables children to resolve disputes on the playground peacefully through our restorative approach, EPR sessions, circle time and assemblies. Adults teach the children the importance of listening to and respecting all voices in school, society and the wider world.
Rule of Law
Within St. Joseph’s we enforce the rules and expectations set out in our school ‘Code of Conduct’ in lesson times, around the school and during assemblies. Pupils in school know that rules and expectations are there for their protection and that this involves consequences when rules are not followed responsibly. We follow a positive behaviour policy from which pupils clearly understand the rewards and sanctions used and pupils know that through our restorative approach they are encouraged to consider who has been affected, to take responsibility for their actions, say sorry and make amends and also to forgive and start again. Pupils have the opportunity to continually reflect on their behaviour through EPR sessions, school assemblies and Prayer and Worship sessions. We regularly have visits from members of our community including the Parish Priests to help reinforce the message.
At. St Joseph’s Catholic Primary school we encourage children to make choices that will positively impact their learning and their experiences at school, knowing they are in a secure, safe and supportive environment. Our recent OFSTED report commented that “The caring ethos of the school, modelled by staff and pupils alike, ensures that pupils feel valued and supported.” (February 2017). We inspire children to see themselves as unique individuals who can make positive and valued contributions to our school community. Through RE and EPR lessons children learn about developing their self-esteem and self-confidence and why this is important to their well-being.
Our school ethos, Mission Statement and Code of Conduct are centred within the Gospel values which guide each of us to show love and mutual respect to others. All members of St. Joseph’s Catholic Primary school community treat each other with respect and this is promoted through our classroom and learning environments. During celebration assemblies, children are recognised, not only for their positive work contributions, but also for their kind and respectful behaviour towards others. In line with St. Joseph’s commitment to democracy, students are always able to voice their opinions and expect to be shown respect from their peers, even when opinions may differ.
Tolerance of those of different faiths and beliefs
As St. Joseph’s is a Catholic school, our faith underpins our curriculum, daily life and is central to all that we do. Pupils at the school are given the opportunity to develop positive values and understand where their own beliefs sit in a culturally diverse society. Through our ‘Other Faiths’ weeks, celebrations of other cultures and work in the wider community, we give our pupils the opportunity to appreciate what everyone has to offer. Assemblies, Prayer and Worship sessions and class work promote the diversity of society and that, regardless of ability, gender, faith, heritage or race, each person has the right to be respected and valued equally.
We have recently had a multi-cultural day celebration with the theme: ‘We Are One’. Our children thoroughly enjoyed exploring our diverse school community and celebrating the different cultures within the school.
At St Joseph’s, we recognise that the personal development of pupils, spiritually, morally, socially and culturally, plays a significant part in their ability to learn and achieve. We therefore aim to provide an education that provides pupils with opportunities to explore and develop their own values and beliefs, spiritual awareness, high standards of personal behaviour, a positive, caring attitude towards other people, an understanding of their social and cultural traditions; demonstrate a commitment to serve God and an appreciation of the diversity and richness of the cultures within our city & the wider world.
“This is My commandment, that you love one another as I loved you.”