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.”
“The vast majority of schools already promote British values. This is about making sure we have the tools we need to intervene if children are being let down.”
Schools are required to actively promote and not undermine “British Values”
The Government set out its definition of British Values in the 2011 Prevent Strategy and these values were reiterated by the Prime Minister in 2013. The DfE has recently reinforced the need 'to create and enforce a clear and rigorous expectation on all schools to promote the fundamental British values.' These are:
Pupils have the opportunity to have their voices heard through Class and School Councils. Each year, elections are held and children engage in the democratic process by completing and returning ballot forms in a formal election procedure. Please visit the 'School Council' section of our website for further information. Children, parents and staff are given regular opportunities to give feedback on school life. This is done through pupil interviews, Parents' Forum, parent/staff/pupil questionnaires, individual meetings, pupil suggestion boxes and regular School Council Meetings.
The Rule of Law
The importance of Laws, whether they be those that govern the class, the school, or the country, are consistently reinforced throughout regular school days, as well as when dealing with behaviour and through school assemblies. We adhere to a well considered and effective behaviour policy and children are disciplined appropriately when rules are broken. This is always within the understanding of mutual respect and that we are all made in the image and likeness of God.
We constantly remind the children about the Gospel Values and emphasise that we all need to follow and demonstrate them as part of our Catholic Life.
Pupils are encouraged to be independent learners, constantly making choices, within a safe and supportive environment. Developing their self-esteem and self-confidence is very important. Pupils are encouraged to understand their personal freedoms and are taught how to use these rights to best effect. All pupils are keen to support charities, whether local, national or global. They are taught consideration for others through our Religious Education curriculum and PSHE lessons in particular. E-safety teaching enables them to make choices in a safe manner.
Our school’s ethos and behaviour policy are based on Gospel values, with the important commandment being, ‘Love one another as I have loved you’. Assemblies constantly promote respect for others and the importance of good manners. All pupils are taught the importance of self-respect, honest and open communication with others and fair play. Pupils work collaboratively and value others’ opinions.
Tolerance of those of Different Faiths and Beliefs
As a Catholic worshipping community, pupils are reminded of their place in a culturally diverse society. This is achieved through our Religious Education curriculum and the spiritual life of the school. Assemblies and class work promote the diversity of society and the right for each person to be respected and valued equally regardless of ability, gender, faith, heritage or race. At St Thomas More Catholic Primary School we strive to develop the understanding of different faiths and beliefs in the school and wider community.