In guidance for maintained schools, issued by the Department for Education in November 2014, a list was provided that describes the understanding and knowledge expected of pupils as a result of schools promoting fundamental British values. During inspections, an evaluation is made as to how well a school promotes these values and prepares pupils for life in modern Britain. The British values are:
- Justice/Rule of Law
- Individual Liberty
- Mutual Respect
At St. Mary of the Angels Catholic Primary School we strongly believe that our ‘Christian Ethos’, which is firmly rooted in the values of the Gospel and teachings of the Catholic Church, is very much aligned to these values being promoted by the government as ‘British’. As a community of many different cultures, we also recognise that that these values are not uniquely British. We ensure that through our school vision, ethos, agreed rules, curriculum and teaching we promote respect and tolerance for all cultures, faiths and lifestyles.
Our creative, theme based ‘Dimensions’ curriculum is planned to ensure breadth and balance and to promote preparation for, and an appreciation of life in modern Britain. Spiritual, moral, social and cultural development is promoted very effectively through the curriculum, particularly thorugh our discrete RE programme of study and the prayer and worship life of the school.
Below are some examples of how Dimensions and our discrete RE curriculum, taught through the ‘Come and See’ programme:-
- promote acceptance and engagement with the fundamental British values of democracy, the rule of law, individual liberty and mutual respect and tolerance of those with different faiths and beliefs
- enable pupils to develop and demonstrate skills and attitudes that will allow them to participate fully in and contribute positively to life in modern Britain.
Democracy and Rule of Law
- Dimensions 3D PSHE Programme
- Dimensions Themes: ‘It’s All Greek to Me! and ‘Order, Order!’ (LKS2) The ‘It’s All Greek to Me!’ theme culminates in learning about the Greek legacy of democracy, which is followed through into the next theme, “Order! Order!” This theme focuses specifically on democracy, rights and responsibilities. Pupils are then given the opportunity to exercise democracy on
- Pupil Voice Project (KS2) The “Pupil Voice Project” is designed to give pupils the opportunity to exercise democracy by voting for a theme they are interested in for the whole class to study. The theme lasts approximately 2-3 weeks and pupils are consulted before the beginning of the theme, ideally during the final week of the previous theme. The whole class are encouraged to come to an agreement on the Pupil Voice Project through a democratic vote. For example, in Autumn 2015, Year 5 and 6 voted to study American Civil Rights. Other examples?
- School Council (elected representatives form Reception to Year 6)
Tolerance of those of Different Faiths and Beliefs
- Come and See Programme: Our discrete RE programme ‘Come and See’ allows children to explore the religious aspects of life, dignity and purpose within the Catholic tradition. Children reflect on personal experiences and links are made with Catholic and non-Catholic faith traditions. All of the topics are rooted in the children's own experiences in life and, through reflection and learning activities, our teachers extend the learning further. We look at Scripture passages that match the topic being covered and unpick the meaning and how we can use this Scripture to enhance our lives and help us to be better Christians. Over the academic year, two other faiths are taught; Judaism in the Autumn term, including visits to the West End Synagogue in Queensway, and Islam during the Summer term.
- Dimensions 3D PSHE Programme
- Dimensions Themes: “Come and Join the Celebration: Festivals and Key Events” This is a whole school theme focusing on a range of diverse celebrations, festivals and key events from different faiths and beliefs, leading in to Christmas celebrations.
Understanding and appreciation of the range of different cultures within school and further afield as an essential element of pupils’ preparation for life in modern Britain.
- Come and See RE Programme
- Dimensions Theme: “The Spirit of Christmas” – Range of different cultures and traditions This theme focuses on traditions and customs in different countries, particularly those associated with Christmas. The focus is around geography and history elements, which will also develop pupils’ inter-cultural understanding and develop mutual respect for other cultures.
Preparing pupils for the opportunities, responsibilities and experiences of later life in modern Britain.
- Dimensions ThemesWindow on the World – Social ResponsibilityEco Warriors – Sustainability
- A World of Cracking Ideas - Innovation
- Out of the Box – Enterprise, Financial Capability
- Neighbourhood Watch – Improving the Environment
Promoting tolerance of and respect for people of all faiths (or those of no faith), cultures and lifestyles; and supporting and helping to prepare children and young people positively for life in modern Britain.
- Discrete R.E. curriculum
- Dimensions Themes Come and Join the Celebration – Faith and Beliefs; The Spirit of Christmas – Range of different cultures and traditions