British values and preparation for life in modern Britain.
What this all means in practice at St Francis.
At St Francis Catholic School we uphold and teach pupils about the British Values as directed under new Ofsted guidance, September 2014
‘ ensure that they and the school promote tolerance of and respect for people of all faiths (or those of no faith), cultures and lifestyles; and support and help, through their words, actions and influence within the school and more widely in the community, to prepare children and young people positively for life in modern Britain’
We value the importance of and support the current Ofsted guidance. As educators we recognise we have a duty to prepare our children for life in modern Britain and to keep them safe.
One example is that as part of the curriculum we teach democracy. Democracy is part of school life for children.
Every year we learn about, highlight and celebrate Local Democracy Week.
Below is a radio interview by BCB Radio talking to our children about democracy at St Francis.
Excellent Teaching of Religious Education will enable pupils to learn
to think for themselves about British values. Questions about whether
social and moral values are best described as ‘British values’ or seen
as more universal human values will continue to be debated, but for the
purposes of teachers of RE, the subject offers opportunities to build an
accurate knowledge base about religions and beliefs in relation to values.
This in turn supports children and young people so that they are able to
move beyond attitudes of tolerance towards increasing respect, so that
they can celebrate diversity. Values education and moral development are
a part of a school’s holistic mission to contribute to the well being of each
pupil and of all people within our communities. The RE curriculum focuses
learning in some of these areas, but pupils moral development is a whole
Schools do not accept intolerant attitudes to members
of the community: attitudes which reject other people on
the basis of race, faith, gender, sexual orientation or age
are rightly challenged. A baseline for a fair community is
that each person’s rights to ‘be themselves’ is to be accepted
by all. Tolerance may not be enough: RE can challenge children
and young people to be increasingly respectful and to celebrate
diversity, but tolerance is a starting point.
It is much better than intolerance.
In the RE curriculum attention focuses on developing mutual
respect between those of different faiths and beliefs, promoting
an understanding of what a society gains from diversity. Pupils
will learn about diversity in religions and world views, and will be
challenged to respect other persons who see the world differently
to themselves. Recognition and celebration of human diversity in
many forms can flourish where pupils understand different faiths
and beliefs, and are challenged to be broad minded and open hearted.
In RE pupils learn the significance of each person’s ideas
and experiences through methods of discussion. In debating
the fundamental questions of life, pupils learn to respect a range
of perspectives. This contributes to learning about democracy,
examining the idea that we all share a responsibility to use our
voice and influence for the well being of others.
In RE pupils examine different examples of codes for
human life, including commandments, rules of precepts
offered by different religious communities. They learn to
appreciate how individuals choose between good and evil,
right and wrong, and they learn to apply these ideas to their
own communities. They learn that fairness requires that the
law apply equally to all, irrespective - for example – of a person’s status
In RE, pupils consider questions about identity, belonging
and diversity, learning what it means to live a life free from
constraints. They study examples of pioneers of human freedom,
including those from within different religions, so that they can
examine tensions between the value of a stable society and
the value of change for human development.
As a Catholic School we actively promote values, virtues
and ethics that shape our pupils' character and moral
perspective, through the teachings of the Church. We
follow the example of the Good Samaritan where we are
called to love and care for our neighbour. We ensure that
through our school vision, ethos, agreed rules, curriculum
and teaching we promote respect and tolerance for all cultures,
faiths and lifestyles.
In so doing we reinforce British values regularly and in the
following ways: Our School Mission Statement which outlines
our commitment to celebrating and exploring the special gift that
we are and sharing these in our community. Our weekly Statements
to Live By which help us remember that Jesus Christ is at the centre
of everything we do. We promote and aim to have a school community
rooted in love, tolerance, respect and celebration of differences.
Collective worships where we teach respect for all, right and wrong,
tolerance and differences and respecting and following the law.
An R.E curriculum with lessons which teach the children about other
faiths as well as their own.
A range of curriculum topics which have strong links to British History
and reflect modern British culture i.e. the Queen's Diamond Jubilee,
the Tour De France , the London Olympics, Victorian Saltaire,
Mary Seacole. Linked projects that encourage children to consider
similarities and differences between St Francis Catholic Primary
School and our neighbouring schools. Our 'Gardeners & Seeds'
Buddying system for Year 6 and Foundation pupils. Visits from
authorities such as the police, fire service, ambulance service etc.
are regular parts of our calendar and help reinforce the rule of law.
Working towards School of Sanctuary Status. Participation in faith
celebrations that reflects our rich ethnic school population and locality
community i.e. Chinese New Year, Eid , Diwali. Team Teach is used
by staff as a means of repairing harm and developing relationships.
Our School Council and a democratic system of voting and providing a
"voice" for all pupils.
Our Head Boys/Girls and Senior Prefects and RE Catholic Life
Group who 'set the example' and represent our school. Theme
weeks i.e. Anti-Bullying Week, Remembrance, Internet Safety,
Black History... Pupils are keen to support charities, whether
local, national or global i.e. St Mary's Welcome Soup Kitchen,
The Gianna Project, The St Francis Youth SVP, Marie Curie,
Cancer Research, Cafod and the Philippines Disaster. Our School
Pastoral Care Policies and Procedures,
Expectations and Code of Conduct.