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British Values

At St Thomas’ Infant School we ensure that through our school vision, polices, values, curriculum and teaching we promote the British Values. We value the ethnic backgrounds of all pupils and families and undertake a variety of events and lessons to celebrate and explore these alongside other cultures in our country. We have found this approach to be enriching for all parties as it teaches tolerance and respect for the differences in our community and the wider world. We believe that we have a duty to prepare our children for life in modern Britain and to keep them safe.

 

The DfE have recently reinforced the need- “to create and enforce a clear and rigorous expectation on all schools to 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.”

Below is a definition of the British Values and what knowledge and skills are expected to promote British Values at an age appropriate level for infant children.  Actively promoting the values means challenging opinions or behaviours in our school that are contrary to fundamental British values. The sections below describes the understanding and knowledge expected of pupils as a result of promoting fundamental British values.

The British values are:

  • Democracy
  • Rule of Law
  • Mutual respect and tolerance of those of different faiths and beliefs
  • Individual liberty

Democracy

The Definition of Democracy


This focuses on encouraging respect for democracy and support for participation in the democratic processes, including respect for the basis on which the law is made and applied in England. 
 
At St Thomas’ we ensure that all pupils have a voice that is listened to, and we demonstrate how democracy works by actively promoting democratic processes.

 

 How does St. Thomas’ actively promote Democracy

 

  • The children in KS1 vote for children to represent them on the school council.
  • The children are responsible for monitoring H&S with ‘Reg the Rhino’
  • Children choose the winners of the Challenge Thomas competition each week in KS1.
  • Lolly sticks are used to ensure fairness between pupils during whole class teaching.
  • Talking partners are changed on a weekly basis to give children the opportunity to work with different children.
  • Children are asked what extra-curricular activities they would like the school to run.
  • At the beginning of each Learning Challenge there is a knowledge harvest and children are given the opportunity to say what they want to find out which is incorporated within the planning.
  • Children choose the parts they would like to be in productions, wherever possible, including the annual Year 2 production - St Thomas has Talent.
  • Children are involved in the purchase of new toys and whole school decisions.  For example, children, staff, Governors, developers, parents and the Local Authority have worked together to plan to develop and enhance the Outside Area of the school and the School Library.
  • The outcomes from pupil questionnaires are fed into the School Improvement Plan.
  • Ideas and events are planned and discussed with a chance for debate, giving opportunities for different points of view to be heard and valued.
  • There is a choice of book at home time.

 

The Rule of Law

The Definition of the Rule of Law


This focuses on developing an understanding that the freedom to choose and hold other faiths and beliefs is protected in law. 

The importance of Laws, whether they be those that govern the class, the school, or the country, are consistently reinforced throughout regular school routines, as well as when dealing with behaviour. Pupils are taught the value and reasons behind laws, that they govern and protect us, the responsibilities that this involves and the consequences when laws or rules are broken.

 

 How does St. Thomas’ actively promote the Rule of Law?

  • The children create the rules for their classes, the playground and the school each year
  • These rules are discussed in terms of rights and responsibilities, and the children understand how they are used to keep us all safe
  • The rules of e-safety are shared across all classes
  • The PHSE curriculum promotes personal safety and how to treat others
  • The RE curriculum promotes an understanding of and respect for the beliefs of others
  • Children are familiar with the police through visits from the local PCSOs
  • Weekly celebration assemblies promote self-respect and self-worth 
  • The children are strongly encouraged to develop independence in learning and to think for themselves with the Learning Powers being an important tool
  • The behaviour policy has clear sanctions and rewards
  • The school has a Home School Agreement which supports the ethos of the school
  • There is a whole school ethos of nurturing and a ‘can-do’ attitude 

 

Mutual Respect and Tolerance of those of Different Faiths and Beliefs

The Definition of Mutual Respect and Tolerance of those of Different Faiths and Beliefs

 

Mutual respect is encouraging respect for other people.  It focuses on promoting further tolerance and harmony between different cultural traditions by enabling children to acquire an appreciation of and respect for their own and other cultures. 

We strongly believe that our children need to be taught the laws and heritage of Britain and feel a sense of belonging without sacrificing their own identity. We actively promote the respect and tolerance of all faiths and backgrounds.

 

How does St. Thomas’ actively promote mutual respect and Tolerance of other faiths and beliefs?

 

  • Respect is a core value of our school and is central to all aspects of school life
  • The RE curriculum follows the rigorous Living Difference framework where all children have the opportunity to express their own beliefs and to learn about the beliefs of others
  • Through the Outdoor Explorers programme, the children learn respect for the environment and others
  • Culture days are organised where other religious festivals are celebrated. Eg Diwali, Chinese New Year
  • The school has a positive and engaging behaviour policy
  • Good citizen stamps – Children are rewarded when they are being seen to be a good citizen and this includes respect
  • Weekly Head teacher certificates are awarded for children seen to be showing the school values
  • Children are celebrated for outside school achievements-the children nominate others that they have seen making good choices.
  • Close and ongoing links with the Bulera School in Uganda
  • Cultures and countries are embedded within the Learning Challenge Curriculum
  • A strong focus is placed on developing cooperation and respect through the school’s Learning Powers.
  • Traditional country dancing and children playing the recorder are celebrated at the Church and school fetes
  • As a whole school, Remembrance Day celebrations are held annually where children sell poppies to their peers and a minute's silence is held
  • The heritage of Britain is covered in some of our Learning Challenges and on significant days on the calendar.
  • Every Christmas the performances of Foundation Stage and KS1 children are based on the Christian faith with a traditional Nativity play
  • Children are paired with a different talking partner each week to ensure children have the opportunity to mix with the whole school community
  • Buddy systems are place to help the smooth transitions into EYFS and KS1

 

Individual Liberty

The Definition of Individual Liberty


Individual Liberty is the free exercise of individual rights outside the control of Law. 

 

How does St Thomas’ actively promote Individual Liberty?

 

  • Our school Learning Powers promote independence and self-reflection to gain greater self-respect and awareness
  • Children are encouraged to share their ideas and opinions daily with peers and staff
  • Religious Education teaching facilitates the development of Critical Thinking and a strong positive self-identity
  • Through choice of participation in our numerous extra-curricular clubs and opportunities, pupils are given the freedom to make choices
  • Each child has a turn at being Star of the Week where they choose to talk about or show things that are important to them
  • As a school we educate and provide boundaries for our children to make choices safely, through provision of a safe environment and an empowering education
  • Children are encouraged to show initiative through the Learning Powers and Good Citizen Awards
  • School routines are in place to ensure fairness, for example answering questions and to help combat discrimination and prejudice
  • Children are taught to take responsibility for their actions and good choices and consequences are explored
  • Child initiated learning is central in EYFS
  • Support for charities is a regular event e.g. Loose Ends (Homeless charity) at Harvest, Bulera School Uganda
  • Year 2 children visit elderly folk to sing at the local Residential Home
  • In the weekly Celebration Assembly children are encouraged to share their achievements outside school
  • A “St Thomas has Talent” evening is held yearly for Year 2 each where each child celebrates their individuality and choose what they do
  • Children participate in Enterprise Workshops where children sell their products (eg cakes) to raise money for a worthy charity
  • We have celebrated the World Cup and the Olympics, with Olympic themed sports days
  • Harvest Festival and Easter is celebrated in Church, as part of the Christian calendar
  • Children are asked their opinions on what Learning Challenges interest them and this can influence the provision provided.  A knowledge harvest occurs at the beginning of a new topic and planning is moulded to the needs and questions of the children.
  • Circle times to discuss and debate relevant class issues and the PSHE curriculum
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