At St Augustine of Canterbury Catholic School, British Values are at the heart of our ethos and curriculum. We are dedicated to ensuring that our pupils leave the school as independent and responsible citizens, meaning that our work supports and fulfils the school’s duty to promote British Values, as defined by the DFE document ‘Promoting fundamental British values through SMSC in schools’. The document can be accessed here:
Our school values of Respect, Humility, Courage, Responsibility, Compassion, Service, Honesty, Curiosity, Perseverance and Love are interwoven with the DfE's definition of 'fundamental British Values', namely:
- the rule of law
- individual liberty
- mutual respect for and tolerance of those with different faiths and beliefs.
We teach these values in a variety of ways both explicitly and through other areas.
A system where the whole population or all the eligible members of a group elects its representatives.
We teach children about democracy through the election of school councillors and House Captains. This is done democratically where all pupils are given a chance to vote after the candidates have had a chance to present why they should be chosen. No one person’s vote is more valuable than another person’s.
We also encourage pupils to take turns and democratically decide on leadership roles within class groups when working on some projects. We find this helps the pupils as they decide their own roles and ultimately helps to engage them more in their work.
In addition to this, children learn about the birth of democracy in Ancient Greece and changes to how Britain was ruled during key periods of history.
Promoting The Rule of Law:
Where people agree to and obey rules for the benefit of fairness and equality
Children have a very strong sense of fairness and equality. At St Augustine of Canterbury Catholic Primary School their understanding of the rule of law begins with them understanding our school Code of Conduct and our school values. We consistently apply our Code of Conduct and in lessons, such as PSHE, children learn why we have rules and how they keep everyone safe and happy.
Each year, in September, the class begins by discussing classroom and school rules and the reasons why these are important. We encourage pupils to take an active role in deciding which rules they would like. We find that this collaborative process helps to promote pupils following the rules as they have a sense of ownership about them.
PSHE lessons explore the rule of law and how these help to promote equality for all. Assemblies are used to reinforce school rules and values and to celebrate excellent behaviour and learning. Through lessons and special visits and visitors, the children learn about people who help us in our society, including the role of the local police and the railway networks in keeping us safe.
In addition to this, children learn about how Britain was ruled by The Romans, The Vikings, The Victorians and during the Second World War; learning how this has changed over time.
Promoting Individual Liberty:
Where people are free from external restraint and can make decisions for themselves within clear boundaries.
Our school aims to help each pupil achieve self-confidence, initiative and independence. We actively teach (and encourage) all pupils to take responsibility for their behaviour as well as knowing their rights. Pupils are encouraged, and given the freedom to make choices, knowing that they are in a safe and supportive environment, such as challenging themselves in their learning. Pupils across the school have key responsibilities like being a Year 6 Buddy, a School Councillor, a Chaplain or specific jobs that some pupils do which provides a service to our school to help maintain the environment.
Individual liberty is taught in a variety of contexts at St Augustine’s ranging from formal lessons, which explore the theme in Religious Education (RE) or PSHE, to constant reinforcement through our school values on a day-to-day basis.
We challenge stereotypes in all areas of the curriculum and we are inclusive, so that all pupils can participate fully, including opportunities where pupils develop their understanding of important issues through debates.
Promoting Mutual Respect and Tolerance for those of different faiths and beliefs:
Where people respect other people’s beliefs and customs
Although we are a Catholic School, we understand the importance of promoting and teaching of other faiths. Our curriculum and ethos promotes respect for individual difference through RE and PSHE for all pupils, along with other curriculum areas. The prayer life of our school is an integral part of our distinct character however, we do not assume faith. We therefore invite pupils to pray and ask those who do not wish to participate, to act respectfully.
During a pupil’s time at St Augustine of Canterbury Catholic School, pupils are taught about different faiths, usually through our RE curriculum but not exclusively. Pupils learn about different cultures and beliefs and how they may be different to our own. As part of this mutual respect for other cultures and faiths, we also organise visits to different places of worship such as the Jewish synagogue on Park Row in Bristol or the Hindu temple BAPS Shri Swaminarayan Mandir also known as the ‘Neasden Temple’, in north-west London.
We ensure that any prejudicial or discriminatory behaviour is challenged and recorded and pupils are made aware of the seriousness of such incidents as well as why it is wrong to do so.