British Values at St Matthew’s CE (aided) Primary School
At St Matthew’s we support the DFE guidance that schools should,
‘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.’
These values are reflected in our school vision and aims (also available on this website). We want children who leave St Matthew’s to be knowledgeable about and tolerant of the society that they join as young people. British values are interspersed throughout our curriculum. We also recognise how these values are a part of our safeguarding duties – giving the children the skills and confidence to voice their views and seek and understand the views of others. Some examples of how these values are embedded in our school life are listed below:
Our children are given the chance to reflect on their learning throughout their time at St Matthew’s and teachers adapt work accordingly.
Each year, children democratically elect Captains and Vice Captains from Year Six to lead each of our four Houses, named after the four patron saints of the United Kingdom. The candidates must write and present campaign speeches and, if elected, are given leadership tasks. They are expected to set an example to children across the school and sign a charter to that effect.
Children at St Matthew’s are encouraged to keep abreast of world events, for example children in Key Stage 2 watch Newsround regularly and discuss the issues arising. Topics such as the 'Ancient Greeks' support children in learning about the beginnings of democracy. The children have discussed, created and voted on a new Learning Code which simplifies our expectations of behaviour as outlined below.
Year Six usually have some input from East Hants District Council each year. They have a visit from a representative from the council to explain their role and then they had a chance to visit the council offices for a tour and to take part in a debate.
The Rule of Law
Good behaviour is a non-negotiable at St Matthew’s. On entry into our school, children get to know our School Christian Values through the bears. They help the children understand the expectations for behaviour in school. We have a home/school agreement that is signed by the child, parents and the Headteacher at the start of a child’s time here. We teach children morals and manners through our detailed program of worship. There are sanctions and rewards attached to expectations of behaviour and conduct.
The children are given understanding of the need for governance through laws in a range of contexts that are age and stage appropriate. Examples include work around people who protect us in Reception, the role of police officers in Year 3 and the Bikeability road safety programme in Year 5. In Year 6 the children travel to Queen Elizabeth country Park for a ‘Keep Safe’ morning that includes references to rules around safety by water and fire.
E-safety is also very much part of our teaching at St. Matthew's with each class learning how to stay safe when using ICT.
Individual Liberty , Mutual Respect, Tolerance of Different Faiths and Beliefs
Pupils are taught to respect each other and this is modelled by adults in school. We have clear a policy on equality and a Positive Learning Policy for behaviour. Being a church aided school, our ethos is based on specific Christian values. However, in our curriculum other faiths are studied and celebrated. Pupils are encouraged to make choices and have their own opinions but also they are taught how to stay safe. We celebrate special times of the year in a range of faiths through our RE work, our close link with St Matthew’s Church and our daily worship. Pupils are supported in their observance of religion and their spirituality. A prayer tree and classroom worship areas are provided. We teach pupils about respecting each other and provide opportunities for pupils to work across year groups. Our foundation subjects are taught through an enquiry, values based approach and pupils are encouraged to ask and answer questions and deal with peers who may have different views.