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. The school has introduced Building Learning Power, a teaching and learning strategy that promotes discussion, independence and self-challenge. This style of teaching promotes the development of Pupil Voice and ensures that the children are actively involved in the whole learning process.
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.
As part of our Christian commitment to our community, Year 6 pupils also voted for the charity they wanted to support last year.
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 have had some input from East Hants District Council this year. They have had 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. Check out the Beech Class Blog for their ideas on Democracy and why it is important.
The Rule of Law
Good behaviour is a non-negotiable at St Matthew’s. On entry into our school, children study our Learning Code. This clearly outlines how we expect children to behave both inside and outside 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.
This year the school has revised and enhanced its E-safety policy and curriculum. We have worked with the police and CEOP to train the children, parents and staff in laws around internet safety and online bullying.
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 quiet places 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 approach and pupils are encouraged to ask and answer questions and deal with peers who may have different views.