British Values - Curriculum Statement
The government set out its definition of British values in the 2011 Prevent Strategy, and these values have been reiterated by the Prime Minister this year. The DfE have recently reinforced the need for schools to ensure the curriculum, and at Darwen St James' we ‘actively promote’ the fundamental British values of democracy, the rule of law, individual liberty, mutual respect and tolerance of those with different faiths and beliefs.
Our School Aims
At Darwen St. James’ we are committed to upholding these values. We ensure they are reinforced regularly through teaching and learning and the daily life of the school. Our curriculum has a clear focus on enabling pupil’s spiritual, moral, social and cultural development (SMSC). The Christian character of the school is evident in the teaching of Christian values and the place of prayer, both of which make a significant contribution to the spiritual development of pupils and staff.
Respect for democracy, democratic participation and active involvement of all pupils is evident across the school. We aim to provide pupils with knowledge of, and promote respect for, public institutions and service. Our aim is to teach pupils how they can influence decision-making through the democratic process. For example: pupils have the opportunity to have their voices heard and are able to express their views freely through our School Council who have set up their own committee. The elections of School Council representatives each year are based solely on pupil votes. This effective involvement of pupils in democratic procedures enables them to influence and make decision in matters which affect their lives within school. Our school behaviour policy involves rewards and sanctions and pupils are involved in deciding class rules.
The Rule Of Law
The importance of Laws, whether they are those that govern the class, the school or the country, are consistently reinforced throughout the school day. For example, when dealing with behaviour, in daily classroom life and through whole school worship. Pupils are taught to have respect for the basis on which the law is made and how the law is applied in England. We aim to teach the children the value and reasons behind laws and that they govern and protect us all. We also emphasise the responsibilities we have as British citizens to uphold the law and consequences when laws are broken. Throughout the year we welcome visits from members of the wider community and from public institutions such as the Police, the Fire Service to help reinforce the importance of The Rule Of Law. We have a particularly good relationship with the local Community Police Officers, who have a regular presence in school. We ensure that school rules and expectations are clear and fair and our pupils understand that rules are there to protect us just as living under the rule of law protects all individuals.
We support pupils to exercise their freedom to develop their self-knowledge, self-esteem and self-confidence. Pupils are encouraged to know, understand and exercise their rights and personal freedoms and how to exercise these safely. Pupils are taught to respect the rights of others and to consider their own responsibilities toward other people including taking responsibility for their behaviour. Within school, pupils are actively encouraged to make choices. As a school we educate and provide boundaries for pupils to make choices safely through provision of a safe and secure environment and empowering education. Whether it is through choice of challenge, or participation in our numerous extra-curricular clubs and opportunities, pupils are given the freedom to make choices. We welcome freedom of speech and encourage our pupils to become independent thinkers, while ensuring protection of vulnerable pupils and challenging stereotyping of others.
Pupils are expected to show mutual respect towards everything and everyone, regardless of individual differences, at all times. This expectation is grounded in our Whole School Christian Values of Thankfulness, Trust, Perseverance, Justice, Friendship and Respect. The reasoning behind these values is distinctively Christian and based in the teachings of the Bible. All members of the school community live out these values on a daily basis as an implicit learning opportunity for the children. It is our wish, that children leave St James’ with an understanding of and ability to ‘live out’ these values. This expectation impacts on behaviour in and out of class, and spreads to the wider school community of parents, visitors and governors.