British Values at Pope Paul School
As of 2014, the Department for Education published guidance stating that all schools have a duty to actively 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. Although this is something which is growing in its importance for schools, this is not something new for Pope Paul School.
These values are linked to our school values and are promoted through so much of what we are already doing in our whole school ethos and vision. They are reinforced and developed regularly in the following ways:
Our Mission Statement
At Pope Paul Primary School, we promote ‘British Values’ through our spiritual, moral, social and cultural education which permeates through the school’s curriculum and supports the development of the ‘whole child’.
We recognise that such development is most successful when those values and attitudes are promoted by all the staff and provide a model of behaviour for our pupils.
How do we develop our children’s understanding of the British Values?
Represented by Article 21 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights: “We all have the right to take part in the government of our country. Every grown up should be allowed to choose their own leaders.”
Democracy is central to life within our school. At Pope Paul Primary School, we believe that the ability to understand and communicate are the most important areas of learning. Children have the opportunity to have their voices heard through our school Parliament, Pupil questionnaires and Pupil Voice. The curriculum promotes opportunities for learning about democracy in a number of different contexts. We ensure that all pupils are given a ‘voice’ to communicate and we empower them by giving them opportunities to make choices about the things that they believe to be important. By valuing each ‘voice’ and by listening and responding to that voice we demonstrate that we support democracy and liberty.
Our school Behaviour Policy involves procedures which the children fully support and understand. We have an active School Parliament which will commence again in January 2022.
Rule of Law:
Article 8 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights “We can all ask for the law to help us when we are not treated fairly.”
At Pope Paul, we involve pupils in setting codes of behaviour; helping pupils to make decisions and choices that are acceptable to the school community and society at large. At the start of the school year, children in each class discuss the learning behaviour expectations for their classroom according to their particular year group and at lunchtime. During sport activities and group activities, the importance of rules and laws is reinforced to enable children to work together effectively and safely.
Pupils are helped to learn to manage their behaviour and take responsibility for their actions. Staff are committed to providing a consistent and predictable environment within the school and beyond. We help pupils to understand the connection between actions and consequences. This type of environment enables pupils to feel safe and secure; this in turn, promotes the optimum conditions for learning to take place.
Represented by Article 3 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights “We all have the right to life, to live in freedom and safety”.
Within school, children are actively encouraged to make choices, knowing that they are in a safe and supportive environment. Children are encouraged to know, understand and exercise their rights and personal freedoms and to do this safely through PSHE lessons.
Pupils are encouraged to become good and valued citizens. We do this by supporting each pupil to become as independent as possible. Whether it be through choice of a challenge, or participation in extra-curricular clubs and opportunities, pupils are given the freedom to make choices. They are also encouraged to reflect on their choices and consider the impact they have on others.
At Pope Paul, we endeavour to demonstrate that everyone has rights. Pupils are able to take responsibility for particular roles and to understand that with certain rights comes a level of responsibility.
Mutual Respect and Tolerance:
Represented by Article 25 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights “We all have the right to a good life. Mothers and children and people who are old, unemployed or disabled have a right to be cared for.”
At Pope Paul, we promote respect for others and this is reiterated through the activities we provide for the children as well as our Behaviour Policy. Older children in the school support younger children and our Reception Buddies (Year 6) and Playground Buddies help children who are in need of a friend. Children in the school are aware of the importance of caring, sharing and listening to one another.
Our pupils work with a range of people, and interactions with others are always positively promoted. Examples of this include working with students from other schools, coaches, theatre groups etc. We follow a creative curriculum which is tailored to our pupils’ needs and often includes going into the community to meet with a range of people in a variety of situations such as: sports events, community events and shared participation with other schools.
We believe it is important to facilitate opportunities to be part of the local community and parish community as the pupils, families and staff have much to offer in the development of community cohesion.
Tolerance of different faiths and beliefs:
Represented by Article 18 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights “We all have the right to believe in whatever we like, to have a religion, and to change it if we wish.”
The opportunities and experiences that we offer children a Pope Paul help them to understand the culturally diverse society that they are growing up in. Children have the opportunity to visit multicultural places of worship as well as learning about other religions and festivals through our RE scheme of work and in topics. Children are also given the opportunity to dress up in clothes and try different foods from other cultures during One World Week and Other Faiths Week.
Pupils at Pope Paul recognise that they are part of a school and local community where each person is respected and valued equally without regard to ability, gender, faith, heritage or race.
Our Assemblies help all pupils to find out about themselves and others linking their lives to the communities in which they belong. The themes cover areas such as: Compassion, Courage, Trust, Thankfulness, Kindness, Service and celebrations from a range of faiths and world events as well as topics to teach children about keeping safe and healthy.
Pupils are encouraged to experience British Culture through our curriculum themes. For example, pupils have visited many local places. As a school, we take part in sporting activities which helps to encourage ‘fair play’ and engender a ’team spirit’.
The staff work closely with parents, carers and other professionals to ensure that the pupils at Pope Paul are happy, well cared for and enabled to learn the skills they need to live a fulfilling life as part of their community.