“I have come that they may have life and have it to the full.” John 10:10
The government set out its definition of ‘British values’ in the ‘Prevent Strategy’ (2011), which was designed to prevent the extremism and religious radicalization of young people. British values are considered by the present government to be democracy, rule of law, individual liberty, mutual respect and tolerance of those of different faiths and beliefs. The promotion of ‘British values’ is central to Catholic and Anglican education as British values have their origin in the Christian values of our nation.
At Christ the King Catholic and Church of England Primary School we recognise, not only the importance of helping children to flourish academically but also spiritually, morally, socially, culturally and emotionally so they are fully prepared for life in British society and for their role as citizens and are able to make the strongest possible contribution to the Common Good of all. We teach the importance of British Values by going much deeper into the meaning of what it means to live a good life. This provides the context and meaning for understanding why British values are important. Our framework for understanding British values draws on the example of Jesus and his welcome and inclusion of all, which is developed in Catholic Social Teaching and in the teaching of the Anglican Church. At Christ the King we provide an education which focuses on the formation of the whole person and on our vocation and purpose in life. We are guided by our mission: “I have come that they might have life and have it to the full” Faith is our belief in a loving God who calls us to be a steward of goodness and a partner in love. This partnership in love is call us to live in harmony with each other as brothers and sisters in the family of humanity.
The curriculum is very diverse and fully underpinned by Christian values, which are strongly reflected in pupils’ good spiritual, moral, cultural and social development. Ofsted 2014
This belief means we place a significant emphasis on the celebration of individuality and difference within our communities and our calling to work together for the Common Good, in the service of others. Our Catholic and Church of England ethos, which includes explicit reference to Christian and British values, makes a tangible difference to the way we work together and with our wider communities. Within this framework it would be impossible to overlook the government’s view of British values expressed as ‘democracy, rule of law, individual liberty, mutual respect and tolerance of those of different faiths and beliefs.’ The examples that follow are an indication of some of the many ways we seek to embed British values at Christ the King and should be seen as an indication of our approach rather than an exhaustive list.
The Rule of Law The importance of laws, whether they be those that govern the class, the school, or the country, are consistently reinforced throughout every day, through collective worship and assemblies as well as when dealing with behaviour. The curriculum is designed to ensure children are taught the values and reasons behind laws, that they govern and protect us, the responsibilities this involves and the consequences, when laws are broken. Visits from authorities such as the Police and Fire Service are regular parts of our learning programmes and help reinforce this message.
The school has high expectations of good behaviour, supported by a detailed system of rewards, sanctions and commendations, which pupils understand very well. This is reinforced by rewards for high attendance, good work and other exemplary achievements. Ofsted 2014
Individual Liberty: Within Christ the King are actively encouraged to make independent choices knowing that they are in a safe, secure and supportive environment. As a school we educate and provide boundaries for children to make choices safely, through the provision of a safe environment and an empowering education. We encourage children to see themselves as unique individuals able to make a unique contribution to building community. Children are encouraged to know, understand and exercise their rights, responsibilities and personal freedoms and receive advice about how to exercise these safely, for example through our exploration of E-Safety in computing (particularly the safe use of the Internet) and their tutor time activities.
The school’s work to keep pupils safe and secure is outstanding. Consequently, pupils’ knowledge about how to keep themselves and others safe is excellent. Ofsted 2014
Mutual Respect: Respect is one of the core Christian values of our school and is modelled by children and staff alike. The school promotes respect for others and this is reiterated through our classroom and learning environments as well as extra-curricular activities such as sport. In line with our commitment to democracy, children are always able to voice their opinions as we foster an environment where children can debate ideas and are safe to disagree with each other. We encourage children to substantiate opinions and to realise the value of co-operation and consensus as well as decision making through voting. Our emphasis on respect and kindness means that we ask our children to ensure that they look out for those who might be marginalised and disadvantaged. Our approach to teaching and learning fosters mutual respect throughout the curriculum and our policies promote the values both of respect and responsibility. The school has taken a very strong stance on social inclusion and anti-bullying through an explicit focus on strategies to enable respect for difference through, for example, reflections on homophobia and other forms of bullying. (All cases of cyberbullying are taken seriously and investigated immediately)
‘The life of the school is enhanced by the willingness of pupils to take on responsibility, such as being a member of the school council. In so doing, they learn about the democratic process and have a voice in how the school develops. The older children understand their responsibility to model good behaviour and safe practice. The `Ambassadors’ show great maturity in their role to ensure that younger children are looked Ofsted 2014Ofsted 2014
Tolerance of those of different faiths and beliefs This is achieved through equipping children with the ability to develop positive values, understand their own beliefs and their place in a culturally diverse society. We give our children opportunities to experience such diversity within the school community and within the wider community. All children experience a connection with other cultures and beliefs through our RE and PSHE programmes, our Comenius Project which links them to schools in Turkey, France, Poland and Italy, theme days and local, regional and other international links. The emphasis on enterprise, working with others, and learning other languages directly contributes to the appreciation of others perspectives on life. Our Religious Studies curriculum follows the teaching of the Churches in providing a broad and balanced education, which includes an understanding of and respect for people of other faiths or none and other religions, cultures and lifestyles.
We believe that children at Christ the King are taught to become responsible citizens who make a positive contribution to society, respecting other cultures and races.