British Values

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British Values At St. Patrick’s a fundamental aim of the school is to offer a curriculum that develops children and doesn’t merely impart knowledge. Our aim is to offer a curriculum with the development of children at the heart, so that they will grow into young people who will take an active and positive part in the communities in which they live. We want to develop the children so they become closer to God, but also to develop them so that they live and work in a multi-cultural society, respecting and valuing all aspects of it.   Our Catholic Mission is to live out our school motto:   Seek Ye First the Kingdom of God We do this through three central aims: Joy, Justice and Peace   Joy: We are called to be joyful people and to celebrate all the gifts we are given. Our mission is not just aimed at ourselves; we are called to bring joy into the lives of others.   Justice: Our mission is to promote justice for all. We work hard as a school to promote social justice and the importance of taking positive action to help all those in need in our own community and in wider community.   Peace: We are people who strive for peace. Peace must start at first from within. Our work in the school is to spread peace and to be peacemakers. Peace can never be achieved with anger and violence. Our role is to use our gifts and talents to bring peace to ourselves and into our communities.   The government expects all schools to promote British Values. These values are:   Democracy This is word often used, but not always defined. At St Patrick’s we believe that  it just means that everyone who lives in a particular country or a community and even a school can get involved in the way that country is run. For children we begin by teaching them from their perspective: when they and their friends have different ideas about what game to play – how do they decide what to do? The fairest way could be to have a vote and go with what most of them want.  Children are taught to respect other people’s views and to accept other people’s decisions when it’s for the good of the majority. This is developed in lessons, at playtimes and throughout school life. The most common type of democracy is called a representative democracy where people are chosen to vote on all the decisions. They are chosen by the people in an election – that’s another word for a vote! Children decide on their class representatives each year (One World, School Council, Eco Warriors, Librarians, Health Living). They make it very clear what they believe in and then it’s up to the children to vote for those they think would best represent them. The children also support local councils such as Thornaby Council and the mayor visits the school so the children can hear about how people, who are elected, help them. The older children also visit London to see Parliament and to visit Downing Street.   The rule of law It is important for children to realise that rules are there to protect the common good. In school we have golden rules in every classroom and these are discussed at the beginning of each academic year.  Teachers revisit these rules with the children when appropriate.  It is from these starting points that children need to learn that rules are there to help protect all and they help our communities and they protect people. The school enjoys a positive relationship with the local police and we host Citizenship visits to help the older children understand in greater depth the importance of laws.   Individual liberty Within school, pupils are actively encouraged to make choices, knowing that they are in a safe and supportive environment. As a school we educate and provide boundaries for young pupils to make choices safely, through provision of a safe environment and empowering education.  Pupils are encouraged to know, understand and exercise their rights and personal freedoms and advise how to exercise these safely, for example through our E-Safety and PSHE lessons. Whether it be through choice of challenge, or of participation in our numerous extra-curricular clubs and opportunities, pupils are given the freedom to make choices.   Mutual respect Part of our school ethos and behaviour policy has revolved around Core Values such as ‘Respect’. Pupils have been part of discussions and assemblies related to what this means and how it is shown.  All adults working in school must model this through their actions so this is promoted. The school works hard to ensure its behaviour policy is lived out by all within the school and takes positive action when any person may act in a way contrary to this. Mutual respect is something that must be lived and experienced in St Patrick’s.   Tolerance of those of different faiths and beliefs. This is achieved through enhancing pupils understanding of their place in a culturally diverse society and by giving them opportunities to experience such diversity. Assemblies and discussions involving prejudices and prejudice-based bullying have been followed and supported by learning in RE and PSHE. Members of different faiths or religions are encouraged to share their knowledge to enhance learning within classes and the school. The school is accredited with the REQM Gold Award for promoting respect and understanding of other faiths and beliefs. The children are taught about the key world faiths and always seeks to work with the wider community in any  way possible eg The Stockton Diwali project   All of these values are central to our beliefs as a Catholic school. They are at the very core of all we do.  We have a moral responsibility to ensure that our children simply don’t learn about these values but they live them out and respect them. These are not values to be learnt about: they are values that need to be developed and grown within our children. It is therefore paramount that all of us show example and leadership in promoting these values. As a school community we need to live these values out and be role models to our children. The school ensures that these are promoted through our actions and also incorporates them into the curriculum, at an age appropriate level, so the children and society benefit.