British and Christian Values at Shillingstone CE VA Primary School
Being part of Britain
As a school, we value and celebrate the diverse heritages of everybody at Shillingstone CE VA Primary School . Alongside this, we value and celebrate being part of Britain. In general terms, this means that we celebrate traditions and customs in the course of the year; for example, Harvest Festival during the autumn term and trips to the pantomime in at Christmas. We also value and celebrate national events.
Children, parents and staff have many opportunities for their voices to be heard at Shillingstone CE VA Primary School. Democracy is central to how we operate.
An obvious example is our School Council. The election of the School Council members reflects our British electoral system and demonstrates democracy in action: candidates nominate themselves as candidates, pupils consider characteristics important for an elected representative, pupils vote. Made up of two representatives from each year group, the School Council meets regularly to discuss issues raised by the different classes. The Council are actively involved in recruitment and in providing teachers with feedback.
Another example of ‘pupil voice’ is:
•children are asked to respond and reflect on the teaching and learning they receive as well as make suggestions for the School Council to consider.
Pupils are always listened to by adults and are taught to listen carefully and with concern to each other, respecting the right of every individual to have their opinions and voices heard. We encourage pupils to take ownership of not only their school but also of their own learning and progress. This encourages a heightened sense of both personal and social responsibility and is demonstrated on a daily basis by our pupils.
Parents’ opinions are welcomed at Shillingstone CE VA Primary School through methods such as paret forum, parent governors, questionnaires, surveys, working groups and PTA
The importance of rules and laws, whether they be those that govern our school or our country, are referred to and reinforced often, such as in assemblies and when reflecting on behaviour choices. At the start of the school year, each class discusses the school rules and class routines, principles that are clearly understood by all and seen to be necessary to ensure that every class member is able to learn in a safe and ordered environment.
Pupils are taught the value and reasons behind laws, that they govern and protect us, the responsibilities that this involves, and the consequences when laws are broken. These values are reinforced in different ways:
•visits from authorities such as the police and fire service
•during Religious Education, when rules for particular faiths are thought about
•during other school subjects, where there is respect and appreciation for different rules
Alongside rules and laws, we promote freedom of choice and the right to respectfully express views and beliefs. Through the provision of a safe, supportive environment, we provide boundaries for our pupils to make choices safely; for example:
•choices about what learning challenge or activity
•choices about how they record their learning
•choices around the participation in extra-curricular activities
Our pupils are encouraged to know, understand and exercise their rights and personal freedoms and are taught how to exercise these safely, such as in our SEAL lessons.
Shillingstone CE VA Primary School serves an area which is not culturally diverse, but we are proud to promote and celebrate different backgrounds and beliefs. Tolerance, politeness and mutual respect are at the heart of our aims and ethos.
Our central aim to 'Prepare children for the future' drives us towards ensuring that our pupils are able to live and work alongside people from all backgrounds and cultures. This will be particularly necessary in a future where due to technological advances will make the 'world a smaller place.'
Our pupils know and understand that it is expected that respect is shown to everyone and to everything, whatever differences we may have. Children learn that their behaviour choices have an effect on their own rights and those of others. All members of the school community are encouraged to treat each other with respect.
Specific examples of how we at Shillingstone CE VA Primary School enhance pupils’ understanding and respect for different faiths and beliefs are:
•through Religious Education, SEAl and other lessons where we develop awareness and appreciation of other cultures – in English through fiction and in art and music by considering cultures from other parts of the world.
•celebrating cultural differences through assemblies, themed weeks, noticeboards and displays.
Whilst instances contrary to our values are relatively rare, no school can guarantee that there will never be instances which are contrary to our values. Each is treated seriously in line with our policies and expectations.