A Statement of British Values
The DfE have recently reinforced the need “to create and enforce a clear and rigorous expectation on all schools to 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.”
The Government set out its definition of British Values in the 2011 Prevent Strategy, and these values are reiterated in school.
St George’s (VC) Church of England Primary School is founded on the Christian faith. As a Church School, which recognises the importance of living in an ever changing environment, we recognise the importance of teaching our pupils mutual respect for those of different or of no faith, and the shared values of Christianity and Islam.
Our Religious Education Programme follows the Rochester Diocese Agreed Syllabus and focuses on the five faiths of Christianity, Hinduism, Sikhism, Islam and Judaism.
At St George’s (VC) Church of England Primary School these values are reinforced regularly in the following ways:
At the beginning of the school year all classes in school vote on who should represent their class within the School Council.
The School Council meets fortnightly to discuss issues raised in class and on the playground.
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, when dealing with behaviour and through school assemblies. Pupils are taught the value and reason behind the laws that govern and protect us, the responsibility that this involves and the consequences when laws are broken.
At the very start of the school year all classes are encouraged to devise their own set of class rules and this is extended into all extended school activities with pupils being asked to sign a contract to ensure the very best behaviour.
Within school pupils are actively encouraged to become good and valued citizens. We do this by supporting each pupil to become as independent as possible. We endeavour to demonstrate that everyone has rights and encourage pupils to take responsibility for particular roles, both within and outside school, and to understand that with certain rights comes a level of responsibility. Learning to do things independently is an important part of learning to understand yourself.
We support others by participating in charitable events both locally and within the wider world community such as, Red Nose Day/Comic Relief, Children in Need, Jeans for Genes Day and many others throughout the school year. We believe that by engendering a caring and helpful environment and by learning to be independent can boost and nurture a healthy self-esteem.
Mutual respect is at the heart of all our values. Children learn that their behaviours have an effect on their own right and the rights of others. All members of the school community are expected to treat each other with respect. Staff are expected to be good role models at all times.
As pupils move into the other Key Stages, further planned events and circumstances are planned for pupils to go into the community to meet with a range of people in a variety of situations which include: sports events, community events and shared participation with other schools/colleges.
It is important to facilitate opportunities for St. George’s to be part of the community as the pupils, families and staff have much to offer in the development of community cohesion.
Tolerance of those of different faiths and beliefs
We are serving a growing multi-faith school community where each person is respected and valued equally without regard to ability, gender, faith, heritage or race. Cultural appreciation and development forms part of our curriculum and we place great emphasis on providing encounters and participation in events and celebrations to broaden all pupils’ experiences and awareness of others.
Our Assemblies help all pupils to find out about themselves and others linking their lives to the communities in which they belong. The themes covered link to our school values areas such as: friendships, helping others and we celebrate and embrace other faiths and world events.
Pupils are encouraged to experience British Culture through our curriculum themes. For example, pupils have visited: The Sikh Temple in Gravesend, The Chatham Jewish Synagogue and other places of worship
As a school, we take part in local sporting activities which helps to instil ‘fair play’ and engender a ’team spirit’. In December, the school creates a winter event for children and families, in the local community, to participate in which transcends ability, ethnicity, faith or gender.
Although pupils at St. George’s School may find it difficult to articulate their feelings and concerns; staff are attuned to changes in demeanour and well-being that may indicate anxiety. If they are concerned about a pupil our accepted practice links to the Child Protection Policy which entrusts a duty of care to all staff to actively protect and promote the welfare of children.
The staff work closely with parents, carers and other professionals to ensure that the pupils at St. George’s are happy, well cared for and enabled to learn the skills they need to live a fulfilling life as part of their community.
British Traditions and Heritage
We celebrate the role of Britain both historically and in the present. We want pupils to have knowledge of and be proud of their British heritage and the cultural and historical traditions that we are renowned for the world over. This involves celebrating Royal events, Remembrance Day, festivals such as Harvest, Christmas, Easter (alongside those from other cultures such as Eid, Diwali and Chinese New Year, for example). We visit the local church to mark these celebrations and more including the central coalition for school partnership events.
The children visit places of cultural significance locally such as Lullingstone Roma Villa and numerous places of interest in London, not forgetting our close location to the Pilgrims Way!
We work tirelessly to build a culture that will stand the test of time, where our pupils can become good, effective citizens. We teach our children to respect everyone regardless of any differences. The Investors in Pupils initiative ensures that this is firmly embedded into the ethos of our school.