In 2011 the government set out its definition of British Values which are:
- The Rule of Law
- Individual Liberty
- Mutual Respect
- Tolerance of those of different faiths and beliefs
These British values are promoted through our Catholic values. They are evident in our classes, on our playgrounds and embedded in the curriculum.
Democratic values are an intrinsic part of our ethos. Adults listen to children’s views and value their opinions. Pupils have the opportunity for their voices to be heard, through our democratically elected School Council, Faith Friends, Reading and Eco ambassadors, and through Pupil Voice in specific meetings, and through surveys, which contribute to all aspects of school life. Our curriculum and school routines are designed to demonstrate how pupils can contribute and cooperate as well as considering the views of others. You will often see children voting in class, or debating in subjects such as History, English, R.E. and PSHE as well as in our debating club. Children in the past have been to visit Parliament and Wandsworth Town Hall to deepen their understanding of governance.
Rule of Law
The importance of rules and laws are consistently reinforced. Children are taught the value and reasons behind laws – that they guide and protect us, the responsibilities that this involves and the consequences when laws are broken. PSHE lessons and assemblies support this work. All staff have high expectations of pupils and rewards and sanctions are well understood, through the school’s behaviour policy. Children are involved in constructing a class contract at the start of every year and reviewing it throughout the year. They are aware of the people around us that help us, and we are regularly visited by out community policing team. We hold parent and child workshops in conjunction with the School Superzone Project and work on specific topics in year 6 with the Safety4kids project.
The school helps pupils develop their self-knowledge, confidence and self-esteem through our Catholic ethos – particularly in our expectations of how we treat each other. Children are encouraged to take responsibility for their behaviour and their learning. We use zones of regulation to help them to express their feelings. Consideration for others is promoted through Religious Education, PSHE and through our carefully designed curriculum which is inclusive of SMSC. Assemblies, collective worship and community projects help to embed the message that we respect the rights of everybody. The curriculum takes this message further, particularly in UKS2 through work on migration and Windrush.
For children and families in need of more support, we have access to play therapy, reading therapy dogs, drama therapy and social skills groups. Our own KS2 peer mediators help the children to talk through low level issues.
Our involvement in the Junior Citizenship scheme and annual career fairs give our children an opportunity to think about the choices they will make in the future and help to remove perceived barriers. Our transition work in year 6 helps the children to consider the choices they will be making in their journey to secondary school and bespoke transition packages support individual children further.
Values of respect and tolerance are at the heart of our mission and are evident in all areas of school life. All staff demonstrate respect and model behaviour and attitudes on which our positive relationships are built. Class discussions, assemblies and collective worship provide opportunities to show respect and reverence to others. The widespread collaborative work undertaken in lessons help value others’ opinions.
Through our PATHS lessons, children regularly revisit what it means to respect others and to be respected. Our “child of the day” receives compliments from their peers and shares how these compliments makes them feel. Our anti-bullying days remind children about the importance of their role: what they can do if they see or hear of bullying both at school or at home. Through competitive and non-competitive sports, we have the chance to congratulate each other for achievements and support each other in teams. Our participation in the Premier League Primary Stars Programme with Chelsea Football club specifically teaches our pupils about tolerance through the “No room for racism” campaign. Children also earn certificates during their work in this programme for demonstrating qualities such as tolerance and resilience.
Tolerance of different Faiths and Beliefs
As a Catholic School, pupils are reminded of their place in a culturally diverse society. This is achieved through our Religious Education curriculum and the spiritual life of the school. Assemblies and class work promote the diversity of society and the right for each person to be respected and valued equally regardless of ability, gender, faith, heritage or race.
The school community is rich in its diversity and other religions are studied in RE, through our “Other Faiths” unit and our yearly Judaism focus.
A highlight of the school year is our multicultural event, and the build-up in class focusses on learning about and celebrating our cultures.
We have strong links with the community, using our local area and local population to learn about and learn from, for example visiting other places of worship. Our curriculum is enriched by our involvement with local churches and Nine Elms Ministry Advent Windows Arts Program, our work with CAFOD and local food bank charities.