At St. Michael's, we develop and promote British Values throughout our school and across our curriculum.
A key part of our plan for education is to ensure children become valuable and fully rounded members of society who treat others with respect and leave school fully prepared for life in modern Britain. All staff and governors are expected to uphold the fundamental principles of British Values, including democracy; rule of law; individual liberty; mutual respect and tolerance. At St. Michael's, these values are reinforced regularly and promoted through our core values, ethos, the curriculum, Personal Development, assembly themes, SMSC and PSHE work.
We uphold and teach children about British Values which are defined as:
Through this, our children will develop:
An understanding of how citizens can influence decision-making through the democratic process.
An understanding that the freedom to hold other faiths and beliefs is protected in law.
An acceptance that people having different faiths and beliefs to oneself (or having none) should be accepted and tolerated and not be the cause of discriminatory behaviour.
An understanding of the importance of discrimination and identifying and combating it.
We value and promote shared personal achievement, high standards and respect for the individual. The mission statement and aims of the school clearly reflect these values and the whole school strives to uphold them.
The British Values are taught explicitly through our Personal, Social, Health and Emotional lessons (P.S.H.E.), our Behaviour and Safety curriculum and Religious Education (R.E.). They are also taught through the delivery of a broad and balanced curriculum which includes real opportunities for exploring them, for example in History and Geography, and through our assemblies. Actively promoting these values also includes challenging opinions or behaviour in school that are contrary to them. These values are integral to our mission aims and are reinforced regularly.
At St. Michael's, we have a specific weekly "British Value", which we teach in the context of worship and throughout our lessons.
Please click on the following link to read how the curriculum at St. Michael’s actively promotes an understanding of fundamental values:
Each week we look at a fundamental ‘British Value’ and incorporate it into our daily worship and also through discussions in class. British value are also a key component of our PSHE curriculum.
Vote for Schools Initiative: Giving Young People the Power to Change the World
Votes for Schools provides resources for teachers in the UK to promote discussion on a challenging current issue and works well with the development and understanding of the British Values. Pupils vote and comment and we ensure that their voices are heard and have an impact. Vote for Schools is underpinned by three key values: Be Informed. Be Curious. Be Heard. Please refer to the link below for further information.
Democracy is well-embedded across the school. Pupils have the opportunity to have their voices heard through our Pupil Council and Pupil questionnaires. Pupils have the opportunity to have their voices heard through our School Council. The election of the School Council members reflects our British electoral system and demonstrates democracy in action: candidates make speeches, pupils consider characteristics important for an elected representative and pupils vote in secret. The School Council meets regularly to discuss issues raised by different classes and is genuinely able to effect change within the school. Other examples of ‘pupil voice’ include using pupil feedback forms to shape future delivery of the curriculum and pupil conferencing. Further to this, pupils are always listened to by adults and are taught to listen carefully to each other, respecting the right of every individual to have their opinions and voices heard. We also encourage pupils to take ownership of their own learning and progress.
The importance of Laws, whether they be those that govern the class, the school, or the country, are consistently reinforced throughout regular school days, as well as when dealing with behaviour and through school worships. 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.
At the start of the school year, each class discusses its set of class rules in the form of the class charters under the Unicef umbrella of 'rights and responsibilities' to ensure all can learn in a safe and ordered environment with these expectations and are displayed in each class throughout the year.
This value is reinforced in different ways, including visits from authorities authorities such as the Police; Fire Service; Judiciary, Members of Parliament etc. are regular parts of our calendar and help reinforce this message and during Religious Education when rules for particular faiths are thought about. These values are also considered during other school subjects where there is respect and appreciation for different rules, such as in sports lessons. Pupils are taught the value and reasons behind rules and laws – that they govern and protect us, the responsibilities that this involves and the consequences when the rules and laws are broken.
Alongside rules and laws, we promote freedom of choice and the right to respectfully express views and beliefs. Pupils are actively encouraged to make choices, through the provision of a safe environment and planned curriculum, and to understand and exercise their rights and personal freedom safely, for example through our e-Safety teaching. As a school, we educate and provide boundaries for young pupils to make choices safety, through our provision of a safe environment and empowering education.
Through opportunities such as our extra-curricular clubs, Enrichment choices and Day and Residential Trips, pupils are given the freedom to make safe choices. Furthermore, 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, of how they record, of participation in our numerous extra-curricular clubs and opportunities, pupils are given the freedom to make choices.
At St. Michael's we have high expectations of achievement and behaviour. Children and staff are polite and we believe that everyone has their own strengths and we are expected to use them. Part of our school ethos and behaviour policy has revolved around Core Values such as ‘Respect’, and pupils have been part of discussions and assemblies related to what this means and how it is shown. Posters around the school promote respect for others and this is reiterated through our classroom and learning expectations, as well as our behaviour policy. We listen to and respect each other. All members of the school family are valued equally. Children learn that their behaviour choices have an effect on their own rights and those of others. Teachers plan exciting, interesting, challenging and innovative lessons where everybody is expected to do their best and respect others. When our older children are given key roles and responsibilities to work alongside younger children, e.g. Reading and House Buddies or playground and wellbeing champions, it helps promote mutual respect across the age phases.
Tolerance of those of Different Faiths and Beliefs
At St. Michael's we are proud to promote and celebrate our different backgrounds and beliefs. Tolerance, politeness and mutual respect are at the heart of our mission, vision, ethos and R.E. curriculum. Our aims drive us towards ensuring that our pupils are able to live and work alongside people from all backgrounds and cultures. Our pupils know and understand that it is expected that respect is shown to everyone and to everything, whatever differences we may have. This is achieved through enhancing pupils understanding of their place in a culturally diverse society and by giving them opportunities to experience such diversity. Worships 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. Our Pupil Faith Group in particular show that this has been successful.
Safeguarding and British Values
As part of St. Michael's ongoing safeguarding and child protection duties, we are fully behind the government's Prevent Strategy.
From 1 July 2015 all schools are subject to a duty under section 26 of the Counter-Terrorism and Security Act 2015, in the exercise of their functions, to have “due regard to the need to prevent people from being drawn into terrorism”. This duty is known as the Prevent Duty for Schools.
St. Michael's is committed to safeguarding, and promoting the welfare of all our children and families. We recognise that in an ever-changing and fast-moving world it is essential that we promote children's well-being, confidence and resilience, and that we provide them with up to date and age-appropriate information and signpost them to places where they can find support, where necessary. For further information, please see our safeguarding page.