Promoting British Values at St. Columba C. of E. Primary Academy
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 have been revised in 2015. At St. Columba C. of E. Primary Academy these values are reinforced regularly and in the following ways:
Children at St. Columba play an ever increasing role in school leadership. We have a school council from Year R to Year 6 which meets regularly to discuss issues pertinent to the school. The council represents the voices of children within St. Columba and is able to effect change within the Academy. Every child on the school council is voted in by their class, and each class has two representatives with the exception of Year R who have three (one child representing each family group). The school council account for their actions and decisions by producing minutes from each meeting and giving a report to governors annually.
Pupil voice is also seen through children being chosen to be Library monitors, register monitors, lead Celebration Worship and be playground buddies. Children learn that their views are integral to our school life and curriculum therefore they have the responsibility to carry out their role with integrity and commitment. Children's views are taken into account when recruiting new staff.
Children are often asked to suggest which peers should be awarded the Learning Value badges or awards. The children in Year 3 have been working as a class to plan and resource their investigation time with the support of their teacher. The children create a Code of Conduct for school trips, so all children are aware of the expectations of them. Often our children are praised for their behaviour and politeness whilst on trips.
Through our curriculum pupils are taught about, and encouraged to respect, public institutions and services. Years 1 and 2 and Years 5 and 6 work bi-annually with the fire service and learn about the importance of it as an emergency service. Children in Y1 and Y5 take part in the Hampshire Picture Book and Illustrated Books awards where they discuss the merits of each of the shortlisted books and collectively vote for the ones that St. Columba Academy would like to win.
Children are selected at random for pupil interviews with members of the senior leadership team and Governors to seek their views and opinions on a range of school and community issues. Children across the Academy are also surveyed annually by the Senior Leadership Team to gauge their views on the Academy.
Soon all parents, carers and children will be able to read class/school blogs and make comments on learning at St.Columba on this website.
The Rule of Law
Our children will encounter rules and laws throughout their entire lives. We want our children to understand that whether these laws govern the individual, class, the school, the community or the country, they are set for good reasons and must be adhered to. This understanding of the importance of rules will be consistently reinforced through Worship and our curriculum. The involvement of our children in the creation of the school rules and the learning values helps them to understand the reasons behind rules and the consequences if rules are broken. Throughout the year, we welcome visits from members of the wider community including police, the fire brigade and many more. We believe that clear explanations and real life stories emphasise the importance of the Rule of Law for our children.
At St. Columba we invest a lot of time in creating a positive culture, children 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 our children so that they can make informed choices thus empowering them educationally. We offer a range of clubs which children have the freedom to choose from, based on their interests. Children are encouraged to know, understand and exercise their rights and personal freedoms. They are advised to exercise these safely for example through e-safety, Personal Development Learning and Yr 5/6 workshops with the NSPCC.
St. Columba has a robust anti bullying culture and behaviour and safety policies in place.
At St. Columba we believe that valuing choice and freedom in daily school life will foster a value for individual liberty as the children embark upon their adult lives.
Mutual Respect and Tolerance of those of Different Faiths and Beliefs
Whilst we are a Church of England Academy, we offer a culturally rich and diverse curriculum in which all major religions are studied and respected. We explicitly reference British Values in our school aims by ‘encouraging respect for religious beliefs and moral values that tolerate other people and their beliefs.’ Worship and discussions involving prejudices and prejudice-based bullying have been followed and supported by learning in PDL. Through our RE curriculum, which teaches children to understand Christianity as well as teaching them about other faiths, children are learning about religion and learning from religion, we promote tolerance of the beliefs of others. Through our curriculum and the routines of our daily school life, we strive to demonstrate tolerance and help children to become knowledgeable and understanding citizens who can build a better Britain for the future.
St. Columba staff have been trained in P4C (Philosophy for Pupils) which allows staff to thread the discussion and debate element through all subjects of the curriculum. This ensures pupils are taught discretely how to deal with people who have opposing views to them and to feel confident to state if they have opposing views to others.
The Academy supports several charities each year and plans fundraising and awareness raising activities to support those charities.