The DfE has 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.”
As a Catholic school we follow the Gospel teachings – to love God and love one another.
We follow the example set by Jesus.
We believe we are all made in the image and likeness of God.
We show our love for others through contributing to the common good.
We show our love for others through respect for all members of God’s family and as such reject all discrimination of any kind.
This forms the basis for all that we do St Thomas’ and ensures British Values are an integral part of this.
Pupils have the opportunity to have their voices heard through our School Council, St Raplh Sherwin Pupil parliament and Pupil questionnaires. The children have the chance to elect a representative from each class that they feel will represent their classes views. The school council is actively involved in the life of the school and in decision making processes. School council have also been involved in recent interviews for teaching staff. . Pupils also elect House Captains to represent each of the school’s 4 houses. House Captain candidates were required to prepare campaign speeches outlining their suitability for the role and how they would lead the team well.
The Rule of Law
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 assemblies. 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.
Within school, pupils 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 young pupils to make choices safely, through our provision of a safe environment and empowering education. Pupils are encouraged to know, understand and exercise their rights and personal freedoms and advise how to exercise these choices wisely.
This is a fundamental part of our Faith and school ethos. Pupils have regular discussions and assemblies on what respect means and how it is shown to others. Respect is one of our 5 key Gospel Values which we base our collective worship around.
Tolerance of those of Different Faiths and Beliefs
This is achieved through enhancing pupils understanding of their place in a culturally diverse society and by giving them opportunities to experience such diversity. Each year group completes an in-depth study on different cultures and faiths through their Topic work and this is also part of the RE scheme of work.
This is constantly referred to and upheld through liturgies and within everyday school life within the classroom and playground and modelled by adults. We value the diverse cultural backgrounds of all of our children, families and staff and celebrate these through the curriculum. Over recent years, children have had the opportunity to meet and interact with children and adults from other faiths and cultures.
Christian principles are integrated into every part of our school life at St Thomas’ and we believe that they encompass the British values. These principles and values are embedded throughout our liturgy and curriculum themes and are explicitly focussed upon through the PSHE and RE scheme of work and the ‘Statements to Live By’ that structure some of our Acts of Worship.