British Values...Gospel Values
"Pupils develop an extremely strong understanding of British Values."
"Pupils are successfully prepared to grow up in modern Britain."
(Ofsted, October 2015).
The Department for Education outlines 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, 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. At St Dominic Savio, as a Catholic School, we actively promote values, virtues and ethics that shape our pupils' character and moral perspective, through the teachings of the Church.
We are confident that our continued focus on our Faith, the Gospel Values and placing God at the centre of everything that we do will give our pupils the necessary awareness and understanding of what it means to be a good citizen in Britain today. This embeds in them the building blocks of a future successful and productive life.
Through our Mission Statement, RE, PSHE, spiritual, moral, social and cultural (SMSC) development, and promoting the Common Good, we are able to make real links between the values of our pupils and the lives of others in their community, country and the world in general.
Through our Curriculum we teach about democracy, civic responsibility, rules and laws, the monarchy, equality, values and virtues, environmental awareness and understanding of other faiths.
Being part of Britain
As a school we value and celebrate the diverse heritages of everybody at St Dominic Savio. Alongside this, we value and celebrate being part of Britain. In general terms, this means that we celebrate traditions, such as customs in the course of the year and we value and celebrate national events.
We welcomed the Prime Minister, Theresa May, to our school in July 2017.
Democracy – what do we do?
- Pupils reflect upon their rights and responsibilities for our Five Golden Rules
- Provide pupils with a broad general knowledge of, and promote respect for, public institutions and services
- Teach pupils how they can influence decision-making through the democratic process
- Pupils vote in elections for School Council, House Captains and Prefects. They write speeches to persuade the voters
- Encourage pupils to become involved in decision-making processes and ensure they are listened
to in school – this is achieved through our Mission Statement, pastoral provision and School Council
- Pupils vote on charities to fundraise for
- Hold class debates so pupils learn how to argue and defend points of view
- Help pupils to express their views
- Enable pupils to have their voices heard through our School Council and pupil discussions
- Teach pupils how public services operate and how they are held to account
- Model how perceived injustice can be peacefully challenged
- Encouragement of pupils as leaders throughout the school: Playground Pals, Lunchtime Leaders
Rule of law – what do we do?
- Behaviour at St Dominic Savio is excellent and is seen as an absolute priority by the school community
- Ensure school rules and expectations are clear and fair: our Five Golden Rules
- Pupils recognise they are ambassadors for the school when representing the school outside e.g. educational visits
- Help pupils to distinguish right from wrong
- Help pupils to respect the law and the basis on which it is made
- Help pupils to understand that living under the rule of law protects individuals
- Develop restorative justice approaches to resolve conflicts
- Safety visits e.g. road safety, fire safety, police, online safety
The importance of Laws, whether they be those that govern the class, the school, or the country, are consistently reinforced on a daily basis, 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.
Individual liberty – what do we do?
- St Dominic Savio is a safe place for children and nurtures an atmosphere in which pupils can make choices about school life in a supportive environment
- Support pupils to develop their self-knowledge, self-esteem and self-confidence
- Encourage pupils to take responsibility for their behaviour, as well as knowing their rights
- Model freedom of speech through pupil participation, while ensuring protection of vulnerable pupils and promoting
critical analysis of evidence
- Challenge stereotypes
- Implement a strong anti-bullying culture
- Choosing of learning challenges/activities
- Taking part in enrichment clubs
- Through marking and feedback pupils know their successes and what the next steps are for learning
- School magazine created by Year 6 Team. The pupils make decisions about the content of the magazine and the style of reporting they use. They ensure the magazine is accessible to their entire readership (children and adults) and that it is a true representation of the school. Copies of 'The Savio Smiler' are distributed to each class.
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 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 safely, for example, through our Online Safety and PSHE lessons.
Mutual respect and tolerance of others – what do we do?
- Promote respect for individual differences (our first Golden Rule: we show respect)
- Celebration Assembly
- Help pupils to acquire an understanding of, and respect for, their own and other cultures and ways of life
- Challenge prejudicial or discriminatory behaviour
- Organise visits to places of worship
Children of different faiths and religions are encouraged to share their knowledge to enhance learning within classes and the school
- Develop links with other faith communities
- Develop critical personal thinking skills
- Discuss differences between people, such as differences of faith, ethnicity, disability, and gender and differences of family situations, such as young carers
- We have a Place2Grow room which organises support for children (sometimes with outside agencies) and the development of specific children’s social and emotional skills.
- Continents Day in June celebrates our diverse world and its cultures
- PTA AGM is themed as an international evening with an array of worldwide foods to sample
At St Dominic Savio we actively challenge pupils, staff or parents expressing opinions contrary to the values we hold as a school, including ‘extremist’ views.
We value the diverse ethnic backgrounds of all pupils and families and undertake a variety of events and lessons to celebrate these and these are built in to our whole school curriculum map. We have found this approach to be enriching for all parties as it teaches tolerance and respect for the differences in our community and the wider world. Underpinning all of this are a range of curriculum topics which have strong links to British values.
As a whole school, we have celebrated topics such as:
- The Olympics – where children learned about the history of Olympians nationally and locally
- The Diamond Jubilee anniversary of the reign of Queen Elizabeth II where all year groups were given the opportunity to develop their understanding of the British Monarchy through the school’s knowledge-rich curriculum.
- The Queen becoming the longest reigning monarch
- Voted in elections
- The First World War and the Second World War.
Upper Key Stage 2 learn about the Second World War and experience an 'Evacuee' day in July. We mark Remembrance Day and pray for loved ones on our Tree of Remembrance each November
- Shakespeare Week - celebrating 400+ years of Shakespeare and giving all our pupils an education into the literary works of the Bard. Each year group studies one of Shakespeare's plays. Year 6 visit the Globe Theatre.
- On a more general level, the school undertakes assemblies which uphold traditional values of empathy, respect and tolerance. These are also taught within formal RE lessons and on an informal nature throughout the school days. The curriculum also focuses on other faiths where our pupils learn about Judaism and Islam.