BRITISH Values and Ethos at ENGLISH MARTYRS
We seek to live out the values of Jesus Christ through our words and deeds,and this therefore permeates every aspect of the school’s activity. We recognise that every pupil is unique and is created in the image of God (Gen 1:27). Our curriculum is designed to enable every pupil to discern their vocation and to be well-equipped to follow it as active citizens in service to the world. We incorporate democratic principles, value the rule of law, support individual liberty and foster a community in which different faiths and beliefs are respected. In guidance for maintained schools, issued by the Department for Education in November 2014, a list was provided that describes the understanding and knowledge expected of pupils as a result of schools promoting fundamental British values. This is given below:
- an understanding of how citizens can influence decision-making through the democratic process;
- an appreciation that living under the rule of law protects individual citizens and is essential for their well being and safety;
- an understanding that there is a separation of power between the executive and the judiciary, and that while some public bodies such as the police and the army can be held to account through Parliament, others such as the courts maintain independence;
- an understanding that the freedom to choose and hold other faiths and beliefs is protected in law;
- an acceptance that other people having different faiths or beliefs to oneself (or having none) should be accepted and tolerated, and should not be the cause of prejudicial or discriminatory behaviour; and
- an understanding of the importance of identifying and combating discrimination.
The list below outlines some of the ways in which we promote these values at English Martyrs:
- Our School Council provides children with the experience of voting for representatives of each class, who in turn have the opportunity to shape decisions that are taken about school life.
- Our Year 6 pupils also vote for the new House Captains each year.
- Our Year 6 pupils take part in an annual public speaking competition organised by CAFOD and have the opportunity to debate issues that are close to them. The Rule of Law
- The three ‘Diamond rules’ in our School are known by everyone and constantly referred to by staff. Children know what is expected of them and the consequences of breaking the rules.
- Our behaviour policy is available to all (via our website) and clearly outlines the behavioural
expectations of the School.
- The School’s RE curriculum makes explicit reference to the rules of the Church and of God, in lessons such as those covering the 10 commandments and the teachings of the Church.
- Our pupils are encouraged to be as independent as possible and to take ownership of their learning and of their conduct. All children have individual learning targets and the few with difficulties with their behaviour are given behavioural targets as well.
- When observing lessons, senior staff will assess how each teacher (or teaching assistant) promotes independence in their classroom.
- Our mission statement is shared by all and states that “we aim to be a community … in which
everyone feels happy, safe and secure”.
- During the many collective worship sessions and RE lessons Gospel values are promoted such as ‘Love your neighbour as yourself’ and pupils are reminded that every person is unique and “created in the image of God”.
- The School regularly aims to help others by supporting a variety of charities and good causes. Tolerance of those with other faiths or beliefs
- The School holds an annual International Day in which it celebrates the huge range of cultural and ethnic differences that make our pupil population.
- The School regularly teaches about other religious faiths (at the end of each of the ten RE topics taught each year) and promotes the respect of others’ beliefs.