At St Mellion and St Dominic we promote ‘British Values’ through our spiritual, moral, social and cultural education and distinctly Christian ethos, which permeates through the school’s curriculum and supports the development of the ‘whole child’. We recognise that such development is most successful when those values and attitudes are promoted by all the staff and provide a model of behaviour for our pupils.
We have achieved the following external accreditations which demonstrate evidence of our commitment to British Values:
Ofsted grade of ‘Good' behaviour (July 2013 St Mellion & July 2012 St Dominic)
School Inspection of Anglican and Methodist Schools (SIAMS) grade of 'Outstanding' (December 2012)
Silver Padl Award
Promoting British Values at St Mellion and St Dominic
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 reiterated this year (2014).
At St Mellion and St Dominic we understand that the society we live in is diverse and therefore, our curriculum and life within school reflects this. For our pupils, we aim to continually weave the thread of social, cultural, moral and spiritual British values throughout day to day school life. Underpinning this are the values and understanding of democracy, law, liberty, respect, tolerance, tradition and heritage. The ‘Equality Act 2010’ protects all individuals from discrimination and it is the schools duty to ensure that all individuals have equal access and opportunity to all that is on offer. Funding, including that for pupils with special educational needs and disabilities (SEND) and disadvantaged pupils, is used to target inequalities, to ensure equality.
The ability to communicate is the most important area of learning. At St Mellion and St Dominic we ensure that pupils are given a ‘voice’ to communicate.
We empower our pupils by giving them opportunities to make choices about the things that they believe to be important. By valuing each ‘voice’ and by listening and responding to that voice we demonstrate that we support democracy and liberty.
We have an active School Council and are developing an Eco Committee, we have planned to hold weekly Learning Forum in each key stage. Children also vote for House Captains who organise House competitions during the year. Children participate in ‘Democracy Day’, when they learn about the process and make a decision that is built into their future learning.
In year 6 there is a visit to The Houses of Parliament to learn more about the democratic process and how rules are changed.
Rule of Law:
We involve pupils in setting codes of behaviour; helping pupils to make decisions and choices that are acceptable to the school community and society at large. Children agree rules and consequences at the beginning of every school year. Pupils are helped to learn to manage their behaviour and take responsibility for their actions. Staff are committed to providing a consistent and predictable environment within the school and beyond. We can help some pupils to understand the connection between actions and consequences. This type of environment enables pupils to feel safe and secure; this in turn, promotes the optimum conditions for learning to take place.
The importance of laws, whether they be those that govern the class, the school, or the country, are consistently reinforced. Pupils are taught the rules from an early age in the Foundation Stage. Each class and Key Stage have an agreed set of rules and a learning charter. The children are aware of the consequences of not following the rules in their school community. The children learn to understand the difference between right and wrong in all aspects of school life throughout the day. There is an opportunity for children to put right what has been done wrong, wherever possible. Children are given opportunity to understand aspects of civil and criminal law and discuss how this might be different from some religious laws. Pupils in our school expect and receive a fair system where actions are always respectfully justified. Pupils are taught the value and reasons behind rules and laws; that they exist to govern and protect us, the responsibilities that this involves and the consequences when laws are broken.
Visits from authorities such as the Police and Fire Service help reinforce this message. Children are also involved in Hazard Alley – which helps support this also.
Pupils are encouraged to become good and valued citizens. We do this by supporting each pupil to become as independent as possible. We endeavour to demonstrate that everyone has rights; this includes the right to say ‘No’ when appropriate. The children are taught about The United Nation’s Rights of Children. Some pupils will be able to take responsibility for particular roles and to understand that with certain rights comes a level of responsibility. Learning to do things independently is an important part of learning to understand yourself.
Our 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 informed choices, through a safe environment and an empowering education. Pupils are encouraged to know, understand and exercise their rights and personal freedoms and are advised how to exercise these safely, for example through our e-Safety and PSHME lessons. Our children are encouraged to give their opinions and share these ideas with due regard for the feelings of others. As part of our PSHME curriculum we place an emphasis on the social and emotional learning of our children and feel we send them off to secondary school as well rounded individuals. We celebrate achievements both in and out of school in assemblies, through stickers, gold cards, certificates and numerous awards.
We support others by participating in local community and national events and charitable events such as helping our Genesis School in Africa, Children in Need and Shelter Box (to name but a few). We believe that by engendering a caring and helpful environment and by learning to be independent can boost and nurture a healthy self-esteem.
Part of our School Ethos and Behaviour Policy are based around core Christian values such as ‘respect’ and ‘responsibility’ and these values determine how we live as a community across our Federation. Collective Worship is based on Christian Values and these agreed values are central to how we expect everyone to go about their life at our school. Children and adults alike, including visitors, are challenged if they are disrespectful in any way. Values are highly visible around the school and can be seen in banners in the hall. Our SIAMS inspection confirmed this aspect of life at St Mellion and St Dominic.
We promote each pupil’s inclusion, where possible, in a range of activities and settings and locations. Events and circumstances are planned for pupils to go into the community to meet with a range of people in a variety of situations which include sports events, community events and shared participation with other schools.
Tolerance of Different Faiths and Beliefs:
At St Mellion and St Dominic each person is respected and valued equally without regard to ability, gender, faith, heritage or race. Cultural appreciation and development forms part of our curriculum. We place great emphasis on providing encounters and participation in events and celebrations to broaden all pupils’ experiences and awareness of others. Our Worship helps all pupils to find out about themselves and others linking their lives to the communities in which they belong.
Religious Education lessons and PSHE lessons reinforce messages of tolerance and respect for others. Our multicultural activities illustrate our commitment to exploring our diverse school community. Members of different faiths and religions are encouraged to share their knowledge to enhance learning within classes and the school. The children visit places of worship that are important to different faiths.
Pupils are encouraged to experience British Culture through our curriculum themes. Schools take part in local sporting activities which helps to instill ‘fair play’ and engender a ’team spirit’. For example, children have the opportunity to participate in rugby, netball, athletics and cricket competitions. The staff work closely with parents, carers and other professionals to ensure that the pupils are happy, well cared for and enabled to learn the skills they need to live a fulfilling life as part of their community.
British Traditions and Heritage
We celebrate the role of Britain both historically and in the present. We want pupils to have knowledge of and be proud of their British heritage and the cultural and historical traditions that we are renowned for the world over. This involves celebrating, Remembrance Day, festivals such as Harvest, Christmas, and Easter. We visit the local church many times a year to mark these celebrations. The children visit places of cultural significance such as museums and exhibitions. The children all visit London during their time at St Mellion and St Dominic
We work tirelessly to build a culture that will stand the test of time, where our pupils can become good, effective citizens. We teach our children to respect everyone regardless of any differences.