Church St. Nicholas – British Values Statement
The DfE have 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.'
We believe that by exposing children to a broad and balanced curriculum which is firmly rooted in Christian values and well-planned SMSC opportunities, we will equip children for life in a diverse and continually changing world. As a Church of England school, worship plays a central role ensuring key values and both taught, absorbed and lived-out by all our children.
An understanding of the democratic process is reinforced throughout the school. Our first week back at school focuses on settling back into school and reinforcing the key social skills that this requires. Each class develops their own ‘Class Charter’ that will make their classroom a happy and purposeful learning environment. This is done collaboratively with all children involved and encouraged to express their opinions, debate pros and cons and ultimately reach a consensus.
At St. Nicholas’, we have a School Parliament. This mirrors, as closely as possible, the election process. Any child can put themselves forward for election, they must write a manifesto and deliver a speech to the whole school. We then borrow polling booths and voting boxes from the local council, in order to make the experience as genuine as possible. The MP’s each represent a key area of school life and meet regularly with the Head teacher. A trip to the Houses of Parliament is organised each year for the School Parliament to equip them as fully for their role as possible.
One year group runs Rota Kids which firmly supports and upholds the democratic process. The President and Secretary are elected by democratic vote and international and community projects are decided through discussion, debate and ultimately a show of hands. This process is entirely led and organised by the children themselves.
This idea is further developed through units of work in PSHE – Making a Positive Contribution.
Rule of Law
We continually explain to our pupils that school and class rules are there to keep everybody safe, to support making the right choices and to develop the appropriate environment both for learning and life. These rules are there for all regardless of personal views and opinions, in the same way that people in England are subject to its law. Our Behaviour Policy encourage all children to develop a clear understanding between actions and consequences. We continually promote and encourage self-regulation and personal responsibility. We believe that these values and experiences will help to develop an understanding and appreciation of the wider rule of law in England and the world in which we live.
At St. Nicholas we encourage our children to be open-minded and reflective, using values and morals as their guide. We talk regularly about the choices we make as human beings and how these choices may impact on others, whether it be negatively or positively. We actively encourage children to think before they act in a safe and supportive environment. We use a Restorative Justice approach to dealing with any issues that may arise, ensuring that everyone has a voice and is involved in discussing any consequence that may be necessary. Our Behaviour Policy, combined with school and class rules, provide a clear and balanced structure for children to learn about their own rights and how these must be balanced with the rights of others. Children are regularly taught about how they can exercise their own rights and personal safety through Anti-bullying week, E-safety week, PSHE, Worship and the Christian ethos of the school.
This value is central to all of our relationships at St.Nicholas’. It is modelled by all adults in their relationships with one another, the children, parents, parish and wider community and therefore, our children see the actions and hear the language of respect from first-hand experience. Respect for all is a living, breathing element within St. Nicholas lived out by all, even the youngest children.
Tolerance of those with different beliefs
St. Nicholas’ is in Accrington, an area which is home to people of many different faiths and beliefs. As a school, we are predominantly white British but a number of our school family are of Asian, Eastern European or Chinese heritage. Through the strong Christian ethos of the school, PE, Worship and PSHE we aim to teach all our children about our shared human experiences. We believe that true tolerance comes from an understanding and celebration of what makes us both similar and unique.
At St. Nicholas’ we will actively challenge pupils, staff or parents expressing opinions contrary to fundamental British values, including extremist views. All adults in school have strong relationships with the children and this enables us to have strong, robust safeguarding procedures in place. Any concerns regarding emotional, physical, sexual abuse, neglect, bullying extremism or radicalisation are dealt with swiftly and appropriately.