BOTWELL HOUSE CATHOLIC PRIMARY SCHOOL
British Values Statement
Schools have always been required to respect British values, but as a result of changes brought in last year, all schools must now have a clear strategy for embedding these values and show how their work with children has been effective in doing so. The changes are designed to tighten up the standards on pupil welfare to improve safeguarding and the standards of spiritual, moral, social and cultural development of pupils to strengthen the barriers to extremism. OFSTED now take the work of schools in this area into account during inspections.
As a Catholic school our ethos is to uphold the values of the Gospel: respect for the life and dignity of each individual; trust in God; honesty; compassion; forgiveness; mercy; community; servant leadership; equality; simplicity; justice and peace. These values are embedded in all that we teach and are promoted in all of our interactions with others in the school and the wider community. We fully recognise and embrace the multi-cultural, multi-faith and ever-changing nature of the United Kingdom and are committed to ensuring that groups or individuals within the school are not subjected to intimidation or radicalisation by those wishing to unduly, or illegally, influence them.
Botwell House Catholic School has a clear Equality policy which aims to prevent discrimination against any individual or group, regardless of faith, ethnicity, gender, sexuality, political or financial status or similar. We also seek to lay the foundations for our pupils’ future lives, beyond the formal curriculum, preparing them for the diverse and dynamic society in which they will live and work and to engender a sense of pride in their community and country. An understanding of British values is a critical part of this education. The Government set out its definition of British Values in the 2011 ‘Prevent’ strategy and the Department for Education has reinforced the need 'to create and enforce a clear and rigorous expectation on all schools to promote the fundamental British values’.
Actively promoting the values means challenging opinions or behaviours in school that are contrary to these values, which are:
· the rule of law
· individual liberty
· mutual respect
· tolerance of those of different faiths and beliefs
Many of these values are embedded within our Catholic Ethos and Mission, but in addition we use strategies within the National Curriculum and beyond to secure pupils’ understanding of the wider implications of British values. The examples that follow show some of the ways in which Botwell House seeks to embed British values.
Elections are held for a male and female school council representative in each class. This fosters the concept of freedom of speech and group action to address need and concerns. Within their classes, pupils are able to vote to make choices brought to them by these representatives. Pupils are also able to make their views known via our Pupil Questionnaires.
Our pupils have also participated in Hillingdon initiatives supporting such things as Cleaner Greener Hayes and an Air Quality Project. In our Remembrance Assemblies we recognise all those who fought and died in the World Wars to maintain and uphold our values.
The Rule of Law
We have a clear positive behaviour management policy and high standards of behaviour of both pupils, staff and parents are expected by the Governing Body. The rights and responsibilities of every pupil are emphasised through our school rules, vision statements and School Virtues.
Our RE, PSHCE and RSE curriculums recognise and underline the importance of the ideas, feelings and needs of others. We emphasise that we are all equal under the law and that it is not only wrong, but illegal to discriminate against others on the basis of characteristics such as disability, gender, race or faith. We aim to ensure that our pupils have the knowledge and confidence to withstand attempts to radicalise them by alerting them to the intolerance that is inherent in all extremist viewpoints.
Pupils at Botwell House are encouraged to know and understand their rights and personal freedoms and advised how to exercise these safely, e.g. through our E-Safety policy, RSE AND PSHCE curriculums, circle times and assemblies. Pupils are encouraged to exercise their right to free speech by articulating their views to their School Council Representatives. They also use the pupil ‘Worry Box’ to share concerns about issues, alerting school leaders and initiating a productive dialogue. There is a strong sense of trust, because pupils know that adults take their concerns seriously, that they will listen and, where necessary, take action. We aim to ensure that pupils know their rights, but also that they are aware of the responsibilities that they entail. Teachers and other staff endeavour to set clear, consistent boundaries so that pupils can make informed choices in a safe, secure and supportive environment. We have clear Anti-bullying and Behaviour Management policies that are openly shared with every member of our community.
Mutual respect is at the heart of our faith: Jesus said, ‘Love one another as I have loved you’ Our Mission Statement echoes this, with its emphasis on the need to value the unique contribution of each person in our school. We expect all members of our community to treat each other with respect, consideration and integrity and also Care, Courtesy and Concern which are a part of our school Mission Statement. Pupils learn through their interactions with staff and each other, in the curriculum and assemblies that their behaviour has an impact on others. They frequently work collaboratively and are encouraged to listen to and value the opinions of others. Pupils are encouraged to understand and reach out to communities who are less fortunate than themselves and each year raise significant amounts for charity, demonstrating their respect for those who live in very different circumstances to ours.
Tolerance of those of Different Faiths and Beliefs
Although we are a faith school, we welcome pupils from other faiths. As we grow, our intake is becoming more ethnically and religiously diverse which is adding to the richness of our community. Tolerance is emphasised through our RE and PSHCE teaching and through our assemblies programme. Pupils benefit from the opportunity of hearing about different communities and faith traditions in the UK and the world, and we encourage parents and others to share their culture and customs with the children especially through our International week. We encourage pupils to understand their place within a culturally diverse society and above all to ensure that they leave Botwell House Catholic Primary School with a set of values which will ensure they will contribute positively to society in the future.