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Our Christian and British Values

Promoting British Values at St. Martin’s CE VA Primary School

 

The Department for Education has stated 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 were reiterated by the Prime Minister in 2014.

 

At St. Martin’s CE VA Primary School, we employ Christian Values as the foundation for the way that we live our daily lives (please see below for a list of our values from a Christian perspective). We recognise that these guiding principles are present in other faiths too, and respect them in all forms; we also acknowledge that an individual doesn’t need to be a person of faith to live by these values. At St. Martin’s school, British and Christian values are regularly promoted through high quality teaching, a Values based programme of Collective Acts of Worship, a “Rapid Response” curriculum, and a Positive Behaviour Policy which offers pupils a fresh start, whenever positive values are enacted.

These values are modelled, reinforced and studied in the following ways:

 

Democracy:

UN CRC Article 12: Children have the right to say what they think should happen, when adults are making decisions that affect them, and to have their opinions taken into account.

Democracy is evident throughout the school. Pupils are always listened to by adults, and are taught to listen carefully and respect the right of every individual to have their opinions and voices heard. Pupils have the opportunity to have their voices heard through Class and School Councils, and our Eco Council; all pupils are offered the opportunity to deliver a short election speech to their class before a vote is taken. We have a “Get Caught Valuing” display, and any pupil or member of staff is free to nominate a pupil for inclusion on it. Through our Rapid Response Curriculum, pupils are able to spend time researching “issues of the day”, such as the 2015 General Election.

 

The Rule of Law:

UN CRC Article 19: Governments should ensure that children are properly cared for, and protect them from violence, abuse and neglect by their parents, or anyone else who looks after them.

Pupils are taught the values and reasons behind laws (and Rules), leading to an understanding that they are designed to protect us, and enable us to carry out our daily lives safely, freely, and purposefully, whether in the classroom or beyond. Pupils are also made aware that they themselves are responsible for enacting laws and rules, and that not doing so may involve consequences. Visits from authorities such as the Police help to reinforce this message, as do activities based around e-safety and cyber bullying for example.

 

Individual Liberty:

UN CRC Article 31: All children have a right to relax and play, and to join a wide range of activities.

UN CRC Article 15:  Children have the right to meet together and to join groups and organisations, as long as this does not stop other people from enjoying their rights.

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 all pupils to make choices safely, through provision of a safe environment and an empowering approach through the education. Pupils are encouraged to know, understand and exercise their rights and personal freedoms and are advised how to exercise these safely; for example, pupils are allowed to run clubs or prepare for Collective Acts of Worship, during lunchtime with minimal adult supervision, and organised by themselves.

 

Mutual Respect:

UN CRC Article 2: The Convention applies to everyone, whatever their race, religion, abilities, whatever they think or say and whatever type of family they come from.

UN CRC Article 30: Children have a right to learn and use the language and customs of their families, whether these are shared by the majority of people in the country or not.

Our school vision, ethos, and Positive Behaviour Policy are based around Core Christian values such as Compassion, Responsibility and Trust, and these values help to determine how we live as a community at St. Martin’s school. Collective Acts of Worship are based around Christian values, and are central to how we expect everyone to conduct themselves at our school, knowing that Jesus instructed us to “Love our Neighbours”. Our pupils and staff live by these values, and are keen to identify them in one another. They understand what they mean and can demonstrate these fully. The pupils know and understand what is expected of them, and know that it is essential for respect to be shown to everyone, whatever differences may exist.

 

Tolerance of those of Different Faiths and Beliefs (and those of no faith):

UN CRC Article 14: Children have the right to think and believe what they want, and to practise their religion, as long as they are not stopping other people from enjoying their rights.  Parents should guide their children on these matters.

At St. Martin’s CE VA Primary School we celebrate the culturally rich and diverse groups that make up British Society. In Religious Education pupils learn about the various religions that exist within Britain, and compare the similarities and differences between them. Christianity, Judaism, Islam, Sikhism, Hinduism and Buddhism are covered across the Key Stages (predominantly through RE). Pupils are aware that all of these religions are practised, and learn about them, upholding respect for the collective beliefs of each religion. Members of different faiths or religions are invited into school, and encouraged to share their experiences to enhance learning, and the School Improvement Plan identifies the need to take pupils on an increasing number of visits to experience firsthand, places of worship from other religions, and the believers themselves. St. Martin’s school is proactive in its pursuit of tolerance, and will always act to address misconceptions regarding different faiths and beliefs.

 

Christian Values at St. Martin’s School:

 

Value

A Christian Perspective

Courage

Basic to Christian faith is the claim that God is always present in every situation. This belief has led to great acts of courage that have included facing danger and opposition, overcoming fear, making a stand for what is right and encouraging others to persevere. Through prayer people have found the strength to help them to be courageous.

Creativity

Seen from a Christian perspective all of life is a gift, entrusted by a loving creator God to humankind for a purpose. This purpose is glimpsed as the creative spirit within each person that learns to value and explore, celebrate and enjoy this world in all its mystery and diversity. With this gift comes a mutual responsibility to ensure the creation is not spoiled, but rather sustained and shared by all.

Trust

Trust is the basis of all stable relationships, including a person's relationship with God. It is rooted in truth, and will grow through consistent experiences of reliability and integrity. God’s commitment to humanity is seen in his willingness to trust ordinary people with the carrying out of his purposes through history.

Forgiveness

Forgiveness is the means by which damaged relationships are restored. It is an act of the will, motivated by love. For Christians, Jesus's death on the cross is the ultimate revelation of God’s all forgiving love, and his sacrifice stands as a source of inspiration to forgive others, no matter what the cost.

Justice

The Justice revealed in the Bible is always seen in the context of love. It includes the call to take responsibility for one another, especially the poor and oppressed, and to see that no one is excluded from the essentials of life.

Thankfulness

Christians believe that God loves and cares for them in many ways in all aspects of their life. They know that their response to this provision should be one of thankfulness and praise.

Compassion

Christians believe that their attitudes and actions must reflect the kindness, mercy and compassion of Jesus and the love of God for everyone

Friendship

Christians believe they can call God their friend because of the relationship made possible through Jesus.

Hope

Christians see their hope in God's promise "that love and goodness have, and will ultimately, overcome all". This hope is manifested in the life, death and resurrection of Jesus Christ

Truthfulness

Christians believe that truth is revealed in the Bible and supremely in the person and life of Jesus Christ. Through Jesus’ teaching we are given an insight into the nature of God and the way in which he means us to live.

Humility

Christians believe that Jesus was both servant and King. He demonstrated this through his life, death and resurrection. Jesus taught his disciples what it means to be truly humble. Christians believe that they can serve God by demonstrating humility and their attitudes and actions. This approach to life runs contrary to many role models presents to children in the media and popular culture.

Generosity

God’s generosity is best described as "grace", love given freely without limit or conditions. This generosity, once experienced and acknowledged by an individual, can in turn release a generous spirit towards others.

Respect and reverence

The nature of God, as revealed in the Bible, presents all people with the choice. Those whose response is one of respect are acknowledging God’s greatness, authority and involvement in the world. This will extend to respect the created order, including humanity made in the image of God. Reverence takes this response a step further and will include aspects of worship such as awe and wonder, surrender and sacrifice.

Wisdom

Christians believe that true wisdom comes from God. As a believer grows in faith, so wisdom will increase. In the Bible wisdom is seen both as a gift from God and the characteristic of God. In his parables Jesus taught that placing trust in God and recognising what is of value in life brings fulfilment.

Perseverance

Jesus frequently encouraged his disciples to "endure patiently" difficulties and obstacles encountered and to persevere in the face of adversity. He himself trusted in God even when his enemies try to stop his work and plotted his death.

Service

Jesus exemplified in his person, ministry and relationship with God, what it was called the "servant King". Christians believe that their calling is to follow Jesus’ example according to their gifts or abilities. They believe that through serving God in others, "perfect freedom" will ultimately be found.

Responsibility

The Bible teaches that life is a gift from God and it is our responsibility to use our talents and abilities in the best way we can.

Peace

Jesus said: "Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called children of God." (Matthew 5:9). Peacemaking actions can range from helping to resolve conflict to creating space for stillness. Peace, in the sense of total well-being, is God's intention for the whole of creation, and is a promise that awaits ultimate fulfilment.

 

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