British Values Policy

At St Joseph’s Primary and Nursery School we take very seriously our responsibility to prepare children for life in modern Britain. We ensure that the fundamental British Values are introduced, discussed and lived out through the ethos and work of the school. All curriculum areas provide a vehicle for furthering understanding of these concepts and in particular, our PSHE skills which includes Citizenship, elements of Spiritual, Moral, Social and Cultural lessons and Religious Education. The Early Years Curriculum includes Personal, Social and Emotional Development and Understanding the World which help children to respect and value all people and provide opportunities to deepen and develop understanding.

Children at St Joseph’s embrace these concepts with enthusiasm and demonstrate a good understanding of how to apply to their own lives.

Our school makes considerable efforts to ensure children have exposure to a wide experience beyond their local community during which these concepts are shown. Sporting events, a range of trips and visitors and use of outdoor education are planned to ensure children’s experiences are broad, meaningful and varied. Their strong rooted ‘values-based’ understanding gives them an excellent platform for embracing difference.

Combatting discrimination – Hope – At St Joseph’s, it is important that we all live life to the full, as is our Mission Statement. To do this, we know we have a part to play in God’s plan, and it is a positive one. So discrimination has no place at St Joseph’s, as it has no place in the Gospel. We follow the words of St Francis when he said, “Preach the Gospel at all times and if you have to… use words.”

Tolerance, acceptance, respect (People of all faiths) – Love – At St Joseph’s, Love is part of our Mission Statement. Our Mission demands tolerance, acceptance and respect, and that we treat others the way we wish to be treated. We follow Jesus who said, “Love one another as I have loved you.”

Freedom to choose your faiths and beliefs held in law – Faith – At St Joseph’s, all are welcome, regardless if they are Catholic or not. All have a right to their beliefs, and to use them to live their lives to the fullest. We follow Christ as he said that, “I have come so that they may live life to the full.”

Citizens can influence decision-making through the democratic process – At St Joseph’s we have an active pupil voice who meet several times per term. Our School Council meets regularly and quite simply, if they decide something that fits within the culture of the school, it happens. The pupils also use their vote every year to decide upon their House Captains.

Living under the rule of law protects our wellbeing and safety – At St Joseph’s, the children know our Culture Statement and they know our rules are there to keep us safe. Children choose their own behaviour and are responsible for it – and they are responsible for keeping the school rules, which protects all our safety and wellbeing.

Separation of executive and judiciary – Our School Rules promote positive messages to the children and keep us safe in school. We are regularly visited by Ramsbottom Police, who give us positive messages about they keep us safe when we are in Ramsbottom or in Bury.

What are British Values?

The Government emphasises that schools are required to ensure that key ‘British Values’ are taught in all UK schools. The government set out its definition of British values in the ‘Prevent Strategy’ values of:

  • Democracy

  • The rule of law

  • Individual liberty

  • Mutual respect

  • Tolerance of those of different faiths and beliefs

St Joseph’s Primary and Nursery school is situated in an area which is not culturally diverse. Therefore, we place a great emphasis on promoting diversity with the children. Assemblies are regularly planned to address this issue either directly or through the inclusion of stories and celebrations from a variety of faiths and cultures. Our PSHE and Religious Education teaching also reinforces this ethos.

Democracy is an integral part of school life. Pupils have the opportunity to have their voices heard through our School Council and other groups such as the Eco-club.  The yearly elections of School Councillors are based solely on pupil votes and put student voice at the heart of learning and school life. We strongly believe that an effective school council helps children and young people have a greater say and understanding over matters that affect their school and wider lives. The school council meets every other week and a range of topics are discussed.  The councillors then relay the key information to their class groups. The council has its own budget and is genuinely able to effect change within the school.

The importance of laws, whether they are those that govern the class, the school, or the country are consistently reinforced throughout our school day in St Joseph’s. Pupils are taught the value and reasons behind laws, that they govern and protect us, the responsibilities that this involves and the consequences when laws are broken. Through our Commando Joe programme, the children learn about the RESPECT framework, which is based on Resilience, Empathy, Self awareness, Passion, Excellence, Communication and Teamwork.

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 young pupils to make choices safely, through the provision of a safe environment and empowering education. Pupils are encouraged to know, understand and exercise their rights and personal freedom and are taught how to exercise these safely, for example through our E-Safety computing and PSHE lessons. Whether it be through choice of challenge, of how they record, their participation in our numerous extra-curricular clubs and opportunities, pupils are given the freedom to make their own choices.

School Councillors

Class Ambassadors

Pupils are a part of discussions, themed assemblies and collective worship related to what this means and how it is shown. Posters around the school promote respect for others and this is reiterated through our classroom rules, as well as our behaviour policy. The concept of ‘fair play’, being magnanimous in defeat and participation in activities that promote kinship and affiliation with others are actively promoted in school.

Year 4, 5 and 6 Play Leaders