The Department for Education states that there is a 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 were reiterated by the Prime Minister in 2014. At St. Michael’s these values are embedded in the life of our school. They are actively promoted through spiritual, moral, social and cultural education and form part of our distinctive Christian character.
At St. Michael’s we actively encourage children to share their views and opinions regularly. Pupils are listened to by adults and are taught to actively listen to one another, respecting the right of every individual to have their opinions heard. Children are given opportunities to take part in democratic processes such as the election of House Captains. We have a thriving school council which allows children to have a voice and share their ideas. Regular pupil conferencing provides children with the opportunity to share their views of learning and life at St.Michael’s, thus ensuring school self-evaluation is robust and accurate.
Pupils are taught the values and reasons behind laws and that they govern and protect us. Our children discuss and set their class rules to ensure they are relevant and understood by all. St. Michael’s school rules, rewards and sanctions are referred to regularly and are consistently reinforced throughout the school day and during worship.
Within our school children are actively encouraged to make decisions and choices; knowing that they are in a safe and supportive environment. Pupils are encouraged to know, understand and exercise their rights and personal freedoms. Whether through choice of learning challenge, how they record their learning or participation in extra- curricular activities, the children at St. Michael’s are given the freedom to make choices and make decisions.
Our children understand that respect must be shown to everyone, whatever differences there may be. Children learn that their behaviours have an effect on their own rights and those of others. All members of our school community treat each other with respect.
At St. Michael’s Christian concepts and values form an integral part of pupils' learning but are taught alongside an understanding and celebration of different faiths, cultures, philosophies and beliefs. Pupils gain an enhanced understanding of the place of religion in a multi-religious world and their place in a culturally diverse society.