Promoting British Values at St. Austin’s
The DfE have reinforced the need ‘to create and enforce a clear and rigorous expectation on a 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.’
At St. Austin’s these values are reinforced regularly and in the following ways:
Democracy is embedded in school. Children are always listened to by adults and are taught to listen carefully and with concern to each other, respecting the right of every individual to have their opinions and voices heard. Pupils also have the opportunity to air their opinions through our School Council, Mini Vinnies and the Chaplaincy Team. The elections to these councils are based solely on pupil votes, reflecting our British electoral system and demonstrating democracy in action. These councils work not only to solve issues that the children raise but also have input into their curriculum and the standards of the school.
The Rule of Law
The importance of laws, whether they be those that govern the class, the school or the country, are consistently reinforced throughout regular school days, as well as when dealing with behaviour and through school assemblies and collective worship. 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. Visits from authorities such as the Police and Fire Service help reinforce this message.
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 provision of a safe environment and empowering education. Pupils are encouraged to know, understand and exercise their rights and personal freedoms and advised how to exercise these safely, for example through our E-Safety and PHSE lessons. Whether it be through a learning challenge, of how they record, of participation in our numerous extra-curricular clubs and opportunities, pupils are given the freedom to make choices.
Mutual respect is at the heart of our values. Children learn that their behaviours have an effect on their own rights and those of others. All members of the school community treat each other with respect. The children know and understand that it is expected and imperative that respect is shown to everyone, whatever differences we may have and to everything, however big or small.
Tolerance of Different Faiths and Beliefs
St. Austin’s place a great emphasis on promoting diversity with the children in order to promote tolerance and respect of other faiths and cultures. Assemblies are planned to address this either directly or through the inclusion of stories and celebrations from a variety of faiths and cultures. Our RE and PSHE teaching reinforce this. Members of different faiths or religions are encouraged to share their knowledge to enhance learning within classes and the school. Children visit places of worship that are important to different faiths. Thorough this, our children gain an enhanced understanding of their place in a culturally diverse society.