BRITISH VALUES IN CHURCH OF ENGLAND SCHOOLS
The Southwark Diocesan Board of Education (SDBE) is committed to promoting distinctively Christian values derived from the life and teachings of Jesus Christ in its schools. While recognising the requirement to promote ‘fundamental British values,’ these need to be re-formed in the church school context.
The SDBE recognises that British values should be appreciated as ‘values for living in Britain’ and also be seen as shared human values and as part of living well together harmoniously. Our church schools live out and teach distinctively Christian values day by day and endeavour to live by the Fruit of the Spirit, the attributes to be found in St. Paul’s letter to the Galatians, The fruit of the spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, generosity, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control.” Galatians 5:22-23.
The teaching of British values should be aligned to those distinctively Christian values and the Fruit of the Spirit as a wider and more profound and biblical approach.
British Values in our School
We teach a broad and balanced curriculum that teaches elements of democracy, rules and laws, the monarchy, equality, values and virtues, environmental awareness and understanding of different faiths. Actively promoting British Values also refers to challenging pupils, staff or parents expressing opinions contrary to fundamental British Values. At St John's, values of tolerance and respect permeate all areas of school life. This creates a climate within which pupils feel safe and secure and therefore allows them to learn and develop. Pupil voice plays an integral part in driving the schools forward.
These British Values are promoted throughout the curriculum, across the whole school. They are also seen in the school ethos, policies, assemblies, special events and cultural celebrations. The following are a selection of activities that are evidence of our commitment to British Values.
The Rule of Law
The importance of Laws, whether they be those that govern the class, the school, or the country, are consistently reinforced at St John's. Learners are taught the value and reasons behind laws, that they govern and protect us, the responsibilities that these involve and the consequences when laws are broken. Visits from the police and fire service as visits from outside agencies help to 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 our learners to make choices safely, through the provision of a safe environment and clearly articulated choices. Learners are encouraged to know, understand and exercise their rights and personal freedoms and are advised how to exercise these safely, for example through our E-Safety sessions or through the School Values and Christian Values. Whether it be through choice of challenge in lessons, or how they record responses, or participation in our extra-curricular clubs and opportunities, pupils are given the freedom to make choices.
At St John's, we teach the learners the importance of respecting each other, regardless of age, ability or belief. We teach the children to show courtesy and good manners to adults and each other and reinforce how this contributes towards the quality of life at school and at home. The learners are proactive in designing their own learning and understand that the staff team respect them for taking on this responsibility. Collective Worship and the teaching of our values throughout our curriculum covers ‘Respect’ and ‘Understanding’. This underpins much of our ethos at St John's. Displays and Reflection Areas around the school promote respect for others and this is reiterated through our class charters, as well as our behaviour policy. When a child does something well their achievement is celebrated and this provides a positive example for others to aspire to.
Tolerance of those with different faiths and beliefs
This is achieved through enhancing pupils’ understanding of their place in a culturally diverse society and by giving them opportunities to experience such diversity. As a Church school, our Vicar plays an integral part in School life and the children see our local Church as ‘their Church’. Our children are also given opportunities to visit other faith centres, such as mosques, temples and synagogues.