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British Values

How do we promote British Values at St Mark’s?

  • democracy.
  • the rule of law.
  • individual liberty.
  • mutual respect for and tolerance of those with different faiths and beliefs and for those without faith.

We aim to put these values into practice through our ethos, our explicit curriculum (including thorough RE, History and Personal, Social and Health Education lessons) and our wider curriculum.

Democracy

Each year a new School Council is elected democratically with two representatives per year Group from Year 2 to Year 6. The School Council help to make decisions on issues such as

  • how funds will be raised for national charity initiatives such as Children in Need and Comic/Sport Relief
  • new playground equipment
  • new school dinner menus
  • new staff

Their role is partly to be representative pupils and partly to represent the views of their class/year group.

When there are events such as film shows the whole school votes, as they do for Sports Team Captains and other issues where it is felt that each individual needs a say. Through this children gradually gain an understanding that the majority decision is the one that we go with.

In the playground or during group work pupils are encouraged to use democratic ways of coming to agreement.

We also aim to look at topical issues with relevant year groups for example by thinking about the referendum on EU membership.

Annual questionnaires give pupils a voice which is then reflected in school decisions.

The Rule of Law

At St Mark’s we use the R-Time Diamond Rules with one addition- try your best. These are used to encourage good behaviour and see the reasons for it and to show pupils which rule they have broken if they have made a mistake.

Our rules:

  • Show good manners at all times.
  • Follow instructions with thought and care.
  • Care for and respect everyone and everything.
  • Try your best!

As part of RE lessons children will be taught about religious laws and in PSHE they will also find out about some of the laws of Britain (for example, use of internet, legal age of drinking, that it is illegal to steal).

Individual liberty and mutual respect for and tolerance of those with different faiths and beliefs and for those without faith

Pupils at St Mark’s are encouraged to be individuals and this is celebrated especially through our weekly Commendation Assembly. They are taught to be individual pieces of a jigsaw and so fit together into groups/teams, classes, the school and the wider community.

Pupils are taught to express their opinions and that it is perfectly acceptable to hold different beliefs and opinions from others. They are taught to share their opinions and question those of others in a respectful way through PSHE and Philosophy for Children lessons, as well as across the wider curriculum.

In RE pupils are taught about Christianity and other religions. Pupils meet members of different faiths including Judaism, Sikhism and Islam and visit places of worship whenever possible (for example on residential trips).

Although as a Church School our acts of worship end with a prayer, this is always introduced in such a way that children know it is their choice to make it their prayer but by being appropriately respectful if this is not the case.

We also feel it is important to give pupils a sense of what it means to be British through History and Geography topics, learning about local Christianity and also through taking part in local (our own Patronal Festival) and national landmark celebrations (including jubilees, anniversaries) which include opportunities to mix with and learn from the local community.