Our vision commits us to focusing on each child as a member of God’s family.
To do that, our school has to concentrate on first understanding and then developing each individual child's unique nature and potential. This must include his or her personality and attitudes, likes and dislikes, academic potential, speed of development, special needs, and particular gifts or talents.
As a Catholic school, with the help of our families, our parish and our local community, we will do our best to use the gifts that God has given us to make our world a richer place.
The Department for Education has introduced a statutory duty for schools to promote British Values more actively from September 2014, and to ensure they are taught in schools. St Joseph’s Catholic Primary School is committed to serving its community.
It recognises the multi-cultural, multi-faith and ever-changing nature of the United Kingdom. It also understands the vital role it has in ensuring that groups or individuals within the school are not subjected to intimidation or radicalisation by those wishing to unduly, or illegally, influence them. The school follows equal opportunities guidance which guarantees that there will be no discrimination against any individual or group, regardless of faith, ethnicity, gender, sexuality, political or financial status, or similar. St Joseph’s is dedicated to preparing students for their adult life beyond the formal, examined curriculum and ensuring that it promotes and reinforces British values to all its students.
The government set out its definition of British values in the 2011 Prevent Strategy. The five key British Values are:
- The rule of law
- Individual liberty
- Mutual respect
- Tolerance of those of different faiths and beliefs
The school uses strategies within the national curriculum and beyond, to secure such outcomes for students. The ethos of our school, as summarised by our Mission Statement, is derived from Christian values which are at the heart of what we teach in school and encompass the five key values identified above.
The following examples illustrate some of the many ways St Joseph’s seeks to instil British Values.
Democratic values are an explicit part of the Catholic ethos of our school. Adults listen to the views of pupils and value their opinions. Pupils’ voices can be heard through our School Council, Liturgy leaders, Eco Council, pupil interviews and questionnaires and through the teaching of PSHE. The children learn about democracy through formal lessons and assemblies, but also through their involvement as special friends to our youngest children, in the election of members of the School Council, Eco Council, playtime monitors. Children play an active role in developing school and classroom rules and systems for marking and feedback.
Rule of Law
The importance of laws and rules are reinforced in the classroom as well as through school assemblies. Pupils are taught to understand the need for laws – that they are there for individual protection, the responsibilities that this involves and the consequences when laws are broken. Catholic law is taught through gospel values. Each class decides on their class values to act as their rules for the year. Right and wrong is taught through the upkeep of these values. Children show their respect of these values through circle time type activities as appropriate within their class.
Pupils follow a positive behaviour policy and clearly understand the expectations, rewards and consequences that are used. Assemblies and discussions in class are rooted in our Catholic faith and beliefs, and focus on recognising right from wrong. The “Home School Agreement” is a bond between pupils and teachers, parents and governors – and reflects the changing needs of the school.
Pupils are encouraged to be independent learners and to make choices within a safe and supportive environment. A focus upon making the right choices is explicit through our assemblies and as a Catholic school our ethos emphasises that we are all the same in the eyes of God. Celebration assembly celebrates each child’s achievements and parents may be invited to attend. Equal opportunity planned for – all pupils have their moment to shine Developing their self-esteem and self-confidence is very important.
Our year 6 pupil are given additional responsibilities in school and are special friends to our reception children. They organise liturgies and Act of Worship and are encouraged to be good role models for younger children. Pupils are encouraged to understand their personal freedom and are taught how to use these rights to best effect. All pupils are keen to support charities, whether local, national or global, and frequently initiate fund raising activities. Consideration and care for others is key to our Catholic faith, is evident in the ethos of our school, and is explicitly taught through our Religious Education curriculum and PSHE lessons.
Our school’s ethos and behaviour policy are based on Gospel Values, as we aim to be like Jesus and ‘live, love and learn with the Lord’. Collective worship promotes respect for others and the importance of good manners. Supported by prayer and meditation, all pupils are taught the importance of self-respect, honest and open communication with others, and fairness and justice. Pupils work collaboratively and value the opinions of others.
Tolerance of those of Different Faiths and Beliefs
The Catholic life of the school sets high expectations for respect and tolerance of all faiths. As a Catholic worshipping community children are taught that we are all created in the image and likeness of God and are reminded of their place in a culturally diverse society. This is achieved through our Religious Education curriculum and the spiritual life of the school. Respect and tolerance for members of our wider community is often achieved through fundraising for Catholic Care and CAFOD. Whole school worship, Assemblies and classwork promote the diversity of society and the right for each person to be respected and valued equally regardless of ability, gender, faith, heritage or race.