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 values were reiterated by the Prime Minister in 2014. At St John’s these values are reinforced regularly and in the following ways.
Democracy is embedded at the academy. Pupils 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 and ideas through our school council and regular questionnaires.
The rule of law
The importance of laws, whether they are those that govern the class, the academy or the country, are consistently reinforced. Our academy has ‘The St John’s Six’ expectations, which are deeply embedded in our work every day. Each class also discusses and sets its own rules that are clearly understood by all and seen to be necessary to ensure that every class member is able to learn in a safe and ordered environment. Our 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.
Within the academy, 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 pupils to make choices safely, through the provision of a safe environment and an empowering education. Our pupils are encouraged to know, understand and exercise their rights and personal freedoms and are advised how to exercise these safely; examples of this can be clearly seen in our e-safety and PSHE lessons. Whether it is through choice of challenge; of how they record; of participation in our numerous extra- curricular activities; our pupils are given the freedom to make choices.
The pupils know and understand what it is expected and it is imperative that respect is shown to everyone, whatever differences we may have and to everything, however big or small. The value of ‘respect’ at St John’s underpins our work every day, both in and out of the classroom.
Tolerance of those with different faiths and beliefs
The emphasis on ‘respect’ ensures tolerance of those who have different faiths and beliefs. St John’s enhances pupils’ understanding of different faiths and beliefs through religious education studies; PSHE work; welcoming visitors and enjoying a depth of study during our curriculum. Beliefs, traditions and customs will be studied in depth, with visitors being invited in to our school to enrich and extend understanding. Through this our pupils gain an enhanced understanding of their place in a culturally diverse society.