At St James, we recognise the multicultural, multi-faith nature of the United Kingdom and understand the crucial role our schools play in promoting these values. As a school that serves a diverse community, we take our responsibility to promote community cohesion, generate a respect for difference and individual rights seriously. We believe it is incredibly important that these British Values permeate through all aspects of school and children will encounter these values throughout our everyday school life. Our Statutory Inspection of Anglican and Methodist Schools (SIAMS) report recognised us as an ‘excellent’ Church of England School and our vision, values and our Christian identity play an important role in upholding British Values within our school community.
At our school these values are reinforced regularly and in the following ways:
Pupil voice plays a big part in life at St. James. Our pupil elected School Council play a strong role in our school. They are elected by their class peers and are involved in making St. James a better place to learn. We know that the formation of the school council and the active participation of our pupils will sow the seeds for a more sophisticated understanding of democracy in the future. School Buddies are also elected democratically and ensure free times in school are productive. Democracy is also a deliberately chosen substantive concept which is threaded through our history curriculum so children have the opportunity to develop a deep understanding of its importance to life today.
The Rule of Law:
Our pupils will encounter rules and laws throughout their entire lives. We want our pupils to understand that whether these laws govern the class, the school, the neighbourhood or the country, they are set for good reasons and must be adhered to. This understanding of the importance of rules will be consistently reinforced through assemblies and our curriculum. They have an important focus in our history curriculum, as a chosen substantive concept, where children learn about rules and laws and how they have changed over time, thus impacting their lives today. The involvement of our pupils in the creation of the school rules and values helps them to understand the reasons behind rules and the consequences if rules are broken. Throughout the year we welcome visits from members of the wider community including police, the fire brigade and many more. Children also have the opportunity to become Junior PCSO's where they work alongside the local community PCSO and they get hands on experience! We believe that clear explanations and real life stories emphasise the importance of the Rule of Law for our pupils.
We invest a lot of time in creating a positive culture in our school, so children are in a safe environment where choices and freedoms are encouraged. We offer a range of clubs which pupils have the freedom to choose from, based on their interests. Through our E-Safety, and PSHE sessions, we educate children on their rights and personal freedoms as well as supporting them in recognising how to exercise these freedoms safely. At St James, we believe that valuing choice and freedom in daily school life will foster a value for individual liberty as the children embark upon their adult lives.
Part of our school Christian values, ethos and behaviour policy revolve around the core value of ‘respect’ and pupils have been part of discussions and assemblies related to what this means and how it is shown. Images and messages around the school promote respect for others and this is reiterated through our classroom and learning rules, as well as our behaviour policy. Pupils will challenge each other when not showing respect and encourage each other to be respectful.
Tolerance of those of Different Faiths and Beliefs:
Whilst we are a Church of England School, we offer a culturally rich and diverse curriculum in which all major religions are studied and respected. Assemblies and discussions involving prejudices and prejudice-based bullying have been followed and supported by learning in PSHE. Through our RE curriculum, which teaches the main faiths and focuses upon learning about religion and learning from religion, we promote tolerance of the beliefs of others. Through our curriculum and the routines of our daily school life, we strive to demonstrate tolerance and help children to become knowledgeable and understanding citizens who can build a better Britain for the future. Our curriculum values diversity and children learn about religion and beliefs over time in their history learning, as yet another substantive concept we believe to be incredibly important to teach about.