British Values & SMSC at St. James’ C of E Academy

The DfE has recently reinforced the 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 in 2014. At St James Academy these values are reinforced regularly and in the following ways:

How we promote British values

St. James’ children have many opportunities for their voices to be heard. We have a school council which meets regularly to discuss issues raised in class council meetings. The council is able to genuinely effect change within the school.

The school council members for each year group are voted in by their class. Year five children also visit the Houses of Parliament annually to enhance their understanding of democracy.

In addition, we have playground Buddies and Road Safety Officers who complete job applications and are selected against a set of criteria established for the role.

The importance of Laws, whether they be those that govern the class, the school, or the country, are consistently reinforced throughout regular school days, as well as when dealing with behaviour and through school assemblies/PSHCE/Circle Time. 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.

Visits from authorities such as the Police and Fire Service help reinforce this message. Throughout the year, the children also work with the PSCOs on an initiative called Super Police Kids and with the Traffic Police on road safety and speeding issues. Year 6 attend the Kid Alert event every year and learn about the rules and age restrictions in place relating to different substances.

The school Good Behaviour Policy is followed throughout the school and works on a system of rewards and sanctions. Through RE lessons children are also encouraged to make ethical and morals decisions.

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 young pupils to make choices safely, through provision of a safe environment and an empowering education.

Pupils are encouraged to know and understand their rights and personal freedoms and advised how to exercise these safely, for example through our E-Safety, circle time and PSHCE lessons. Whether it be through choice of learning challenge, of how they record, participation in our extra-curricular clubs and opportunities, pupils are given the freedom to make choices.

Mutual respect is at the heart of our values. Children learn that their behaviours have an effect on their own rights and those of others. All members of the school community treat each other and property with respect. The children are also taught the importance of respecting the environment through science and PSHCE sessions.

St. James is situated in an area which is not greatly culturally diverse, therefore we place a great emphasis on promoting diversity with the children. Assemblies are planned to address this issue either directly or through the inclusion of stories and celebrations from a variety of faiths and cultures.

Our RE and PSHCE teaching reinforce this. Members of different faiths and communities are encouraged to share their knowledge to enhance learning within classes and the school. Children visit places of worship that are important to different faiths.

Further information:

I particularly enjoy RE as I like learning more about God and Jesus, there is more and more to learn every day.

Matilda, Year 6

My favourite subject is maths because it is fun as well as challenging!

Lily-Grace, Year 6

I love the exciting trips that we go on, they make me think about the future and my future career.

Olivia, Year 6

I learn something new every day, then I like to go home and do more research, particularly about out topic.

Cailen, Year 5

The books we read in school have inspired me to read more at home; I really enjoy reading every day.

Jack, Year 5

St James is like one big family, we look after each other and I feel safe here.

Millie, Year 5