In accordance with The Department for Education we aim to actively promote British values in schools to ensure young people leave school prepared for life in modern Britain. Pupils are encouraged to regard people of all faiths, races and cultures with respect and tolerance and understand that while different people may hold different views about what is ‘right’ and ‘wrong’, all people living in England are subject to its law.
The Key Values are:
- rule of law
- individual liberty
- mutual respect
- tolerance of those of different faiths and beliefs
The teaching of British Values at Holy Cross
At Holy Cross Catholic Primary School we aim to provide the children with a rich, relevant, broad, and balanced curriculum that is tailored to their needs; we value the diverse ethnic backgrounds of all pupils and families and undertake a variety of events and lessons to celebrate these.
The Catholic faith and our ethos which is at the heart of the school, teaches tolerance and respect for the differences in our community and the wider world, seeing all as part of God’s creation. Although Catholic Christianity is the main focus of our R.E teaching, as a regular part of our R.E. programme of work we study other faiths such as Sikhism and Judaism and in R.E. focus weeks we have also studied Islam.
The values at the heart of British society such as freedom of speech and democracy, the importance of responsibilities alongside rights are emphasised to the children through things such as our prefect system and children electing School Councillors from each class and House Captains from Year 6. Children learn to debate issues and accept the rights of others to hold different views providing they still act within the system of the organisation’s rules and the ‘Rule of Law’. Children take on responsibilities across the school, supporting others and helping the ‘organisation’ to run smoothly.
We teach the children to respect the rights of personal liberty and to have mutual respect through acceptance of others’ lifestyles, cultures and religious faiths or no faith. We encourage enquiry based learning which will lessen the chance of extremism taking hold.
Through our charity work supporting a range of local, national and global causes we develop a sense of the importance of philanthropy.
In order to give the children an opportunity to work with a wider range of children, from backgrounds culturally different to their own, we work closely with a local school which has an entirely different ethnic and religious makeup. The children from both schools work together in team events (not against each other) completing art/D.T, musical and sporting activities as well as watching each other’s different Christmas celebrations.
We also consider it important to explicitly teach our children about British history, culture and traditions as many of our families and children are new to the country and unfamiliar with the culture and traditions. Through the study of local and national history and links with the church, we aim to ensure that the children in our school leave with strong British values. These values are embedded in our curriculum and our democratic systems such as school council, and school houses, our prefect system and in our collective worship.
In KS1, children look at the United Kingdom including significant historical events such as the Great Fire of London; and significant people and places. As part of this, there is a strong focus on the work of Florence Nightingale and how she assisted British soldiers in Scutari so they could convalesce after being injured. Florence Nightingale is seen as special by many children in the year group as they find her work and approach to making changes to hospitals both fascinating and inspiring.
In KS2 we look at the history of British monarchs from 1066 and the history of British food and its changes. We also teach the National Anthem and explore ‘Politics and Parliament’. Pupils cover World War Two and the impact that the military had in fighting for the British Empire. This is linked with the annual Poppy Day celebrations where children purchase poppies and a minute’s silence is held in specially created assemblies for the school. The children also examine the work of the designer, David Emmanuel, and the architect Christopher Wren.
Through our House system, based on the 4 patron saints of the United Kingdom, and the celebration of their feast days, we celebrate aspects of England, Ireland, Scotland and Wales.
As a whole school, we celebrated the Olympics, with the Thurrock Olympic torch relay and themed sports days, and learnt about the history of Olympians.
We also celebrated the wedding of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and the birth of Prince George with special assemblies and themed lessons. The Golden Jubilee was a huge event for the school, with a ‘street party’ event held in the playgrounds. Traditional British children’s party food was shared with all. We will be celebrating the Queen's 90th birthday with a special assembly, singing the National Anthem and enjoying cakes and drinks!
On a more general level, the school undertakes daily assemblies which uphold traditional values of empathy, respect and tolerance. These are also taught within formal, PSHE and RE lessons and on an informal nature throughout the school day.
The ‘Prevent Strategy’
The Government’s ‘Prevent Strategy’ came into force on 1st July 2015. The purpose of this strategy is to safeguard children from extremist views and violence. Schools are obliged to make a statement to parents, informing them of the steps being taken to ensure that pupils do not become embittered and resentful of other faiths and cultures through a lack of knowledge and understanding.
The ethos of Holy Cross is one of respect for all, regardless of faith, culture or difference. In RE, pupils are taught about other faiths in order to promote respect and tolerance.
At Holy Cross, we have a broad and balanced curriculum which promotes the spiritual, moral and cultural development of pupils and prepares them for the opportunities, responsibilities and experiences of life. We talk to the children about the daily experiences and beliefs of people of different faiths and may invite speakers in. During a recent focus week on Islam, children across the school enjoyed an assembly and a variety of workshops led by an Imam, teaching them about the Islamic faith.
We teach the pupils about the British Values which affirm the basic principles of a just and fair society. These principles align well with the Church’s teaching on the ‘Common Good’.
UKS2 pupils have enjoyed an Anti-Radicalisation workshop, led by the British Muslim Society
If the school became concerned about a pupil becoming exposed to extremist views or violence, we would deal with it in line with our safeguarding policy. We would speak to the parents first, if appropriate, make a referral to the Thurrock MASH or LSCB who may involve the Police.