Defining 'British' values
The DFE state 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. St Michael’s have found it helpful to begin by considering the school's values in general, rather than focusing on ‘British values’. The school has adopted an inclusive approach that recognises that there are many ways of connecting with ‘Britishness’. It is too easy to revert to a narrow interpretation of Britishness, based on past traditions, symbols and stereotypes, which is meaningless to many of today’s pupils.
St Michael’s believe that a statement of British values should demonstrate the school's reflective and thoughtful approach to improving children’s knowledge, awareness, understanding, and respect for diversity. At the heart of each school’s approach to its British values statement should be an aim to equip pupils with the knowledge, skills and attitudes they need to be able to function in a diverse society.
Global Ambassadors, Picture News and All Welcome Programme
John 10:10 Life and Life in all fullness
St Michael’s believe in offering our children a broad and balance curriculum to increase their understanding of the wider world and their place in it. Through assemblies, we cover current news events linked with British Values and evaluated through a faith lens - What should we respond ? Over the school year , we have a monthly global ambassador assembly led by a Foundation Governor ; we hold half termly class assemblies - “All Welcome” - to allow the children to discuss and engage with difficult topics at an age appropriate level. We use picture News assemblies weekly to ensure the children are fully informed of current issues in the news and view these through a Christian lens and in line with British Values . The assembly pack also includes maps to develop the children’s understanding of where in the world events are happening.
Exploitation of natural world
Treat all with dignity and respect
Exploitation of people
How do we respond
We have supported Click Sergeant , the Red Cross, Macmillan , Stretford Foodbank and various other charities over the years. Our toilets are twinned as well.
Democracy is embedded at the school. 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 Eco Committee , talking to governors offering a pupil voice . RE uses a Questful approach to Faith and children are encouraged in assemblies and foundation topics to understand voting and majority decisions reflecting our British electoral system and demonstrating democracy in action.
The Rule of Law
The importance of laws whether they are those that govern the class, the school or the country, are consistently reinforced throughout our school day, through our school assemblies and also when dealing with behaviour in school. We encourage our pupils to distinguish right from wrong and help pupils to understand that living under the rule of law protects individuals. 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. Visits from the Police, Fire Service etc. also help to reinforce our messages. Our restorative justice approach helps us to resolve conflicts.
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 our pupils to make choices safely, through the provision of a safe environment and an empowering education. We support pupils to develop their self-knowledge, self-esteem and self-confidence. 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. We implement a strong anti-bullying culture and our school value of caring and collaboration encourages pupils to work together in a respectful and kind way.
At the heart of our whole school ethos is a commitment to our values – a set of core attitudes that we believe contribute to individuals being able to live happy and successful lives within the communities to which they belong. Each value is chosen to underpin the need for mutual respect between our pupils and their peers, staff, their families and their wider community. Our Values are taught through assemblies and RE and used in appraisal and staff appointments . They form a key part of our daily dialogue across school. Respect is promoted across school and it is deeply embedded in all that we do at the school. The pupils know and understand that it is expected and imperative that respect is shown to everyone, whatever differences we may have and to everything, however big or small. Our school frequently participates in learning activities which promote mutual respect including visits to Delemere Special School , taking the choir to residential care homes for the elderly and the Eco Committee promotes respect for the environment. A very wide range of extra-curricular clubs are offered at St Michael’s after the school day. These clubs provide another opportunity for mutual respect to be secured in the attitudes of our pupils, both amongst those participating from their own setting, and any visiting staff or teams.
Tolerance of Those with Different Faiths And Beliefs
Our core value of Respect ensures tolerance of those who have different faiths and beliefs. St Michael’s use the Questful RE Curriculum which allows the children to question and explore their own and the faith or non-belief of others. We welcome visitors from other schools that are not predominately white British, and enjoying a depth of study about other cultures and belief systems in our No Outsiders class Assemblies.