Promoting British Values at St. Thomas Aquinas Catholic Primary School
The DfE have 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.”
First and foremost we recognise that our role as a Catholic school is to teach and uphold the Gospel values. At St Thomas Aquinas, British values are reinforced regularly and in the following ways:
Pupils have the opportunity to have their voices heard through our School Council and Pupil questionnaires. The children have the chance to elect a representative from each class that they feel will represent their classes views. They know the importance of fairness.
The Rule of Law:
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. 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. They know the importance of rules.
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 safety, through the provision of a safe environment and empowering education. They know they are important and valued as individuals.
At the heart of our Gospel teachings of Jesus Christ is, ‘To love one another as I have loved you’. This is at the core of our school and we expect all to adhere to this teaching regardless of their background, faith, or race. Everyone is treated with respect in our school. Part of our school ethos and behaviour policy has revolved around Christian values such as ‘Respect’ and ‘Forgiveness’. We promote ‘Manners and Politeness’ towards everyone in our school. The children value others as equals.
Tolerance of those of Different Faiths and Beliefs:
This is achieved through enhancing pupils understanding of their place in a culturally diverse society and by giving them opportunities to experience such diversity. RE lessons will focus specifically on other faiths (Jewish visitor, class visit to synagogue, etc). The children get to make during Lent for fundraising ideas and their leadership of these activities is particularly impressive especially in Key Stage 2.
Also, through our Remembrance Day work, we recognise all those who fought and died in World Wars to maintain and uphold our values and our freedom to worship God.
We work to ensure that our children understand that:
- There are no outsiders at St Thomas Aquinas and we are all special to God
- We are inclusive
- Everyone is different
- We celebrate our differences
- We are all equal in our differences
The Equality Act became law in 2010. It covers everyone in Britain and protects people from discrimination, harassment and victimisation. Everyone in Britain is protected. This is because the Equality Act protects people against discrimination because of the protected characteristics that we all have. At St Thomas Aquinas, we promote these in our curriculum and work to embed them into our Catholic ethos.
Under the Equality Act, these are the Protected Characteristics:
- religion or belief
- marriage or civil partnership
- sexual orientation
- pregnancy and maternity