Promoting British Values
St Mary Magdalene Catholic Primary School is a one form entry school which is part of the Parish of Our Lady of the Rosary, Bexhill-on-Sea, comprising St Mary Magdalene Church Town Centre and St Martha's, Little Common. We provide an education that focuses on the formation of the whole person and on our vocation and purpose in life. We are guided by our mission statement 'based on Gospel values through the love and forgiveness of Christ and the teachings of the Church, we seek to inspire and facilitate the learning and development of every child and member of our community', and by the Christian values of compassion, diversity, respect, courage, responsibility and freedom.
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.”
The Government set out its definition of British values in the 2011 Prevent Strategy, and these values have been reiterated last year (2014). St Mary Magdalene Catholic Primary School is committed to promoting these fundamental British values in the following ways:
Pupil voice, as well as parent/carer voice, plays a central part in developing school improvement priorities. St Mary Magdalene is clear in demonstrating how pupils should contribute and co-operate and consider the views and needs of others. The School Council and Spiritual Council make decisions on school, community and other matters. Each class votes for their class council representatives who feed back to the school council any issues which have been raised. All school council members are voted in democratically.
We are a UNICEF Rights Respecting School and we have achieved the Silver Award. Each year, children across the school decide upon their class charter and the rights associated with these. All the children contribute to the drawing up of the charter.
Throughout the year our children are given opportunities to participate in the democratic process and vote for class rewards, class outings and other extra-curricular activities.
Children have an annual questionnaire with which they are able to put forward their views about their school.
The Rule of Law
High expectations of pupils are constantly reinforced by all staff. Whenever appropriate pupils are taught the value and reasons behind these expectations; that they are there to protect us and that everyone has responsibility and there may be consequences when rules are disregarded. Visits from authorities such as the Police and Fire Service help reinforce this message.
Making choices are actively encouraged at St Mary Magdalene, knowing that they are in a safe and supportive environment. The school provides pupils with opportunities to learn about what makes a good choice. Pupils are encouraged to express their views and teaching and learning incorporates their preferences and interests. Pupils are encouraged to know, understand and exercise their rights and personal freedoms and advised how to exercise these safely, for example through our Online Safety, Safer Internet Day and Personal Development lessons.
At St Mary Magdalene, our Gospel Values of respect and tolerance permeate all areas of school life. All staff demonstrate respect to everyone with whom they come into contact. They consistently model and promote the behaviours and attitudes that are the foundation of positive relationships. The strong school ethos encourages everyone to consider and support each other and to celebrate the worth and individuality of every member of the school community.
As a Rights Respecting School (RRSA), mutual respect is at the heart of our Gospel 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 with respect.
Tolerance of those of Different Faiths and Beliefs
The school’s curriculum aims to develop understanding of the world. The RE, PSHE and RSE schemes of work provide opportunities for pupils to develop tolerance of and empathy towards those from different faiths, beliefs and cultures.
Assemblies are regularly planned to address this issue either directly or through the inclusion of stories and celebrations from a variety of faiths and cultures.
At St Mary Magdalene we will actively challenge pupils, staff or parents expressing opinions contrary to fundamental British Values, including ‘extremist’ views.
The Queen's Platinum Jubilee Celebrations 2022