British (shared) Values @ St Helen's
At St. Helen's we are culturally diverse and inclusive. We refer to British Values as 'Shared Values' or 'Human Values'
The promotion of democracy is subtle but fundamental within the school. Pupils have the opportunity to have their voices heard through our school EDI group and ECO Council, and through pupil questionnaires. Our EDI (Equity, diversity and inclusion) group consist of young people who represent the cohorts in our school and speak on their behalf. Children are consulted and contribute to the development of school policies, for example our behaviour policy and the school improvement plan. Our EDI group are also involved in our recruitment process, showing prospective staff around and presenting their viewpoints to the Head.
Recently we have started the Votes for Schools programme, where pupils are introduced to current topics and asked to discuss both sides of an argument. These are shared in the weekly newsletter for continued discussion at home and at the end of the week pupils express their ideas through the voting process.
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. Visits from authorities such as the Police and Fire Service are regular parts of our calendar and help reinforce this message.
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, through provision of a safe environment and empowering education. Pupils are encouraged to know, understand and exercise their rights and personal freedoms and advise how to exercise these safely, for example through our ‘Online safety’ and PSHE lessons. Pupils are given the freedom to make choices, for example signing up for extra-curricular clubs, choosing the level of challenge in some lessons and deciding direction some events in the school calendar take.
As a inclusive and ,multicultural school, our ethos is based around equity and empowerment, including respect. Our aims are firmly based on the value of community and respect, which permeates all aspects of school life, including our school improvement plan and behaviour policy. The staff at St Helen's model 'Un-conditional positive regard' for all members of the community and through the schools behaviour policy and strategies, we help support the children in understanding how to overcome conflicts and respect each others opinions even if they differ. Our Oracy work allows us to give pupils the tools they need to debate respectfully and acknowledge other viewpoints.
Tolerance (Acceptance) of others beliefs, cultures and differences
St Helen's is a cultural diverse and inclusive school. Without tolerance, understanding and acceptance we would not be the kind and inclusive school that we are. Our EDI group speak on behalf of our different groups within the school and we actively encourage pupils to speak out against injustices and prejudice in any form. Our libraries are rich in diverse texts allowing pupils to see themselves in books and lives from different perspectives. Our currciulum embraces the world we love in and the inequities within it. Discussions involving prejudices and prejudice-based bullying have been followed and supported by learning in RE and PSHE. We regularly have different visitors in assemblies from a range of cultural backgrounds and religions and ones that actively chanllenge the stereotypes in society. Every two years we host an 'International Week' in school where we explore different countries around the world and share in dance, music, literature and food. This culminates in an 'International Day' open to all, where the children showcase all that they have learned. Diversity is our strength.
At St Helen's we believe that everyone has a responsibility to look after themselves, others and the environment we live and work in. The children show that reposnsibility in many different ways. Early years pupils are responsible for keeping their own areas tidy and treating everyone with kindness. In Key Stage 1 the children take on responsability for their own learning, behaviour taowards others and in particular the area outside of their classrooms, helping with equipment tidy up etc at lunchtime. In lower Key Stage 2 we introduce the children to ECO work and careing for our environment whilst. We also help them understanding their own resonsibility for learning and supporting each other. My the time our children reach Year 5 and 6 we encourage our children to direct their own learning and take more responsability for their own and their peers progress through the use of peer support. We also explore the legal responsabilities and actions they have as citizens of the UK.