Behold! How good and how pleasant it is when brothers dwell in unity
The government set out its definition of British Values in their 2011 Strategy and the Prime Minister reiterated these values in 2014. Britain's core values, the Government states, are: democracy, the rule of law, individual liberty, mutual respect and tolerance of those with different faiths and beliefs.
At the heart of these values, lie good relationships in which teachers and students work together towards common goals. As a Christian school, these values are both integral and reinforced regularly in the following ways:
Children have many opportunities for their voices to be heard. Each class votes for ts own school council representative. The school council meets regularly to discuss issues raised in class council meetings.
School council members brings issues raised to the Head and/or Deputy Head and School Council minutes are presented at each Full Governing Body meeting.
The Rule of Law
The importance of Laws, whether they be family rules; rules that govern the classroom or school; or laws that govern the country are consistently reinforced throughout every school day.
The rules at St. Michael's are very much based on rights and corresponding responsibilities. The are updated every two years and start by thinking about 'How we want our school to be' then each point is taken in turn and children (and adults) are asked - 'If we want our school to be like this, what do we have to do to make it like that?'
In addition to this, each class devises their own class code each year, thinking about the rules that will help to make their school life run smoothly.
Pupils are taught the value and reasons behind rules and 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 help reinforce this message.
Within school, pupils are actively encouraged to make their own choices, knowing that they are in a safe and supportive environment.
Children are encouraged to know, understand and exercise their rights and personal freedoms and advised how to exercise these safely, for example through our E-Safety, RE lessons and PSHE lessons.
Whether it be through choice of learning challenge, of how they record, of participation in our numerous extra-curricular clubs and opportunities, pupils are given the freedom to make their own choices. However, children are also taught that their right to make their own choices can affect other people's individual freedoms - so they must exercise their freedoms carefully.
At St Michael's mutual respect is at the heart of our 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 kindness.
Tolerance of those of Different Faiths and Beliefs
As a Christian school, we promote the ethos of our faith, at the heart of which is love for all people. From this, flows tolerance of difference and respect for the views of others. Members of different faiths or religions are encouraged to share their knowledge to enhance learning within classes and the school. For example, a Muslim member of staff shares the importance of her personal prayer life and why she wear the hijab and a Hindu family regularly explain about Puja and tell us about how their beliefs fit into their lifestyle . Equally, a child of no faith might explain the reasoning behind his opinions. Children visit places of worship ( mosque, synagogue etc) that are important to different faiths and learn about those faiths through our Every Child Matters to God RE curriculum.
As a whole school, we have celebrated and marked special local and national occasions such as 2012 Olympics, the wedding of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, the Golden Jubilee of Queen Elizabeth II, commemoration of the First World War and visits from local politicians.
Our WW1 Museum made our remembrance service particularly poignant this year.
Look out for our British Values Logo on our website to mark where we think these are most clearly evidenced.