‘Britishness’ at St Martin’s CE Primary
There has been much media interest over the last year over the concept of Britishness in our schools, and this has been further highlighted in a statement from our Prime Minister. Accordingly we felt that it was appropriate to set out how ‘Britishness’ has been taught and reinforced at St Martin’s Primary School over the last few years.
Democracy is core to our Christian ethos. Children have the opportunity to have their voices heard through our School Council , pupil conferencing and questionnaires. Our Collective Worship themes such as cooperation reinforce this.
Elections for House Captain’s are undertaken involving the whole school voting following an election campaign/speech. The School Council is appointed following a rigorous interview involving members of staff. We intend for Y6 School Council representatives to attend a Governing Body meeting each year so all governors have opportunity to question pupils and to learn their views.
Children are always able to voice their opinions and we foster an environment where children are safe to disagree with each other. KS2 enjoy parliamentary workshops where they are introduced to the workings of our democracy. Our core learning skills which are built up throughout the school such as working with others reinforce this.
The Rule of Law
The importance of laws, whether they be those that govern the class, the school or the country are consistently reinforced in our expectations throughout very school day, as well as when dealing with behaviour and through Collective Worship. We use the Golden Rules which are displayed everywhere. Our Collective Worship themes such as obedience reinforce this.
Children are taught the value and reasons behind laws that govern and protect us, the responsibilities that this involves, and the consequences when laws are broken. Visits from the Police and Fire Service etc reinforce this message.
Within school children are actively encouraged to make choices, knowing that they are in a safe and supportive environment. Children are actively encouraged to have rethinks. Our PSHE policy underpins and supports this decision making and enables children to make the right choices. It also give children the vocabulary to enter into a dialogue with others in their decision making.
As a school we educate and provide boundaries for young pupils to make choices safely, through the provision of a safe environment and empowering education. We teach children that it is fine to have rethinks. Children are encouraged to know, understand and exercise their rights and personal freedoms and advised how to exercise these safely. Whether it be through choice of challenge, of how they record or participation in our numerous extracurricular clubs/opportunities pupils are given the freedom to make choices.
We find out children’s skills, interests and talents, involving parents, and put them on our whole school provision map to be used in learning and elsewhere in the school. We appreciate everyone is different but this celebrates those differences.
The R’s of Learning permeate the school .The dove illustrates respect and we use this in our daily lives at school. We try to treat each other with mutual respect and work in a climate where openness, trust and inclusion lay the foundations for their future life.
All classes have weekly circle time. During these sessions all children know that anything said is to kept confidential .A listening object is passed around and children are aware that only the child holding the object is allowed to talk and the others respect this by listening attentively.
Our Christian values underpin all aspects of school life and give staff and children the opportunity to discuss and reflect on the values in life that they believe in .It is our values that determine our thinking and behaviour and the way we interpret the world around us. Our values permeate every aspect of St Martin’s School and are initially taught by Bible Stories. They are celebrated during the Golden Book assembly weekly.
We try to help children learn the art of reflection and questioning to enable them to make sense of the world around them. We try to encourage children to be understanding and increasingly solutions focused.
Tolerance of those in 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 .Collective Worship and discussions involving prejudices and prejudice based bullying have been followed and supported by learning in PSHE etc. Members of different faiths or religions are encouraged to share their knowledge to enhance learning within classes and the school.