British Values at St. Paul’s School
At St. Paul’s School we have been learning more about British Values, which are our shared values as British citizens. One of our Governors, Esther Odoe, has a special interest in British Values and has taken an assembly to engage the children in thinking about the impact of them on British culture. She has also led a training session for the Governing Body, which has enabled them to understand what is required of the school in promoting these values. Workshops are also planned with Year 5 and 6 pupils.
The five main values are:
- rule of law
- individual liberty
- tolerance for each others’ faiths and beliefs
These values are embedded in the life of St. Paul’s School. The school has a School Council, which helps children to understand how the process of democracy works. The children voted for the new school values, so they have had a chance to develop the ethos of the school in an agreed direction. Our new school values are entirely compatible with British Values. “Respect, Trust, Compassion” embodies the idea of tolerance of all faiths, including none – indeed at St. Paul’s School we would go further and say we celebrate our diversity. We believe that these values reflect the teachings of Jesus, and how he lived his life, showing us the way.
Our curriculum ensures opportunities for children to study faiths other than Christianity, and there is a strong ethos for children to develop their own ideas and test them in class discussions as well as in Philosophy for Children sessions. We believe that developing children’s ability to form their own clear set of beliefs under adult guidance is the best way to protect them from being drawn into anti-social activities in the future.
The Governors promote teaching the children about British customs, as many of our children come from different cultures. This year we are celebrating the patron saint days of the United Kingdom and Ireland. This involves wearing the patron saints’ colours, and learning about their lives (or wearing a daffodil on St. David’s Day). We celebrate other special days throughout the year, such as cooking pancakes on Shrove Tuesday or preparing for Mother’s Day.
Dr. Maggie Brady