Our Mission Statement:
“A learning community, celebrating Christ in all, building a kingdom of love, hope and joy.”
The Values We Cherish
- Christian values of forgiveness and love
- Care for others, especially the vulnerable
- Respect for the beliefs of others
- Enquiring minds and a spirit of curiosity
- A love of learning and zest for life
The Department for Education expects 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.’ At St. Edmund’s we value and celebrate the diverse ethnic backgrounds of our pupils, staff and parents. We undertake a variety of events and lessons to learn about other faiths and beliefs and this actively promotes tolerance and respect for the differences in our community and the wider world. British Values are taught explicitly through Personal, Social, Health and Emotional (PSHE) and Religious Education (RE). We also teach British Values through delivering a broad and balanced curriculum which includes real opportunities for exploring these values. Actively promoting these values also includes challenging opinions or behaviour in school that are contrary to them. At St. Edmund’s, British Values are reinforced in the following ways:
Democracy is an important value at our school. All adults listen to the views of our pupils and value their opinions. Pupils have the opportunity to have their voice heard through our School Council. The elections of School Council members are based on pupil votes. The School Council is made up of two representatives from each class and members attend regular meetings to discuss issues raised by the different classes. The Council is genuinely able to effect change within the school. Recently, members of the School Council were involved in the interviewing and appointing of two new teachers for our school- a role they approached seriously and with maturity. Members of the school council were instrumental in choosing the catering company when our new hot school dinners were introduced. Other examples of ‘pupil voice’ include the nomination of various charities to be supported by the school and the election of House Team Captains for each class and for sporting events.
The Rule of Law
The importance of laws and rules, whether they are those that govern the class, the school or the country, are consistently reinforced at all times. Pupils are taught the value and reasons behind laws, that they govern and protect us, the responsibility that this involves and the consequences when laws are broken. Pupils follow a positive behaviour policy and clearly understand the rewards and sanctions that are used. At the beginning of each school year, pupils work together to agree their class rules. If rules are broken, children are asked to identify which rule they have broken and discuss the consequence for their actions. The values are also considered during other school subjects, where there is respect and appreciation for different rules, such as in sports lessons. Staff at St. Edmund’s promote positive behaviour by following policies consistently. Rewards are given at class level and during our celebratory Gold Book assembly each Friday afternoon.
Pupils are actively encouraged to be independent learners and to make choices at our school, knowing that they are in a safe and supportive environment. They are encouraged to know, understand and exercise their rights and personal freedoms and are advised how to exercise these safely, for example through PSHE and Online Safety lessons. Pupils are given the freedom to make choices, e.g. signing up for extra-curricular clubs at lunch time and at the end of the day. In some lessons, they are able to choose the level of challenge and they can choose a method to record their learning. As part of their PSHE in Year 6 pupils visit ‘Junior Citizen’ where they are taught how to make good choices surrounding the use of the internet, railways, drugs and alcohol.
Our school ethos and policies are underpinned by our School Motto, “In our school every day we learn, love and pray.” In our school we respect everyone by recognising that God made us all different but equally valued. 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 based on mutual respect. Children learn that their behaviour choices have an effect on their own rights and those of others. Mutual respect is a value learnt from an early age and is re-emphasised in Year 5 with the buddy system with younger children during play times, when children give and receive respect from their buddies. Liturgies and collective worship constantly promote respect for others. All pupils are taught the importance of self-respect, honesty and fair play. During class lessons pupils learn collaboratively and value the opinions of others.
Tolerance of Those of Different Faiths and Beliefs
As a Catholic worshipping community, pupils are reminded of their place in a culturally diverse society. This is achieved through our Religious Education curriculum, the spiritual life of our school, PSHE and other areas of the curriculum. During RE lessons, pupils learn about other faiths and members of different faiths or religions are encouraged to share their knowledge to enhance learning within classes and the school. We use our Mother Tongue Day to celebrate, study and learn about different cultures represented within our school community. Key Stage 2 pupils learn French and learn about the culture of France.