At South Wilford Endowed C of E Primary School, we aim to nurture and support our children to help them grow into model citizens who will ‘Spark the Flame and Light up the World’. We represent an increasingly rich and varied school community of different religions and beliefs, with 19 languages spoken, and approximately 32% of our children coming from 23 different ethnic backgrounds. Running through our global curriculum are the five ‘British Values’, which were set out by the government in the ‘Prevent’ strategy (2011). We uphold these British Values, alongside our own school Christian Values, in all that we do. More specifically, we follow the ‘SCARF’ PSHE curriculum, which contributes significantly to British Values education, both explicitly and implicitly. SCARF’s core themes of ‘Health and Wellbeing’, ‘Relationships’ and ‘Living in the Wider World’ help foster and develop our children’s responsibility for their actions, respect for the beliefs of others, understanding of how each individual is protected by the rule of law, and belief that everyone can make a positive contribution to society through the democratic process.
Tolerance and Mutual Respect
As a faith school, we are fully aware of our role in ensuring that our children appreciate the importance of respect and tolerance towards different faiths and beliefs, so that they leave our school fully prepared for life in modern Britain. We want them to understand that people of different faiths or beliefs, or of no faith, should be treated equally, and that prejudicial or discriminatory behaviour is unacceptable. We have a particular focus on this during our Anti-Bullying week each year. Throughout the school the children are taught about world faiths and they celebrate many different religious festivals, in addition to our emphasis on exploring Christianity. Tolerance and respect are key words and concepts that underpin our global curriculum, PSHE and RE lessons, Collective Worship and everyday school life. We pride ourselves on our social contributions advocating good citizenship and belonging on a local and a global scale, such as regular charity fundraising activities, litter picking around the village, Toilet Twinning projects and Christmas Shoebox Appeal. At different times of the year our children participate in a number of events within our local community, for example over the Christmas period, they are involved in carol singing, hand-bell ringing, nativity performances and lunches with the elderly. We welcome parents of different faiths into school to help the children to learn more about the similarities and differences between us all, and we hold special whole school events like the ‘World Faiths’ day led by the St Phillips Centre. As a school we provide resources and stories that reflect and value the diversity of children’s experiences, and challenge gender, cultural and racial stereotyping to create an ethos of inclusivity and tolerance, for example, picture books such as ‘Heather Has Two Mums’, 'Princess Hair' and ‘Julian is a Mermaid’ and multicultural dolls.
Alongside the golden thread of leadership within our curriculum and our school’s distinctly Christian ethos, is a structure that supports fairness, equality, freedom and democracy. This begins with our School Council members representing their classes from Year 1 to Year 6, as well as our Transform Trust ‘Pupil Parliament’ school representatives. We aim to develop our pupils’ understanding of how citizens can influence decision-making through the democratic process by involving them in many school decisions, including designs for the school library, the new trim trail equipment, the school dinner menu and the appointment of new members of staff. Children are also encouraged to vote on smaller everyday matters, such as which story to read at the end of the day, or which song to sing in Collective Worship, and they also have the chance to provide staff with feedback about their learning in different subjects through pupil voice surveys and questionnaires. Older children explore the strengths, advantages and disadvantages of democracy, and how it works in Britain, in contrast to different forms of government in other countries. Staff plan lessons that encourage to justify their reasoning, challenge stereotypes and adopt a critical thinking approach to new information; all questions and opinions are listened to and valued. We let the children know that their views count, and encourage them to develop their knowledge, self-esteem and increase their confidence in their abilities through promoting the Five R’s (Resilience, Resourcefulness, Reflectiveness, Readiness, and Responsibility) and the Characteristics of Effective Learning in EYFS. They are encouraged take risks in their learning, and to know and exercise their rights and personal freedoms safely, for example through our E-Safety and PSHE lessons. Children are given the freedom to make choices through their choice of challenge in lessons, and of their participation in our many extra-curricular clubs and opportunities.
We only have one school rule, which is ‘Be at Our Best’, and our children’s behaviour is usually exemplary. At the start of the academic year, each class investigates our school rule, along with their class routines, to ensure that every child is able to learn in a safe and ordered environment. Our school rule is displayed in the hall and children are rewarded for following it with certificates in our end-of-week Collective Worship session, as well as through receiving House Points around school and Dojo Points in class. Right from when they start school with us in EYFS, we teach the children about the difference between right and wrong in their own and others’ behaviour, and explore the consequences of their actions, as part of our school Christian Values in Collective Worship and during PSHE lessons. Staff also maximise the incidental learning opportunities that arise from everyday school life situations to further reinforce our behavioural expectations; deciding together with the children what it means to ‘be at our best’ in everything that we do. Pupils are taught the value and reasons behind laws, how they govern and protect us, the responsibilities that this involves, and the consequences when laws are broken. We help our children recognise the importance of upholding the law in different ways, including visits from authority figures such as the police and fire service, and lessons in Cycling Proficiency lessons, which enable them to understand the rules of the road and the potential dangers encountered should they break them. Children understand the sanctions when they fall short of our school rule.
Votes for Schools
We engage with VotesforSchools every week and it provides a space for discussion of difficult issues, whilst developing the skills of critical thinking, listening to others, building empathy, tolerance and democratic participation. It links with our teaching and learning in PSHE, Citizenship, Oracy, and Collective Worship. VotesforSchools offers the children an opportunity to debate significant issues in a democratic and safe environment, presenting multiple perspectives on current affairs in a balanced way. Children enjoy finding out about, discussing, and having their say on important and relevant issues; by having their voices heard and recognised, they have real agency and feel empowered to speak up.
Click here to find out more about VotesforSchools.
Click below to go to our 'Diversity and Equality' page