Central to our school’s ethos is the idea that each child should be prepared for living life in modern Britain.
This is achieved through embedding British Values (BV) and Spiritual, Moral, Social and Cultural Development (SMSC) throughout our curriculum.
The spiritual, moral, social and cultural development of each child is recognised as being of fundamental importance for the education of all children by Governors, staff and parents of our school. It is taught not only through all subjects, in particular Religious Education, Relationship and sex education and Personal, Social, Health and Economic education (PHSE), but also through the school ethos and collective worship.
It supports all areas of learning and can contribute to the child’s motivation to learn. It is recognised that such development will be most successful when the values and attitudes promoted by the staff provide a model of behaviour for the children.
At St Joseph’s, we recognise the importance of our role in developing children’s awareness and acceptance of others. We continually review the needs of our children, our community, as well as current global issues, so that we can plan careful learning opportunities and experiences that will prepare our children with values for life. The aim of the curriculum at St Joseph’s is to provide the children with a bespoke curriculum that suits their needs and teaches them to become model, global citizens. We have engaged with key stakeholders to explore what our children need in order to achieve this and together we have devised our Curriculum Driver words. They are:
What is SMSC?
Spiritual Development relates to the quest for individual identity and the search for meaning and purpose in our existence. It is associated with a dimension of life which is not necessarily experienced through the physical senses, but has much to do with feelings and emotions, and attitudes and beliefs. Spiritual development is not solely linked to a particular doctrine or faith and is therefore accessible to everyone.
Moral Development is concerned with fundamental decisions about how we should behave and act and the reasons for such behaviour and decisions. It relates to the child’s developing understanding of what is ‘right’, ‘wrong’ and ‘fair’. Moral development in school tries to build upon the child’s experience in the home, accepting that there might be different approaches between home and school.
Social Development is concerned with the skills and personal qualities necessary for individuals to live and function effectively in society. In school we build on and support the functions of the home and wider community by helping to prepare our children to live in society.
Cultural Development allows the child to recognise that all cultural groups are distinctive. Culture is the embodiment of shared beliefs, knowledge, customs and values of that group. The child needs to appreciate the distinctive features of their own culture and those of others. This will help children to answer the questions “Who am I?” and “Where do I fit in?”
What are British Values?
· Rule of law
· Individual liberty
· Mutual respect
· Tolerance of those of different faiths and beliefs
Being Part of Britain
As a school we value and celebrate being part of Britain. In general terms, this means that we celebrate traditions and customs throughout the year; including, Remembrance Day, May Day, Easter services and Christmas celebrations! We also value and celebrate national, charity and sporting events. Learning about being part of Britain is also part of our school curriculum and is taught in Early Years as they learn to understand the World they live in and through both Geography and History at Key Stage 1 (KS1).
Children, parents and staff have many opportunities for their voices to be heard. Obvious example are our school council. The election of the School Council members reflects our British electoral system and demonstrates democracy in action: candidates explain why they would like the role, pupils consider characteristics important for an elected representative and pupils vote in secret.
Other examples of ‘pupil voice’ are:
· Children are regularly asked their opinions by different subject leaders and SLT to further improve subjects and areas within the school.
· Pupils are always listened to by adults and are taught to listen carefully and with concern to each other, respecting the right of every individual to have their opinions and voices heard.
The Rule of Law
The importance of rules and laws, whether they be those that govern our school or our country, are referred to and reinforced often, such as in assemblies and when reflecting on behaviour
choices. Each class have a Class Charter which is created together and then followed by all pupils and staff. Rewards and consequences are consistent throughout the school to encourage children to follow these rules.
Children are taught the value and reasons behind laws, that they govern and protect us, the responsibilities that this involves, and the consequences when laws are broken.
These values are reinforced in different ways, including:
· Visits from authorities such as the police and fire service.
· During Religious Education, when rules for particular faiths are thought about.
· During other school subjects, where there is respect and appreciation for different rules (in a sports lesson, for example).
Alongside rules and laws, we promote freedom of choice and the right to respectfully express views and beliefs. Through the provision of a safe, supportive environment and empowering education, we provide boundaries for our young pupils to make choices safely; for example:
· Choices in learning challenges and activities.
· Choices around the participation in extra-curricular activities.
· Our pupils are encouraged to know, understand and exercise their rights and personal freedoms and are taught how to exercise these safely, such as in our online safety lessons.
Mutual respect and tolerance of those with different faiths and beliefs: Our pupils know and understand that it is expected and imperative that respect is shown to everyone, whatever differences we may have, and to everything, whether it is a school resource, a religious belief or whatever. Children learn that their behaviour choices have an effect on their own rights and those of others. All members of the school community should treat each other with respect.
This is also enhanced:
· Through Religious Education and other lessons where we might develop awareness and appreciation of other cultures;.
· In English through fiction;.
· In art, music and DT by considering culture from other parts of the world.
Children gather daily, either as a class, a key stage or the whole school. These times include carefully planned assemblies to deliver the key British Values themes or themes based on the social and emotional aspects of learning, assemblies to promote religious holidays or times to sing or reflect as a group. Our school week closes with a whole school assembly to celebrate the learning and achievements within our school.