Our School Values Policy Statement

 

Walton Holymoorside Primary and Nursery School, is committed to the inclusive education of all its pupils. Through our strong ethos and every aspect of our teaching and learning, underpinned by our mission statement–Working, Helping, progressing, Smiling, we aim to foster respect, tolerance and understanding of each other; the village community of Walton Holymoorside; the local community of Chesterfield; the national community of the United Kingdom and the wider global community.

We recognise the multi-cultural, multi faith and ever-changing nature of our own community and the United Kingdom and we understand our role in ensuring that groups or individuals are not subjected to any intimidation or radicalization by those wishing to unduly or illegally influence them.

Through our dedication and adherence to our Equalities Policy, we ensure that there is no discrimination against individuals or groups, regardless of faith, ethnicity, gender, sexuality, political or financial status. All are treated equally and fairly, although this may not mean treating all the same.

Within our comprehensive values education, we include ‘Fundamental British values’ (as defined by the Government)

  • Democracy
  • The rule of law
  • Individual liberty
  • Mutual respect and tolerance of those of different faiths and beliefs

Teaching and learning about ‘values’ is found across the curriculum and underpins all aspects of wider school life. E.g. assembly themes from (values for living), PSHE, RE, School citizenship Superstudent (KS2) and Wise owl (KS1) awards, displays, concerts and productions, community events, charity fundraising, enrichment opportunities in the arts and sport, educational trips and visits, pupil buddying and mentoring schemes and sports’ ambassadors.

We are passionate about ensuring that pupils leave Walton Holymoorside primary and Nursery school, as role models for excellent citizenship and as young people who will make a significant contribution to a just and fair society in the future.

Should you feel that at any time our school is not meeting this requirement, you should contact the Headteacher to discuss your concerns. Likewise, if you feel anyone at the school is undermining these values you should inform the school immediately.

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FULL STATEMENT

Introduction

  1. We believe that SMSC development is the heart of education: helping pupils grow and develop as people so they will engage fully in learning and develop into citizens who actively and positively contribute to society.
  2. We recognise that effective promotion of SMSC development means that our pupils are better able to achieve their full potential because they are better prepared for the opportunities, responsibilities and experiences of adult life, more respectful towards differences in gender, ethnicity, belief, sexual orientation, age, more inspired toward a love of learning, better able to think independently and more responsible and considerate towards others.
  3. SMSC development is promoted through all the subjects of the curriculum, and through the ethos of the school where the development of positive attitudes and values and the shared celebration of progress, success and diversity is central to everything we do.

Legal framework

  1. We welcome our duties under the Education Reform Act 1988 to support pupils’ spiritual, moral, social and cultural (SMSC) development and in this way to contribute to the spiritual, moral, social and cultural development of society as a whole.
  2. We recognise that SMSC includes, but is by no means limited to, promoting the values which underlie public life in the United Kingdom, as also in very many other countries, as outlined in documents issued by the Department for Education in autumn 2014 about ‘fundamental British values’.
  3. We welcome our duty under the Education and Inspections Act 2006 to promote community cohesion, and under the Equality Act 2010 to eliminate discrimination, advance equality of opportunity and foster good relations in relation to age (as appropriate), disability, ethnicity, gender (including issues of transgender, and of maternity and pregnancy), religion and belief, and sexual identity.
  4. We recognise that these duties reflect the international human rights standards expressed in the UN Universal Declaration on Human Rights, the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child, and the UN Convention on the Rights of People with Disabilities.

Guiding principles

5.  In fulfilling the legal obligations cited above, we are guided by the following considerations:

Values underlying public life are broadly the same in all democratic countries

Values underlying public life in the United Kingdom have been summarised as ‘including democracy, the rule of law, individual liberty and mutual respect, and tolerance of those with different faiths and beliefs’.(1) It is important that pupils should appreciate that such values are not unique to the UK but on the contrary are at the basis of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and are respected in a very wide range of countries throughout the world.

Each country has its own history and context

Although values underlying public life are broadly the same in all democratic countries, each country has its own traditions, customs, symbols, narratives and history. It is important that children and young people should learn about how universal values are implemented within their own country, and about how their own country has developed in its understandings and priorities over time.

In UK schools, for example, it is important that pupils should learn about the distinctive traditions of their nation and also of the UK as a whole.

No one is just one thing

Although it is important that young people in the UK should feel they belong here, all have other loyalties and affiliations as well. They not only belong to the UK, for example, but also to a family, a neighbourhood, various interest and friendship groups, and various worldviews and outlooks, which transcend national boundaries.

Our tasks as educators are to help young people to hold their various loyalties and affiliations in balance, and to critique and appreciate them accordingly.

All pupils need a sense of belonging

It is essential to help all pupils feel that they belong to the school, to their neighbourhood and to the country as a whole. This means recognising important aspects of their identity, experience and personal stories, and the identity, experience and personal stories of their family and community.

Negative and demeaning stereotypes must be challenged

In UK society as a whole there are negative stereotypes of certain communities and groups, and these can harm relationships and trust in our school and its neighbourhood. We need to be alert to, and to take a critical attitude towards, negative views in the media, including social media, towards minorities in UK society.

Values are frequently controversial

In the UK as in all countries there are differences of opinion about what universal human values entail should entail in practice. For example, there are differences between political parties and between the views expressed by national newspapers.

It follows that our task is often to develop attitudes of open-mindedness and skills in critical thinking rather than to promote a specific opinion on an issue about which society is currently divided.

It follows also that the school needs to provide safe spaces where pupils can clarify their thoughts through reflective conversation, without fear of being harshly judged.

(1) Department for Education, Teachers’ Standards in England from September 2012, p.10.

Understandings of Britishness should be inclusive

Assumptions about what constitutes or doesn’t constitute Britishness or national identity must be subjected to ongoing critical examination.

We aim to foster exploration and discussion of Britishness in an inclusive way, which embraces diversity and acknowledges the multiple ways of connecting with British society.

Examples of our work on promoting positive values

6.  In the light of the principles outlined in paragraph 5 above our learning and development of positive values is found in all aspects of the curriculum, in Assembly themes, PSHE lessons, Circle Time, school citizenship awards, displays, concerts, productions, community events, charity fundraising, enrichment opportunities (in the arts and sport), educational trips and visits, pupil buddying and mentoring schemes, sports ambassadors and the School Council.

(see SMSC overview and evidence file)

Roles and responsibilities

7.  The governing body is responsible for ensuring that the school complies with legislation, and that this policy and its related procedures and action plans are implemented.

8.  A member of the governing body –safeguarding committee has a watching brief regarding the implementation of this policy.

9.  The headteacher is responsible for implementing the policy; for ensuring that all staff are aware of their responsibilities and are given appropriate training and support.

10.  A senior member of staff has day-to-day responsibility for co-ordinating implementation of the policy.

11.  All staff are expected to:

  • promote an inclusive and collaborative ethos in their classroom
  • deal with any prejudice-related incidents that may occur
  • plan and deliver curricula and lessons that reflect the principles in paragraph 5 above
  • keep up-to-date with legislation relevant to their work.


Information and resources

12.  We ensure that the content of this policy is known to all staff and governors and, as appropriate, to all pupils and their parents and carers.

13.  All staff and governors have access to a selection of resources which discuss and explain concepts of equality, diversity and community cohesion in appropriate detail.

Staff development and training

14.  We ensure that all staff, including support and administrative staff, receive appropriate training and opportunities for professional development, both as individuals and as groups or teams.

Breaches of the policy

15.  Breaches of this policy will be dealt with in the same ways that breaches of other school policies are dealt with, as determined by the headteacher and governing body.

Monitoring and review

16.  We monitor the implementation of the policy in a number of ways both qualitative and, when appropriate, quantative e.g. parent, staff questionnaires and make adjustments as appropriate.

Date approved by the Governing Body:

25th November 2015