Promoting Christian and British Values at Dedham C of E Primary School
At Dedham C of E Primary School we welcome children and their families who have a faith and those with no faith. We uphold and teach pupils about our 6 Christian values (WE WISH) of:
Wisdom Empathy Worthiness Inclusion Spirituality Honesty
These values are taught explicitly through the curriculum, including PSCHE and RE lessons and during our assemblies, however they also underpin everyday life in school and our staff and children are expected to demonstrate these values as they go about everyday school activities.
At Dedham C of E Primary School, in providing and promoting pupils’ SMSC development, we also actively promote fundamental British values. These values, as described by the Department for Education, are: The Rule of Law, Individual Liberty, Mutual Respect and Tolerance of Different Faiths and Beliefs.
As is the case with promoting Christian values, we promote British values both explicitly in assemblies and implicitly in the daily life of our school. We also believe that our Christian values complement British values. We expect that our pupils will understand that while different people may hold different views about what is ‘right’ and ‘wrong’, all people living in England are subject to its law. Our ethos and teaching, which is shared with all stakeholders, support the rule of English civil and criminal law and we do not teach anything that undermines it. If religious law as a theme were to arise in lessons, then particular care would be taken to explore the relationship between state and religious law so that our pupils are made aware of the difference between the law of the land and religious law.
These two sets of values therefore work side by side and in conjunction with each other to prepare our pupils to leave school fully prepared for life in modern Britain. In our school, you will see this in a variety of ways, for instance:
- 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 voice heard.
- Each year, pupils elect members of their class to represent them on the school council.
- Pupils have access to a suggestion box to share their ideas.
- Each term, school council representatives meet with the Governing Body to share work and to present ideas.
- Pupils experience a consistent teaching of values, clearly displayed around the school, which are purposefully highlighted across the school day.
- Questionnaires are used to ascertain pupils’ opinions, for example with regards the extra-curricular sports clubs that are on offer.
- Subject leaders talk with children to gain feedback on their learning experiences.
The Rule of Law
- Pupils know the 3 school rules and the reasons for having them.
- Pupils are involved in detailing what each of the school rules mean.
- All adults are aware of school rules, rewards and sanctions and model appropriate behaviour consistently.
- Rules are displayed positively in each classroom.
- Pupils have opportunities to consider the consequences of their own and others’ actions and to consider issues of rights and responsibilities.
- Parents are aware of the principles and values on which the school is based.
- Pupils have regular opportunities to reflect on behaviour in assemblies and collective acts of worship.
- Pupils are actively encouraged to make choices, knowing that they are in a safe and supportive environment.
- As a school we support the faith values of pupils and respect their family commitment.
- Pupils are encouraged to exercise their personal freedoms and are advised how to exercise these safely, for example through e-safety and PSHCE.
- Pupils are given the choice over which activity they sign up to for Golden Time.
- Our Anti-Bullying Policy, Behaviour Policy and SEN&D Policy clearly set out the school’s aims with regards individual liberty. Other policies, such as subject policies, also identify children’s rights to educational experiences regardless of their gender, ethnic background, aptitude or disability.
- Where possible, pupils are given freedom of choice about how they present their work and can sometimes choose the challenge level of the work that they should complete.
- All pupils are keen to support charities whether local, national or global. If children are keen to run an event they are encouraged and supported in doing so, for example: Children in Need, collecting clothes for refugees, Red Nose Day and choosing to donate the school production monetary collection to Water Aid and Guide Dogs for the Blind.
- Every class is given £25 biannually as part of an economic well-being project and the children come up with ideas for how to make money.
- All pupils are encouraged to take part in the many school clubs on offer and also to explore their individual talents outside of school and share them in special celebration assemblies.
Mutual Respect and Tolerance of those with Different Faiths and Beliefs
- The value of ‘respect’ weaves it way through each of our six Christian values and features regularly in assemblies and collective acts of worship.
- Staff constantly model and promote respectful behaviours and attitudes that are the foundation of positive relationships.
- Our school partnerships with Gatunduri Primary School (Kenya), Elizabeth Selby (Tower Hamlets), Lawford and Highfields (local) provide children with opportunities to both experience and show respect. For example through: competitive sports, exchanging letters and visits. Our school partnership with Elizabeth Selby also provides children with the opportunity to visit other places of worship and to meet children with faiths other than Christianity.
- We celebrate achievement at Dedham Primary School and Friday assemblies give children the opportunity to share in each other’s successes. Sports Day also allows for children to learn sportsmanship as the two houses compete against each other and children compete against one another.
- School policies clearly detail expectations on the prevention of discrimination on race, religion, gender, sexual orientation etc.
- Our school curriculum embraces respect for others, especially within the foundation subjects. Lessons in Religions, Geography, History, Art and Music for example allow for pupils to develop a respectful understanding of the lives of others.
- The school supports the faith of pupils and respects family commitments, for example Jehovah’s Witnesses and those with no faith.
- Our whole-school rules (Polite, Presentable and Purposeful) and our Christian values (WE WISH) are central to how we expect everyone to go about their life in and around our school.
- ‘Dedham is a very happy, caring school where the school’s Christian values through the WE WISH statement underpin all aspects of the school’s daily life’ (SIAS report 2012)
- Our school library has a range of books exploring other religions and stories from other religions.
- We have an expanding resource library of objects and artefacts from other faiths which the children are taught to respectfully use as part of their learning in RE lessons.
- We are developing a list of contacts from the local community, who have faiths other than Christianity, who we can call upon to talk to the children about their beliefs.
- Our school hall proudly displays the symbols of the major world religions and these were created by the children themselves.
- Children and staff are given the opportunity to not take part in Christian collective acts of worship however they are always reminded to be respectful of children and adults who do wish to participate.
We have achieved the following external accreditations which demonstrate evidence of our commitment to British and Christian values.
Outstanding for the Achievement of pupils, Quality of Teaching, Behaviour and Safety of Pupils and Leadership and Management.
Within the innovative curriculum, the provision for pupils’ spiritual, moral, social and cultural development is outstanding. - Ofsted September 2012
Pupils’ behaviour is outstanding. Enthusiasm and perseverance are key features of pupils’ exceptionally positive attitudes to learning. Their excellent social skills, good manners and respect for others prepare them very well for their futures. - Ofsted September 2012
From the Church of England:
The Church inspection is carried out from the National Society Statutory Inspection of Anglican Schools (SIAS) Framework. Our grade was 'Outstanding'
Two of the established strengths of the school were identified by this framework were:
The strong and supportive relationships underpinned by Christian values, which permeate all aspects of school life. - SIAS October 2012
The strong and effective partnership between the school, the local church and the wider community. - SIAS October 2012
The overviews for the content of each week's assemblies across the academic year can be downloaded using the links below: