At CCJ we try to actively promote fundamental British values throughout all aspects of school life.
The DfE have set out the need“to create and enforce a clear and rigorous expectation on 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 Christ Church Junior School, these values are reinforced regularly in conjunction with our school values of hope, love, humility, forgiveness, courage and generosity. Below are examples of how we create opportunities to explore British values:
At the start of every academic year democracy and the importance of student voice are immediately addressed through our class charters. As a team, each class contribute, discuss and explore the rules and rights of a classroom and prepare a charter which is displayed and referred to for the whole of the year.
A democratic vote is the sole means of electing both our School Councillors. Two School Councillors are elected from each classroom after pupils deliver a speech expressing their ideas and suggestions. School Councillors meet regularly and discuss how they can improve our school; from this, ideas are voted for both within the council team and then externally when final suggestions are taken to the rest of the class.
There are also many times that we encourage children to give their opinions within class, band assemblies and whole school assemblies. Recent examples include getting feedback on which playground markings to purchase for the playground, which of the local authority options they would prefer to tackle the SEND overspend and what they would like to spend money raise by the Friends committee on.
Children are also very confident that their voice will be heard by staff. They understand that creating a persuasive letter and then getting it signed as a petition is often a good way to effect change. This has changed the way school lunchtimes run as they have expressed strong views and presented them in a thoughtfully considered manner.
THE RULE OF LAW
We work hard to ensure that our pupils understand the importance of laws. Through our class charters, values and behaviour policy the laws of the school are clearly outlined and embedded within every lesson. Children were also fundamental in constructing the pupil friendly version of our anti-bullying policy and poster. It is something that is returned to in classes on a regular basis.
The laws that govern our country are reinforced throughout the school whether in specific lessons such as PSHE, or when discussing a particular issue that has arisen in class. The Rule of Law is also raised within our assemblies to be presented on a whole school scale. Pupils are taught the reasons behind laws and that they govern and protect us and these are tackled with increasing depth throughout the school.
Democracy and law is also debated as pupils approach the responsibilities that this involves and the consequences of breaking laws discussed. Educational visits often provide hands on insight into The Rule of Law, particularly our annual Year 6 'Life Skills' visit to The Create Centre and the visits of the road safety team in Year 3 and 6. We also run Bikeability with the South Glos team to explore safety and rules on the road.
During all interactions and behaviour discussions, we ask children to reflect on the reasons behind their behaviour, the school rules that have been broken and what they need to do to make the situation right again.
All of our lessons at CCJ focus on our strong ethos and values of love, hope, generosity, forgiveness, humility and courage. Our ethos explicitly refers to community and positive contributions to society and these ideas encompass the need for mutual respect within our school and our wider communities. Staff model this respect to pupils but also expect it from pupils in return and they spend time talking situations through with a child where something has gone wrong.
During our weekly celebration assemblies, our values are a focus, as are pupils demonstrating respect and responsibility. We encourage our pupils to promote respect at every opportunity and to understand the impact of being disrespectful to their peers, staff and visitors.
As a school, we are also always striving to be as inclusive as we can be to ensure that every family in our community feels welcomed, respected and valued. This means that many of our children are offered mentoring, therapies, special consideration or reasonable adjustments in our provision.
At CCJ, we want to empower our children to make their own choices but we believe that this is a skill which needs regular discussion, teaching, thought and understanding. By providing a safe and secure environment with clear boundaries we can allow our pupils to regularly make choices: this may be in regard to their learning, activities, responsibilities, participation in competitive sport or extra curricular activities. Independent choice and challenge is offered through residential visits, in class differentiation, interest groups and the wider curriculum.
Pupils are encouraged to consider what the effect of their choices may be both on themselves and others and this is especially picked up in relation to rule of law when we discuss a behaviour incident with a child as we talk through the reasons behind their action and also the impact on others. Individual liberty is particularly taught in PSHE and E-Safety lessons. Within PSHE, we use the Jigsaw scheme of work in all our year groups which has a heavy focus on pupils developing, expressing and challenging their own opinions and thoughts.
When visitors come to our school, they always comment on how open and honest our children are and how good they are at expressing their own wishes and thoughts. we have seen this even more clearly as we have had a focus on growth mindset and positive learning behaviours. This growth mindset approach is a thread through all our lessons where pupils are challenged to consider their next steps and move away from saying they cannot achieve but instead they cannot manage it ... YET!
Through the values consistently modelled by staff and pupils and the thorough teaching of RE, PSHE and our school values, we endeavour to have a pupil body who understand and accept the differences which make us all special. In addition our pupils know that this freedom is protected by law and that there are consequences for breaking the law.
We encourage our pupils to share their knowledge and experiences of their faith or religion with their peers - enhancing everybody's understanding. This also extends to parents and family, who we encourage to come and speak to their child's class if they are happy to. All pupils learn about a range of beliefs through their RE lessons and different religious festivals are celebrated in our displays throughout the year. Some of our class assemblies also focus on the different festivals or religions that we are learning about.
We are also very active in encouraging visitors from a range of different religious and cultural backgrounds. We have had people from Muslim, Sikh and Hindu backgrounds who have kindly offered to come and share their beliefs with our pupils. We have also welcomed people from a variety of Christian backgrounds. If you have any suggestions of visitors who may be prepared to come and deliver an assembly or class workshops or if you are a parent or carer willing to pop in then please get in touch with us.