At St. Andrew's we follow a programme of Values Education.
We have a list of 12 values that we try to use in our everyday lives and particularly in our work. We believe teaching children the idea of values is a crucial part of their education and development. The different value is worked on in class and through assemblies each half-term over a two year rolling programme, but we also talk regularly about all the values as a whole and how they can be used all the time, not just when they are part of a lesson.
British Values at St. Andrew’s VC Lower School
British Values are defined by Ofsted as:
- The rule of law
- Individual Liberty
- Mutual respect and tolerance of those with different faiths and beliefs.
Through our Values Education Programme and our curriculum we promote these values with the children and help them to understand them.
a) Work in class and in assembly on the values of respect and tolerance and love.
We describe respect to the children as:
Respect is knowing I am unique and valuable.
Respect is liking who I am.
Respect is listening to others.
We discuss respect for the rules at home and at school and the laws of the country and the laws in the Christian faith.
One of our assemblies is about John Bunyan and we explore views on what laws there should be and what prison should be for, i.e. how our laws have evolved over time to allow different forms of worship.
We describe tolerance as:
Tolerance is accepting myself and others.
Tolerance is knowing we are all different.
Tolerance is being understanding and open minded.
We discuss the ability to see another person’s point of view.
We describe love as:
Love is caring and sharing.
Love is feeling safe.
Love is wanting the best for all.
We talk about love of family and friends and love of mankind. This links to charity work and supporting our community through activities such as the BCUS Community Week.
Although we have 12 values and we focus on one per half term over a two year rolling programme, we use them in our conversations with children on a daily basis when appropriate. The idea is that the children are not only able to explain them, but that they and the staff actually live them.
The values are a feature of our newsletters so that parents can follow the values teaching at home. Our Values Education Programme is commented upon favourably in our annual parent questionnaire.
b) Our School Council
Each class in years 1 – 4 goes through an election in September. The children who would like to be a school councillor make presentations to the others in their class and the class votes for their representative. The school council meets once/month and aims to gather pupil views on a range of issues and discuss them and send suggestions to the Leadership Team. We also consult the School Council when we want their views on current school issues, e.g. preferred playground equipment when the PTFA want to purchase items.
The Year Four school councillors also got together with others across our area of schools. They have visited the Council Chambers at Chicksands and the Houses of Parliament this year.
c) The RE Curriculum and Festivals
Our RE curriculum follows the Beds Agreed Syllabus and is supplemented with further exploratory units from the Diocese which promote the “learn from religion” side of RE as well as the “learn about religion” side of RE.
We have units that cover Christianity, Judaism and Islam.
We take part in The Spirited Arts Art in Heaven Day each year and the children explore an open ended religious question through art, showing respect for each other’s ideas.
We work closely with St. Andrew’s Church and use their building as a teaching resource.
In Year Four the children go on the Bedford Faith Tour to Queens Park where they visit a large church, a mosque and a Sikh Gurdwara all in one day. We plan to have a parent talk before the trip next year to promote attendance.
We work on different religious festivals throughout the year and learn about different events in the Christian Calendar.
Although we are a church school we pride ourselves on the fact that families of the Christian Faith, other faiths and no faith all feel welcome here.
d) The Philosophy for Children (P4C) curriculum
Children at St. Andrew’s regularly take part in P4C sessions where they generate questions from a given stimulus, choose the most open ended question and debate the question in class. They learn how to articulate their thoughts and ideas and argue with each other reasonably.
e) The PSHE curriculum
The children take part in a variety of discussions in PSHE where the concepts of moral issues, right and wrong, good and bad choices can all be developed and debated in a calm and controlled way.
Looking at the wider scope of respect and tolerance of difference, we have achieved the Every Child Matters Award and more recently the Inclusion Quality Mark (Dec 2014) which demonstrates our commitment to equality and our ability to cater for all our children across a diverse spectrum of needs. Our staff receive regular SEND update training and our specialist SEND Team cater for our Language Provision children and our children with other SEND, including behavioural and social needs, through the work of our Nurture provision. This includes working with particular children to build up self-esteem and resilience.
We are currently working on the RE Quality Mark.
g) Our school motto – Aspire Believe Celebrate
Our motto is the fundamental basis of our work. We want to develop children who can plan a pathway for themselves through goal setting and aspiration. We want our children to develop their own spiritual belief, their belief in values and their self-belief so that they have the strength to persevere and overcome set backs and the understanding that mistakes are part of learning. We want our children to feel proud of themselves and proud of their school and so we celebrate success.