At St. James the Great Catholic Primary School we actively promote Christian values, virtues and ethics that shape our children’s character and moral perspective based on the Gospel values and teaching of the Catholic Church. We take very seriously our responsibility to prepare children for life in modern Britain. We ensure that the fundamental British Values are introduced, discussed and lived out through the ethos and work of the school.
All curriculum areas provide a vehicle for furthering understanding of these concepts and, in particular, our Religious Education; Collective Worship; Social, Moral, Spiritual and Cultural Education; Personal, Social and Health Education and Citizenship lessons provide excellent opportunities to deepen and develop understanding.
The school makes considerable efforts to ensure children have exposure to wider experiences beyond their local community, through for example, sporting events, a range of visits and visits to places of worship. The schools involvement, as a founding member, of the ‘Peckham Citizens’, this is a collective of community organisations which engage to work together, at a local political level, on agreed issues in order to improve our local area.
The children’s strong rooted values-based understanding gives them an excellent platform to embrace difference and grow into being positive, responsible contributors to modern British society.
Respect is a fundamental school value, around which pivots much of the work of the school. We pay explicit attention to this as part of our RE, Collective Worship, PHSE, and SMSC curriculum.
Respect is discussed deeply, starting with self-respect and covering respect for family, friends, and our Christian, Catholic, faith and extending to respecting the faith of others and to people of no faith at all.
The children at St. James the Great see democracy borne out in a whole variety of ways and as an essential component of successful team working. Democracy is a school value that children meet when discussing respect and fairness. It is lived out in many aspects of class decision making as a fair means of gathering agreement. It is more formally seen in the election and work of the school council. The schools involvement in the Peckham Citizens organisation is a very tangible example of the childrens’ voice being heard in order to affect real change in our local area.
Children are familiar with the concept, through discussion of values and in RE lessons, that different religions have guiding principles, in our school context, the Ten Commandments and the Beatitudes. Children are used to debating and discussing laws/rules and their application in establishing class rules and in discussions about school rules.
Children in Year 6 take part in the annual Young Citizens event with emergency services.
The Police visit the school as part of our Citizenship and Safeguarding curriculum.
The History Curriculum covers the development of British law from Magna Carter to the Union of the United Kingdom and study of society where law has been challenged successfully to promote democratic values e.g. Historic appartite legislation in South Africa and some US States.
Our Values based discussions and acts of worship begin with discussion about the self, e.g. self –respect and self-worth in relation to an individuals intrinsic value. Children are encouraged to reflect that they are unique and special in their own right. The philosophy of our teaching and learning places emphasis on the right to have our own thoughts and evidence based views.
Children are strongly encouraged to develop independence in learning and to think for themselves and to appreciate the responsibility that is intrinsic to this freedom.
At St James the Great we are committed to serving our community, our local area and beyond by promoting ‘The Common Good’. We are able to make real links between the values of our pupils and the lives of others and in doing so we reinforce British values regularly and in a meaningful way.