St Joseph'sCatholic Primary Academy
Learning and serving together in the light of God's love
We are proud to work with all the Catholic schools across our two local authority areas, particularly as the Trust grows and benefits from the expertise and knowledge that other schools joining in the future will bring.Visit Us
The Department of Education have reinforced 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.” The Government set out its definition of British values and at St Joseph's these values are reinforced regularly and in the following ways:
At St Joseph's democracy is taken very seriously. Children are actively encouraged to have a voice and share their views and opinions regularly. Our active school council is one such example. Every September we have an election and a ballot ensues and the results are announced and shared in assembly. The children love this process and have great respect for the outcomes. The school council representatives (1 per class from Reception to Year 6) meet on a regular basis then take the ideas from the meeting back to their classes for discussion. Academy Councillors, as part of their monitoring also talk to the children during lesson observations to establish their views as a way of ensuring that school self-evaluation is robust and accurate, and therefore effective in moving the school forward.
The importance of laws, whether they be those that govern the class, the school, or the country, are consistently reinforced throughout the school day, as well as when dealing with behaviour and through school assemblies. Children are taught the value and reasons behind laws, that they govern and protect us, the responsibilities that this involves and the consequences when laws are broken. Our schools rules and Code of Conduct are displayed in all classrooms, referred to regularly and consistently upheld are a practical example of this. Visits from authorities such as the Police, school nurses and the Fire Service help reinforce this message.
Within school, children are actively encouraged to make decisions and choices, knowing that they are in a safe and supportive environment. As a school we educate and provide boundaries for young children to take risks and make choices safely. Children are encouraged to know, understand and exercise their rights and personal freedoms and advised how to exercise these safely, for example through online safety, PSHE and RHE. Whether it be through choice of learning challenge, how they record their learning, participation in one of our extra-curricular clubs and opportunities, children are given the freedom to make choices and make decisions.
As a Catholic school, mutual respect is at the heart of our values. Children learn that their behaviours have an effect on their own rights and those of others. All members of the school community treat each other with respect.
Tolerance of Those of Different Faiths and Beliefs
St Joseph's is a multi-cultural school with 20 different languages and 16 ethnicities. Some children, within additional languages who arrive at school have little or no English. Assemblies are regularly planned to address this issue either directly or through the inclusion of stories and celebrations from a variety of faiths and cultures. Our RE, PSHE and RHE teaching reinforce this. Each year the children explore a world faith alongside their learning about Christianity. By the time they leave us all children have learnt about the beliefs and practices of people of the following world faiths; Judaism, Sikhism, Hinduism, Buddhism and Islam. Members of different faiths or religions are encouraged to share their knowledge to enhance learning within classes and the school and visits are planned to other places of worship.
At St Joseph's we will actively challenge children, staff or parents expressing opinions contrary to fundamental British Values, including those expressing ‘extremist’ views.
Radicalisation is defined as the act or process of making a person more radical or favouring of extreme or fundamental changes in political, economic or social conditions, institutions or habits of the mind.
Extremism is defined as the holding of extreme political or religious views. Our Academy Council as a zero tolerance approach to extremist behaviour for all school community members. We rely on our strong values to steer our work and ensure the pastoral care of our children protects them from exposure to negative influences.
St Joseph's is fully committed to safeguarding and promoting the welfare of all its children. As a school we recognise that safeguarding against radicalisation is no different from safeguarding against any other vulnerability. At St Joseph's all staff are expected to uphold and promote the fundamental principles of British values, including democracy, the rule of law, individual liberty and mutual respect, and tolerance of those with different faiths and beliefs.
• Children are encouraged to adopt and abide by our Code of Conduct
• Children are helped to understand the importance of democracy and freedom of speech, through the the school council, PSHE, RE and the wider curriculum.
• Children are taught how to keep themselves safe, in school and when using the internet.
• Children participate in local community events so that they appreciate and value their neighbours and friends who may not share their faith background.
• Children’s wellbeing, confidence and resilience is promoted through our planned curriculum and extra curricular learning opportunities.
• Children are supported in making good choices from a very young age, so they understand the impact and consequences of their actions on others.
The Role of the Curriculum
Our curriculum promotes respect, tolerance and diversity. Children are encouraged to express themselves through discussions, assembly, debates and consultations. The RE (Religious Education), PSHE (Personal, Social and Health Education), RHE (Relationship Health Education) and SMSC (Spiritual, Moral, Social and Cultural) provision is embedded across the curriculum, and underpins the ethos of our school.
At St Joseph’s Catholic Primary Academy, we expect everyone to:
Treat everyone with respect
Jesus is our example, always
Our best behaviour and work at all times
Everyone looks after school resources
Support each other to achieve success
Whilst all of these enable the children to become well-rounded individuals we recognise the importance of resilience in preventing children being drawn into extremist ways of thinking. Although serious incidents involving radicalisation have not occurred at St Joseph's to date, it is important for us to be constantly vigilant and remain fully informed about the issues which affect the area in which we teach and serve the children from within our school community. Staff are reminded to suspend any professional disbelief that instances of radicalisation ‘could not happen here’ and to refer any concerns through the Designated Safeguarding Leads.