The DfE have recently 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.”
At Bishop Henderson these values are reinforced regularly and in the following ways:
Democracy is embedded within the life of the school. Pupils have the opportunity to have their voices heard through our School Council which meets regularly. A pupil representative is elected by each class and discussion of relevant issues and the gathering of ideas from their peers is encouraged within classes both before and after meetings. Our school behaviour policy involves class and lunch time charters which are decided yearly by the children of each class and are underpinned by the Articles from the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child.
The Rule of Law:
The importance of Laws, whether they be those that the class or the school abide by are consistently reinforced by all during every school day. Pupils are taught the value and reasons behind laws in that they govern and protect us within the context of the individual’s rights and responsibilities. This fosters an understanding which is reinforced of the consequences of these being broken. Visits from people who help us within the community such as the Police; Fire Service etc. are part of our curriculum and help to reinforce this message.
Within school, pupils are actively encouraged to make choices, knowing that they are in a safe and supportive environment. As a school we educate and provide boundaries for the children to make good choices, through the provision of a safe environment and empowering education. Pupils are encouraged to know, understand and exercise their rights and personal freedoms and advise how to exercise these safely, for example through our E-Safety and PSHE lessons. Within lessons children are encouraged to express their ideas about a range of issues, knowing that these views will be respected, valued and listened to. We have a responsibility to offer a daily act of collective worship that is Christian in nature, reflects our Church of England foundation and that is aimed at promoting reflection and thought, awe and wonder within the individual.
An ethos of mutual respect between everyone in the school community resonates throughout and is developed at any given opportunity. Children learn that they have the responsibility to control their behaviour and that this has an effect on their own rights and those of others. All members of the school community are encouraged to treat each other with respect. Our links with both St Michael’s and St George’s Churches ensure that we have great links with the local church fellowships and through this we draw on their support in many practical, pastoral and prayerful ways. Having Rev Jenny as our School Chaplain is a great example of this.
Tolerance of those of Different Faiths and Beliefs:
Bishop Henderson as a Church of England School is welcoming and inclusive of all children and families regardless of any differences including those of faith, ethnicity or nationality. As a school we are committed to safeguarding all of our children and will not tolerate any form of discrimination. We are committed to expressing care and valuing of all. We actively promote diversity through our celebrations of different faiths and cultures. Religious Education lessons and PSHE lessons reinforce messages of tolerance and respect for others. We teach, as part of our curriculum, Religious Education based on the Somerset Agreed Syllabus. In our RE curriculum we teach about major world religions and viewpoints, including some that are not faith based at all. Our aim is to begin to equip all of our children with an age appropriate understanding of differing views and opinions, promoting awareness and tolerance; an ability to question and to express ideas and an understanding that our society is a rich tapestry of differing faith, cultural and world views. To enrich our teaching of RE we encourage people from the local community who may be able to help us by bringing first hand experiences of other faiths and cultures.