Excellent Teaching of Religious Education will enable pupils to learn to think for themselves about British values. Questions about whether social and moral values are best described as ‘British values’ or seen as more universal human values will continue to be debated, but for the purposes of teachers of RE, the subject offers opportunities to build an accurate knowledge base about religions and beliefs in relation to values. This in turn supports children and young people so that they are able to move beyond attitudes of tolerance towards increasing respect, so that they can celebrate diversity. Values education and moral development are a part of a school’s holistic mission to contribute to the well being of each pupil and of all people within our communities. The RE curriculum focuses learning in some of these areas, but pupils moral development is a whole school issue.
Schools do not accept intolerant attitudes to members of the community: attitudes which reject other people on the basis of race, faith, gender, sexual orientation or age are rightly challenged. A baseline for a fair community is that each person’s rights to ‘be themselves’ is to be accepted by all. Tolerance may not be enough: RE can challenge children and young people to be increasingly respectful and to celebrate diversity, but tolerance is a starting point. It is much better than intolerance.
In the RE curriculum attention focuses on developing mutual respect between those of different faiths and beliefs, promoting an understanding of what a society gains from diversity. Pupils will learn about diversity in religions and worldviews, and will be challenged to respect other persons who see the world differently to themselves. Recognition and celebration of human diversity in many forms can flourish where pupils understand different faiths and beliefs, and are challenged to be broad minded and open hearted.
In RE pupils learn the significance of each person’s ideas and experiences through methods of discussion. In debating the fundamental questions of life, pupils learn to respect a range of perspectives. This contributes to learning about democracy, examining the idea that we all share a responsibility to use our voice and influence for the well being of others.
In RE pupils examine different examples of codes for human life, including commandments, rules of precepts offered by different religious communities. They learn to appreciate how individuals choose between good and evil, right and wrong, and they learn to apply these ideas to their own communities. They learn that fairness requires that the law apply equally to all, irrespective - for example – of a person’s status or wealth.
In RE, pupils consider questions about identity, belonging and diversity, learning what it means to live a life free from constraints. They study examples of pioneers of human freedom, including those from within different religions, so that they can examine tensions between the value of a stable society and the value of change for human development.
As a Catholic School we actively promote values, virtues and ethics that shape our pupils' character and moral perspective, through the teachings of the Church. We follow the example of the Good Samaritan where we are called to love and care for our neighbour. We ensure that through our school vision, ethos, agreed rules, curriculum and teaching we promote respect and tolerance for all cultures, faiths and lifestyles.
In so doing we reinforce British values regularly and in the following ways: Our School Mission Statement which outlines our commitment to celebrating and exploring the special gift that we are and sharing these in our community. Our weekly Statements to Live By which help us remember that Jesus Christ is at the centre of everything we do. We promote and aim to have a school community rooted in love, tolerance, respect and celebration of differences. Collective worships where we teach respect for all, right and wrong, tolerance and differences and respecting and following the law. An R.E curriculum with lessons which teach the children about other faiths as well as their own.
A range of curriculum topics which have strong links to British History and reflect modern British culture i.e. the Queen's Diamond Jubilee, the Tour De France , the London Olympics, Victorian Saltaire, Mary Seacole. Linked projects that encourage children to consider similarities and differences between St Francis Catholic Primary School and our neighbouring schools. Our 'Gardeners & Seeds' Buddying system for Year 6 and Foundation pupils. Visits from authorities such as the police, fire service, ambulance service etc. are regular parts of our calendar and help reinforce the rule of law. Working towards School of Sanctuary Status. Participation in faith celebrations that reflects our rich ethnic school population and locality community i.e. Chinese New Year, Eid , Diwali. Team Teach is used by staff as a means of repairing harm and developing relationships. Our School Council and a democratic system of voting and providing a "voice" for all pupils.
Our Head Boys/Girls and Senior Prefects and RE Catholic Life Group who 'set the example' and represent our school. Theme weeks i.e. Anti-Bullying Week, Remembrance, Internet Safety, Black History... Pupils are keen to support charities, whether local, national or global i.e. St Mary's Welcome Soup Kitchen, The Gianna Project, The St Francis Youth SVP, Marie Curie, Cancer Research, Cafod and the Philippines Disaster. Our School Pastoral Care Policies and Procedures, Expectations and Code of Conduct.