Our Vision and Aim
Our vision is that the children leave our school from a point of strength, able to meet the challenges ahead, both academically and personally and draw strength from their Christian faith.
The aim for our school is to encourage children to reach over and beyond their potential.
Promoting British Values at Cowbit St Mary’s Church of England School
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."
The Government set out its definition of British values in the 2011 Prevent Strategy, and these values have been reiterated this year. At Cowbit St Mary’s School these values are promoted regularly in the following ways:
- At the start of each year as part of the children’s Social and Emotional Aspects of Learning (SEAL) they decide upon their class rules and the rights and responsibilities associated with these. Each class creates its own set of rules in the form of a ‘Charter’ which they all agree.
- The children complete a Pupil Perception Survey annually and our Y6 leavers undertake an exit survey at the end of their final term with us.
- The School Council have a suggestion box so that all children can contribute ideas. Each class has a ‘Worry Box’ where they can identify any aspect of school life or life in general which is causing them some concern.
- The children are involved in the staff recruitment process by being involved in interviews with prospective candidates.
- Children’s opinions are sought about lessons through lesson studies, pupil interviews and when applicable ‘Children as Inspectors’. All children are encouraged to express their views in an appropriate way by talking to staff and particularly the headteacher about ideas they might have e.g. establishing a reading club, planning fund raising for a variety of good causes.
- Democracy also features as part of our whole school Collective Worship plan. In Philosophy for Children discussions take place amongst the children to allow them to think carefully and give opinions.
- A fair and consistent Behaviour and Anti Bullying Policy with agreed rewards and sanctions is in place.
The Rule of Law
- The children learn from an early age that we are all subject to the Rule of Law which applies in this country. The importance of Laws, as applicable to, the school, or the country, are consistently reinforced throughout the normal school day, as well as when dealing with behaviour and through school collective worship times. The children understand how laws are there to protect us; keeping us safe. They acknowledge their responsibility to uphold laws and understand the consequences when laws are broken. They are also discussed in PSHE, SEAL and Philosophy for Children sessions.
- Children are taught from an early age the rules of the school, the value and the reasons behind these rules, the responsibilities that these involve and the consequences when these are broken. These include such things as Class Rules, Playground Rules.
- The School Behaviour and Anti Bullying Policy are shared with all stakeholders and contains a section developed by the children of the Pupil Voice Committee in consultation with their peers.
- Certificates and stickers are used as a reward for keeping to the rules and showing good behaviour. At the end of each term children may be awarded special certificates for showing outstanding behaviour. Parents of children who have won such awards are invited into school to see their child receive the award.
- The school adopts a positive approach to behaviour and keeping to the rules by always trying to identify those children who are doing what they are supposed to rather than those who are not.
- Children reflect on their learning during lessons and their behaviour during Collective
Worship or when they are moving around the school.
- Yearly Parent / carers questionnaires include questions which relate to behaviour, safety etc.
- We have links with Police Community Support Officers and other services that support the importance of laws and they visit the school when appropriate
- Throughout the year, Collective Worship provides opportunities to link to the law e.g. school rules and anti-bullying.
- Within school, children 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 our children to make these choices safely, through our provision of a safe environment. We encourage the children to express and justify their opinions;
- exercising their rights and personal freedoms. As a school, we celebrate every individual and children are treated from this viewpoint.
- Regular Circle Time, Philosophy for Children and e-safety awareness raising enables the children to listen and make informed choices and to exercise their opportunity to have opinions.
- A range of daily after school activities are offered and the children are given the freedom to choose which they would like to attend.
- Children are also offered opportunities to participate in events within the community or with other schools such as a whole range of sporting activities.
- Within the school and in the community, children demonstrate a clear understanding of expectation of behaviour.
- Children take responsibilities as play-ground leaders.
- Cowbit St Mary’s School adopts Christian Values each term as a focus for Collective
Worship e.g. respect, forgiveness, truthfulness, responsibility.
- We encourage participation in charitable events e.g. Children in Need, Royal British Legion Poppy Appeal, The Rotary Club shoe box appeal, Foodbank, Children In Need, and Christian Aid.
- Respect is at the heart of our values. Children learn that their behaviours have an effect on their own rights and those of others. Children develop an understanding of tolerance and mutual respect. All members of the school community treat each other with respect.
- SEAL themes throughout the year encourage our children to be aware of the significance of respect both for people and belongings. The importance of respect is promoted through class rules, the school’s behaviour policy and children are regularly reminded through Collective Worship and Circle Times.
- Positive relationships encouraged and modelled throughout the school between child and child, adult and child, adult and adult.
- Learning that takes place in Religious Education throughout the school enables the children to gain not only knowledge but also develop an understanding of the world of religion and how beliefs impact on daily lives. This helps develop tolerance and mutual respect for religious viewpoints.
- We promote participation in all sporting activities and encourage competition but within the context of ‘fair play’ and appreciation of everybody’s skills and abilities.
Tolerance of those of Different Faiths and Beliefs
- This is achieved through enhancing children’s understanding of their place in a culturally diverse society and by giving them opportunities to experience such diversity. Members of different faiths or religions are encouraged to share their knowledge to enhance learning within classes and the school. We also use Religious Education, Collective Worship, PSHE and SEAL to raise awareness of the variety of faiths and beliefs that make up our modern society.
- We invite members of other faiths into our school to talk to our children and to show them artefacts and objects that are important to them.
- The school holds regular assemblies in Cowbit Church and our local vicar also comes into school.
- Our Religious Education programme of learning throughout the school helps the children gain both knowledge and understanding of the different world religions and how these beliefs impact on daily lives. Christianity as the main religion of the indigenous population, is taught alongside Hinduism, Islam, Judaism and Sikhism.