At St Margaret's we have always ensured that through our school vision, values, rules and curriculum we promote tolerance and respect for all cultures, faiths and lifestyles.
We have a duty to prepare our children for life in modern Britain and to keep them safe. We value the importance of the current Ofsted guidance:
St Margaret’s is a Catholic school which seeks to live out the values of Jesus Christ. We promote these values by our words, deeds and Catholic doctrine. Our common practice is evident in every aspect of the school’s activity. We recognise that every pupil is unique and created in the image of God (Gen 1:27). Our curriculum is designed to enable every pupil (regardless of their faith, culture or race) to develop skills for life. We promote tolerance of and respect for people of all faiths (or those of no faith), cultures and lifestyles; and support and help, through our words, actions and influence within the school and more widely in the community, to prepare our children positively for life in modern Britain
Ofsted 2012 and CES 2015
As a school we have always valued the diverse ethnic backgrounds of all pupils and families and undertake a variety of events and lessons to celebrate these. We have found this approach to be enriching for all parties as it teaches understanding, tolerance and respect for the differences in our school, local community and the wider world.
The school undertakes daily assemblies which uphold traditional Gospel values of honesty, kindness, empathy, respect and tolerance which are promoted through all aspects of school life.
All children are taught and understand the importance of the World Wars and celebrate these with respect and reverence during our Remembrance Day commemorations. Children purchase poppies and a two minutes silence is held during our ‘Special Remembrance Assembly’ when we remember those who lost their lives for our freedom.
The children and staff at St Margaret’s support many local and world-wide charities and our strong Pupil Voice respond to any national emergencies. We raise money to help those in need both in Britain and overseas. The children at St Margaret’s are encouraged to develop a strong sense of moral purpose.
Specific themes: Democracy:
Democracy is clearly evident within our school. Pupil's voices are heard through our Pupil Voice and pupil questionnaires. The elections of Family Heads, Pupil Voice Representatives and Faith Ambassaders are based solely on pupil votes. Children were involved in creating the rewards and sanctions linked to our Behaviour Policy. All decisions that affect our pupils directly e.g. the re-development of the playground, purchasing new books for the School Library etc are all made in consultation with them.
The Rule of Law:
The importance of Laws, whether they be those that govern the class, the school, or the country, are consistently reinforced through all aspects of school life. 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. Visits from authorities such as the Police; Fire Service; Ambulance etc. are regular parts of our calendar and help reinforce this message. The concept of the Rule of Law is also reinforced through learning activities in our PSHE curriculum. Children are taught to accept responsibility for their behaviour and understand that all unwanted behaviour has consequences attached. The school works hard to support all pupils to make positive behaviour choices. All children are directly involved in writing their own class rules, agreeing our school rules and the sanctions that could be applied if rules were broken. This enabled our children to understand why rules are made and how rules help to keep the peace.
Freedom of choice and speech
Within school, pupils are actively encouraged to make positive choices, we educate and provide boundaries for young children to make choices safely, through the provision of a safe environment and an empowering education. Children are encouraged to know, understand and exercise their rights and personal freedoms. We actively encourage our children to share their views and opinions as often as possible on a variety of issues – some of the best opportunities arise over a debating lunch! Through our Personal Safety lessons and work with the NSPCC, children are told about their right to say no and what to expect when they say no. They are offered opportunities to make choices as often as possible such as ‘Golden Time Choices’, After-school Club Choices etc. We also support the children at St Margaret’s to consider how their choices may affect those around them too, with a very clear notion of ‘…you could do this but what if…?’
One of our primary aims, based on Gospel values, is to ensure that every child develops both personally as well as educationally. Pupils have been part of discussions and assemblies related to these aims, what they mean and how they are developed and maintained. These aims are explicit throughout the school in the way we behave towards one another and treat one another. Additional Learning Mentor support is given to any child to help develop self – esteem and the concept of respect. We are very lucky to have a wide and diverse school community which is a great opportunity to practise and develop skills of ‘mutual respect’.
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. Assemblies and discussions involving prejudices and prejudice-based bullying are regularly held. We follow the Come & See Catholic Agreed Syllabus for RE and use lots of other resources to enhance the PSHE curriculum. The children learn about other World Religions and some of the festivals from these religions throughout the year.
We are lucky to be supported by Luton's Council of Faiths and have welcomed many leaders from other faiths in to school to deliver assemblies and discussions with our children.
St Margaret’s is a long standing member of the Luton Schools Linking Project. This project links our Year 5 classes with another school within the community that may have a different culturally diverse mix of pupils. We are very lucky to be part of this project. It has assisted our children to actively practise and develop their skills of tolerance and respect for those who are different from themselves. This has encouraged our children to consider how others live and how their lives differ from ours in Great Britain. The children were able to ask thoughtful and probing questions which enabled them to develop a really strong understanding and tolerance for those of different faiths and beliefs.
We will continue to support and promote British Values because they support our children in becoming positive and safe citizens of Luton and the world!
Please click on the link below for more information.
See photos for some of these events.