At St Joseph’s School children have many opportunities for their voices to be heard. We have a very active School Council who are the strategic pupil voices for the school.
The team meet regularly to discuss issues raised in class council meetings. The council has its own budget and is able to genuinely effect change within the school. All of the council members for each year group are voted in by their class.
The Rule of Law
The importance of Laws, whether they be those that govern the class, the school, or the country, are consistently reinforced throughout regular school days, as well as when dealing with behaviour and through school assemblies. Pupils 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 and Fire Service help reinforce this message. Children are taught to manage their own behaviour in a variety of ways and to realise that there are consequences for unacceptable behaviour.
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 young pupils to make choices safely, through provision of a safe environment and empowering education. Pupils are encouraged to know, understand and exercise their rights and personal freedoms and advised how to exercise these safely, for example through our E-Safety, PSHE lessons and Circle Times. Whether it be through choice of learning challenge, of how they record, of participation in our numerous extra-curricular clubs and opportunities, pupils are given the freedom to make choices.
As part of our ethos, 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. The school encourages pupils to raise monies to support local and national charities; it also supports emergency disasters that happen across the world. The Mini Vinnies team take a particular lead on this.
Tolerance of those of Different Faiths and Beliefs
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 and PSHE teaching reinforce this. Assemblies and discussions involving prejudices and prejudice-based bullying have been followed. The school staff are fully aware of the importance of being a role model for all pupils; demonstrating politeness, courtesy and respect for each other, visitors and children at all times.
At St Joseph’s we will actively challenge pupils, staff or parents expressing opinions contrary to fundamental British Values, including ‘extremist’ views.