The DfE has 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, mutual respect and tolerance of those with different faiths and beliefs.”
At Crosfields these values are interwoven into our school ethos, mission statement and aims. Here are some of the ways in which these values are promoted in our school community:
The pupils have many opportunities for their voices to be heard. For our youngest children, circle time discussions, selecting which story to read or song to sing begin to introduce the concept of shared decision making. Pupils elected to the School Council, from Years 2 to 8, meet regularly to discuss issues with the Headmaster. The formation of an Eco-council, Food Council and our Charity Champions allow the children to have increasing input to new initiatives and to further understand how decisions are made and implemented together. Senior School children are regularly involved in organising all aspects of mock elections, from the campaign to the vote counting, based around current events; pupils from Year 2 participate in the vote. Our Year 7 and 8 children also have a say in the ‘Make your Mark Campaign’ to influence discussion ideas for the National Youth Parliament.
The Rule of Law
We have clear expectations of our children’s behaviour and an ethos of following rules for the good of the whole school community. Our pupils will encounter rules and laws throughout their lives and it is important that the children understand and respect the law. This begins in Pre-Prep with the introduction of our ‘Golden Rules’ and continues to Year 8 in the form of our ‘Code of Conduct’ and ‘Core Values’. Regular visits from organisations such as the Police and Fire Service encourage further understanding that there are laws to govern all aspects of life and that they are there to protect us.
Our children are entrusted with the responsibility and freedom to make their own choices in various aspects of school life and they do so knowing that they are in a safe and supportive environment. Further to opportunities to determine their own learning, a wide ranging programme of Hobbies provides the children with the opportunity to make choices and try new experiences. In addition to knowing, understanding and exercising their rights and personal freedoms pupils are also taught about the need to make safe and wise choices in all areas from e-safety to choosing a balanced and healthy meal at lunchtime.
Cultivating respect for each other and the world is written into our school aims and is an integral part of our ethos. The children are taught that all members of the school community should treat each other with respect. They learn that their behaviours have an effect on their own rights and those of others. We have high expectations and a strong emphasis on manners and kindness. We also have strong sporting values and in lessons, House competitions and competitive events, even our youngest children are able to demonstrate their understanding of good sportsmanship.
Tolerance of those of Different Faiths and Beliefs
Crosfields is a culturally rich and diverse school and from Nursery onwards the children have the opportunity to learn from each other. Teaching in RS and PSHE is enhanced by Collects focusing on stories and celebrations from a variety of faiths and cultures; many of which are led by the children. We often welcome parents and outside visitors into the school to talk to the children about their beliefs. Through knowledge and understanding, we aim to help our pupils develop tolerance and respect for all.