Here at St Thomas of Canterbury Catholic Primary School, we recognise not only the importance of helping children to flourish academically but also spiritually, morally, socially and culturally, so they are fully prepared for life in British society and for their role as citizens. It is our aim to for pupils to make the strongest possible contribution to the Common Good of all.
We teach the importance of British Values by going much deeper into the meaning of what it means to live a good life, within a framework of Catholic Christian Values. This provides the context and meaning for understanding why British values are important. Our framework for understanding British values draws on the example of Jesus and his welcome and inclusion of all, which is developed in Catholic Social Teaching. Catholic doctrine and practice permeates every aspect of our school’s activity. We provide a Catholic curriculum, which is broad and balanced, recognising that every pupil is unique and is created in the image of God (Gen 1:27). Our curriculum is designed to enable every pupil to discern their vocation and to be well-equipped to follow it as active citizens in service to the world.
In our school, Catholic Religious Education is the “core of the core curriculum” (Pope St John Paul II) and the foundation of the education we provide for pupils. We provide a wide range of extra-curricular activities and strong pastoral support. We incorporate democratic principles, value the rule of law, support individual liberty and foster a community in which different faiths and beliefs are respected.
Democracy is an extremely important value here at St Thomas’. Pupils always have the opportunity to have their voices heard. We actively promote the equality of rights and privileges, and we highlight the development of democracy in history lessons through our curriculum programme.
- Pupils are allowed to vote for Head Boy/Girl and deputies, school council reps, Eco Committee reps, class monitors and RE Monitor
- We ensure that all pupils are listened to by adults Our pupils have the opportunity to visit parliament
- Local councils are invited in to school to talk to children
- All children are asked to contribute and provide feedback through pupil questionnaires
The Rule of Law
The importance of laws, whether they are those that govern the class, our school, or the country, is consistently reinforced throughout every day at St Thomas’.
- At the beginning of the year, each class creates their own “class rules”
- We have a clear behaviour policy that is explained to all pupils, staff and parents
- We regularly organise visits from the police service and fire service to reinforce the message of right and wrong
- We highlight the rules of the Church and God in the RE curriculum, for example the 10 commandment
- Through our varied curriculum, pupils are taught about the development of the Rule of Law in English Law, a legal system created uniquely in a Catholic England, inspired by Christian values and becoming a major influence across the world
At St Thomas’, pupils are encouraged to make independent choices knowing that they are in a safe, secure and supportive environment. As a school we educate and provide boundaries for students to make choices safely. From as early as Nursery, we teach pupils to see themselves as unique individuals able to make a unique contribution to the St Thomas’ community and beyond. Children are encouraged to know, understand and exercise their rights, responsibilities and personal freedoms and receive advice about how to exercise these safely, for example through Circle Times and our exploration of E-Safety.
St Thomas’ promotes respect for others and this is reiterated through our classroom and learning environments as well as extra-curricular activities such as sport. In line with our commitment to democracy, children are always able to voice their opinions as we foster an environment where they can debate ideas and are safe to disagree with each other.
St Thomas’ has taken a very strong stance on social inclusion and anti-bullying through an explicit focus on strategies to enable respect for difference.
- We support a vast range of charities throughout the year Promotion of respect for others is always modelled through good manners
- Reinforcing the value of everyone’s opinions in class debate
- The school has an effective anti-bullying policy
- A whole school week is dedicated to anti-bullying
- Teachers emphasis in RE lessons that every person is unique and “created in the image of God”
- An annual Sports Week where the values of sportsmanship and respect are actively taught
- Having active educational links with other schools
Tolerance of Those of Different Faiths and Beliefs
At St Thomas’, we provide our children with opportunities to experience diversity within our school community and the wider community.
Our Religious Studies curriculum follows the teaching of the Church in providing a broad and balanced education, which includes an understanding of and respect for people of other faiths or none and other religions, cultures and lifestyle.
- Each year cultural events are planned and texts are linked throughout the curriculum
- Each term, pupils are introduced to other faiths and particularly look in details Judaism and Islam
- Through our RE programme, we teach religious stories where Jesus encouraged tolerance such as The Good Samaritan and The Women at the Well.