St George’s is committed to serving its local national and international community. It recognises the multi-cultural, multi-faith and ever-changing landscape of the United Kingdom. It also understands the vital role it has in ensuring that groups or individuals within any environment are not subjected to intimidation or radicalisation by those wishing unduly, or illegally, influence them. Our Academy fosters a strong sense of belonging both to the school community and as a citizen of Britain with the responsibilities that citizenship brings.
Our Academy has an Equality Policy, which guarantees that there will be no discrimination against any individual or group, regardless of faith, ethnicity, gender, sexuality, political or financial status, or similar. It seeks to serve all so that everyone feels a sense of belonging.
In response to the Department for Education’s guidance on promoting British values in schools, the Academy seeks to ensure young people leave school prepared for life in modern Britain and are members of society who treat others with respect and tolerance, regardless of background.
The ‘Prevent’ strategy sets out these values and St George’s has a duty to ‘actively promote’ the fundamental British values of democracy, the rule of law, individual liberty and mutual respect and tolerance of those of different faiths and beliefs together with a clear strategy for embedding these values.
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Our School Aim
To help all children reach their full potential and develop an enthusiasm for lifelong learning, within a caring and Christian environment and preparing them to be valuable members of society.
Equality for all - St George’s will ensure provision is made for the same high quality education irrelevant of ability, age, gender, race, religion or personal choice. Pupils will be expected to believe and demonstrate the same ethics themselves.
These values are taught through Personal, Social, Health and Emotional (PSHE), Religious Studies, Philosophy for Children activities and all curriculum areas. We actively promote the British values ensuring that our curriculum planning and delivery includes daily opportunities to explore these values.
Democracy: St George’s recognises that democracy is a vital part of the academy’s day-to-day operations. Years 5 and 6 have been able to explore democracy by learning, through our Champions for Change model, the finer details such as Britain is run by the people for the people, citizens have rights to speak freely, practice a religion, vote etc. They have been able to identify that citizens in a democracy have responsibilities for example; the school visited the Houses of Parliament where pupils learnt that it would be their responsibility to choose their leaders as well as understanding that it is their responsibility as a citizen to help make their community and neighbourhood good places in which to live. This teaching/learning process encourages our pupils to develop and demonstrate skills and attitudes preparing them to participate in and contribute positively to modern Britain.
All pupils have the opportunity to have their voices heard through our School Council. School Elections (based on pupil votes) are held each year for the School Council and other positions of responsibility such as Head Boy, Head Girl, Deputies, House Captains. The aim of the School Council is to develop an awareness of citizenship and to ensure the main stakeholders (our pupils) have a Voice and can be heard within our school community. The School Council representatives have been elected by their class and attends regular meetings to discuss relevant matters of interest concerning school organisation, continuous development and improvement of St George’s. In addition, the school regularly holds various competitions such as St George’s Has Got Talent, St George’s Bake off and pupil Judging panels, (together with Senior Leadership team members) are appointed. In addition, a Parent Forum provides a valuable way to support its families and the school whilst listening to parent/carer ideas and concerns as well as seeking views, ultimately ensuring that the school meets the needs of its children and families. It will discuss with parent and carer representatives from each year group issues that may have an impact on the development of the school, policy consultation, pupil well-being and communication. Although not decision-making, the Forum does have the opportunity to influence decisions through an open dialogue with the Family Worker, Headteacher and The Aquinas Trust. A parent survey is annually circulated to ascertain the views and invite suggestions to improve the school.
Rule of Law: The school continually follows its aim, ‘to help all children reach their full academic potential and develop an enthusiasm for lifelong learning, within a caring and Christian environment, preparing them to be valuable members of society. The school has the following ethos, ‘St George’s is a Church of England school that promotes the spiritual, moral, cultural and physical development of each child’ and everyone follows the Christian virtues – fellowship, love, trust, forgiveness, thankfulness and hope. In addition, within each class, the importance of laws and rules are consistently reinforced throughout the school day. Good behaviour is rewarded and measured against the school values but pupils also understand the consequences when laws are broken and appropriate sanctions are put in place. The Police, Fire Service etc. visit regularly in order to reinforce boundary messages and share their knowledge with our pupils. Year 6 act as a peer group for a Restorative Justice initiative that has been shared by a local secondary school as a best practice. Nominated Year 6 representatives are given the responsibility to work in small groups within the Infants play areas to help, support, encourage and reinforce appropriate behaviours through play, communication and reward systems.
Individual Liberty: Pupils are actively encouraged to make choices and take risks, knowing that they are in a safe and supportive environment. The children will be given boundaries /rules to live by and are encouraged to know, understand and exercise their rights and personal freedoms. In particular, children will be taught about the importance of e-safety. Pupils will be given the freedom to make choices such as attending extra-curricular clubs, through the School Council, children are encouraged to take ownership by setting their own agenda, reason and debate, follow through actions, and prepare their own meeting minutes. Within classes, children will be taught about debating and control and are encouraged to find solutions rather than problems.
Mutual Respect: One of St George’s core Christian values is Respect: Respect for themselves; Respect for one another; and Respect for our School environment. Values are highly visible around the school and are displayed on noticeboards and within classrooms and other communal areas. The school encourages working with our neighbourhood and community. Neighbours are invited to the school’s fundraising events. Pupils visit local Homes for the Elderly; make themselves known to local shops and community (the school Choir performs at Christmas); meet and remember service people who represented their country during times of conflict and celebrate Remembrance with the annual Poppy Appeal. St George’s strongly promotes pupils’ spiritual, moral, social and cultural development which underpins good behaviour. Pupils are encouraged to dress smartly and understand the importance of a school uniform and self-respect. In addition, St George’s is a litter-free environment demonstrating the pupil’s respect for their environment. Children attend school each morning knowing they are entering a safe and calm environment, where Mindfulness is part of the daily Curriculum encouraging reflective time for everyone regarding respect, behaviours, learning and their own self-worth.
Tolerance of Faiths and Beliefs and Opinions: St George’s recognise and talks about themselves as being ‘one family’. Our Academy has a diverse pupil and personnel body. It promotes not only tolerance but acceptance of people from different faiths and beliefs. This is achieved through enhancing pupils understanding of their place in a culturally diverse society and by giving them opportunities to experience diversity.
The school cohort is represented by a multi-cultural society and the school recognises and celebrates its diverse environment. St George’s follows the Diocese of Rochester scheme of work. It works in partnership with St George’s Church, Bickley where the Vicar regularly leads Collective Worship and promotes/celebrates Christian values and fellowship. Collective Worships and class discussions are held regularly and children learn about prejudices and prejudice-based bullying. These are supported by PSHE lessons and the International Primary Curriculum where explicit International Learning Goals are taught through themed topics. Different cultures, values and beliefs are celebrated and discussed through the topics.
Members of different faiths or religions (including our parents and carers) are encouraged to share their knowledge to enhance learning. St George’s children attend Church for major Christian celebrations such as Easter, Harvest and Christmas. Each class has daily fellowships where beliefs and faiths are recognised and celebrated eg. Diwali or visiting a Sikh Temple etc. Pupils are made aware of the importance of non-discrimination against people of other faiths, beliefs and opinions. Prayer is encouraged at mealtimes and at the end of each day, for reflection. A ‘prayer’ tree is erected for pupils to reflect and hang their prayers of thankfulness and forgiveness.
The school holds a Culture and Citizenship week each year to celebrate the diversity of faiths and beliefs all around the world, especially celebrating those within a minority group who have made a ‘difference’. In addition, theatre groups are invited in to the school to celebrate stories from around the World eg. Goose Chase, a reworking of a Russian folk story celebrating the First Christmas and demonstrating how Christianity is celebrated in other countries.
During the open days, held for prospective parents, Year 6 children talk about the ethos of the school, and its Christian environment but also how St George’s welcomes all faiths and beliefs and recognises the importance of accepting and celebrating all religious teachings.