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St Thomas’ Values
Our Values at St Thomas’ are very special to us. They are the foundation of the education we provide for our pupils and underpin all we do. Our values are explicitly taught but are also a constant across all elements of school life. We hope children will flourish academically but also spiritually, morally, socially and culturally so they are fully prepared for life in British society.
There are three distinct strands to our values but they all taught side by side and complement each other.
Within a happy and caring environment we aim to help children to learn that courtesy, good manners and consideration for others are very important qualities. We encourage children to be self-disciplined and industrious, to take pride in their achievements, and to be generous in their friendship. We promote good relationships between pupils and adults and treat each child as an individual regardless of gender, nationality, religion or ability. As children graduate from primary school, we hope that we have prepared them for the responsibility and experiences of the next stage of their lives, and to enable them to develop as well rounded members of society.
Our Christian values
At St Thomas’ we have a strong, distinctive Christian ethos and encourage children to develop values of forgiveness, loyalty, hospitality, truth and peace. Our values are informed by a biblical context, in particular the teachings of Jesus Christ. Because of this, our school is united by our faith in Jesus, which in turn, helps our school to feel like a very special place.
We have made a short film in which we shared our understanding of our Christian values which can be found via a link below or on the ‘films’ tab within our school website.
Our School values
Research increasingly shows that academic ability is not the only indicator of how successful and happy a child will grow up to be. Evidence points towards what is known as the ‘soft skills’ as being a significant factor in a person’s ability to get on well and be happy in life. Our values of independence, communication, and creativity encapsulate these soft skills. This is the ability to confidently start and continue a conversation with a clear voice and being able to solve problems by yourself.
Schools have a duty to ‘actively promote’ the fundamental British values of democracy, the rule of law, individual liberty, and mutual respect and tolerance of those with different faiths and beliefs. These values were first set out by the government in the ‘Prevent’ strategy in 2011.
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 our Christian Values. This provides the context and meaning for understanding why British values are important and draws on the example of Jesus and his welcome and inclusion of all.
In our school, our Christian values are at the foundation of the education we provide for pupils. Working in harmony alongside these, we incorporate democratic principles, recognise the importance of 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 at St Thomas’ and we encourage pupils to speak clearly, loudly and in Standard English. Pupils always have the opportunity to have their voices heard, both in class and during our weekly circle group discussions. This exemplifies how a British value such as democracy is taught alongside a school value such as communication.
The Rule of Law
We develop students’ understanding for the importance of the rule of law via the rules that govern the class, our school and the country. This is consistently reinforced throughout every day at St Thomas’. To further our respect for rules, each class will create their own ‘class rules’ at the beginning of the year. We also have a clear behaviour policy that is explained to all pupils, staff and parents and we regularly organise visits from the police service and fire service to reinforce the message of right and wrong. In addition, we highlight the rules of the Church and God through the RE curriculum and in collective worship. Through our broad and balanced curriculum, pupils are taught about the development of the Rule of Law in English Law, a legal system created uniquely in England, inspired by Christian values and becoming a major influence across the world.
At St Thomas’, we place a strong importance on individual liberty and 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 school community and beyond. Students are encouraged to know, understand and exercise their rights, responsibilities and personal freedoms and receive advice about how to exercise these safely.
Mutual Respect and Tolerance of those of different Faiths and Beliefs
St Thomas’ promotes mutual respect and tolerance and this is reiterated through our classroom and learning environments as well as through extra-curricular activities. In line with our commitment to democracy, students are always encouraged to voice their opinions as we foster an environment where students 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.