St. Joseph's Catholic Primary School - Wetherby

Core Values

Catholic Ethos

St Joseph’s Primary School is a Catholic School and is conducted in accordance with canon law and the teachings of the Roman Catholic Church and in accordance with the Trust Deeds of the Diocese of Leeds and in particular:

* (a) Religious education is to be in accordance with the teachings, doctrines, discipline and general and particular norms of the Catholic Church.

* (b) Worship is to be in accordance with the rites, practices, discipline and liturgical norms of the Catholic Church.

The school strives to serve as a witness to the Catholic faith in Our Lord Jesus Christ.

Our School Aims

We aim:

* To create a caring Christ centred environment in which individuals are valued and encouraged to develop intellectually, physically, socially, emotionally and spiritually to their full potential.

* To structure a broad and differentiated curriculum which allows each child success in acquiring skills, concepts and knowledge appropriate to the primary stage of education.

* To recognise that all children have Christ within them, possess God given talents and have unique value.

* To help pupils to learn about the love of God and the message of Christ and to express this in their care, concern and respect for themselves, other individuals and their environment. Teachers are role models for their pupils, in promoting self esteem and self confidence, respect for others and respect for their environment.

* To celebrate the success of others and to be supportive at times of difficulty.

* When ideals are not lived up to, to foster an awareness of the Christ like power of forgiveness and reconciliation.

* To foster close links between school, home and parish.

* To foster an awareness of the wider world communities and our responsibilities to them.

* To promote respect for the State and the observance of rules, regulations and laws designed for the common good.

* To give opportunities for individual and collective prayer and participation in the liturgy.

* To support the family and the Parish in preparing children for the Sacraments by developing their understanding of the commitment which they are making to Christ.

The message of Christianity is central to every aspect of school life.

The Way, the Truth and the Life is the main structure of our RE Curriculum

 

TEACHING CORE VALUES:

The DfE have 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 and mutual respect and tolerance of those with different faiths and beliefs.” The government set out its definition of British values in the 2011 Prevent Strategy, and these values have been reiterated by the Prime Minister this year.  At St Joseph’s Catholic Primary School these values are reinforced regularly and in the following ways:

Democracy:

Democracy is widespread across our school. Pupils have the opportunity to have their voices heard through our School Council who meet at least once a month. Every child exercises their right to vote to elect their representative. Every child on the School Council, has the opportunity to put forward their views and opinions at the meetings.

Encouraging pupils to become involved in decision making processes and ensuring they are listened to in school is integral to the school ethos. We teach children ways in which they can influence decision making through the democratic process e.g. Through the School council, surveys of children during project work to assess their favoured line of enquiry and Pupil questionnaires. There is an open door policy for the Head Teacher, consultation with pupils about class rules and excellent relationships between staff and pupils which are based on mutual respect and active listening. Children’s ideas and interests inform our daily planning in EYFS and planning in response to the pupil’s voice, continues throughout school in topic choices and planned experiences.

We promote our own school values on a daily basis and these are drawn out in assembly on a weekly basis, reinforced by our Statement of the Week.

Providing children with a broad knowledge of and promoting respect for public institutions and services e.g. Visits from Police and PCSOs, Fire Service, Local Councillors, our local Mayor, and we use role play areas throughout FS and KS1 to develop understanding from their first hand experiences.

Teaching involves modelling how perceived injustice can be peacefully challenged by learning about inspirational figures from the faith tradition, history and literature such as Jesus, Mother Teresa, Martin Luther King, Oscar Romero, Rosa Parks, Dorothy Day and the Rainbow Fish. The theme of Justice is covered extensively in Year 6 and there are many cross curricular links to RE.

The Rule of Law:

The importance of laws, whether they be those that govern the class, the school, or the country, are consistently reinforced at St Joseph’s Catholic Primary School. This happens throughout the school day when dealing with behaviour issues and through school assemblies. We ensure that school rules are clear and fair, through our consistent behaviour policy. Our behaviour policy is linked to restorative justice, based in the Christian values of forgiveness and mutual respect. It relies on children having the opportunity to resolve conflicts and reflect on their mistakes or poor choices, in order that apologies are meaningful. Consequences are discussed and used consistently across school. Secret Students and monitors for cloakrooms proactively support positive behaviour management.

Our behaviour policy is reinforced through our home/ school agreement with parents and a pupil/ school agreement (child-friendly version) is being developed by the School Council.

Helping children to distinguish right from wrong is integral to the curriculum, through our use of Circle times and by using the example of Christ when dealing with any behaviour that is not acceptable.

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, Road Safety awareness and Fire Service help to reinforce this message. Promoting respect for the law and the basis on which it is made, occurs through visitors such as PCSOs, Police and use of the Gospel to illustrate the need to respect the law of the land.

Individual Liberty:

At St Joseph’s Catholic Primary School, pupils are actively encouraged to make the right choices, following our school values. As a school we educate and provide boundaries for young pupils to make wise choices, through a provision of a safe environment and empowering education.  Pupils are encouraged to know, understand and exercise their rights and personal freedoms and are advised on how to exercise these safely and responsibly, for example through our E-Safety, planning for computing and PSHE lessons.

We support pupils to develop their self-knowledge, self-esteem and self-confidence, through our weekly Catholic ethos statement assemblies, Targeted Emotional Literacy groups and circle times, our way of treating people, by investing heavily in meeting the needs of all of the children, by providing equality of opportunity, by knowing and understanding the needs of all of the children. Peer assessment and classroom rules drawn up by each class group help to reinforce this.

Relationships between staff team members as well as with children reinforce respect for individuals and tolerance.

We encourage pupils to take responsibility for their behaviour as well as knowing their rights, through linking rights with responsibilities, by having a fair and consistent behaviour management policy. Our school implements a strong anti-bullying culture, which is reinforced through anti-bullying weeks.

Challenging stereotypes happens throughout school; through our EPR Policy, visitors into school, disability awareness, anti bullying and anti racism learning.

There is a wide range of curriculum enrichment, through our extra-curricular clubs and opportunities, where pupils are given the freedom to make choices: choir, craft clubs, football team, Total Sports clubs and Maths Club.

Mutual Respect:

One of our Core School Values is ‘Respect’. Pupils have discussions both in class and assemblies relating to what this means and how it is shown. Displays around the school promote our school values and this is reiterated through our classroom rules, as well as our behaviour policy.

As part of our PSHE curriculum, we deliver Targeted Emotional Literacy small group work, providing opportunities to enhance children’s self esteem to build self confidence, develop team work skills and learn strategies to help regulate our feelings.

We have strong sporting values that are demonstrated through our team games against local schools and competitive sporting events that are regularly attended such as the Under 9’s and Under 11’s team competitions. All children are taught to show good sportsmanship whether they win, lose or draw.

We promote respect for individual differences through assemblies and masses, the RE curriculum, multicultural and international weeks and events and through our Catholic ethos.

Our school embraces the use of Makaton and we use signing in prayers, at assemblies and when for example singing and signing Happy Birthday.

We support children to acquire an understanding of and respect for their own and other cultures and ways of life, through a creative curriculum: Geography, History, use of Dance and Art from a range of cultures, international weeks and events, sharing different cultures and languages as well as Religious Education teaching about world faiths.

Tolerance of those of Different Faiths and Beliefs:

At St Joseph’s Catholic Primary School, we aim to provide an environment where every child is valued regardless of race, religion, gender or disability. We strive to provide pupils with the opportunity for personal development so that they may fulfil their potential and become valued members of the community. As a Catholic school we are concerned with leading the children to a deep, living and active personal faith.

We aim to support the work of deepening the children’s moral growth and development of conscience and seek to ensure that our pupils know they are a child of God.  Preparation for the Sacrament of Reconciliation and Eucharist takes place in Year Three. The preparation takes place at school, but involves close co-operation with home and parish. Visits and opportunities for worship are organised at our parish Church, such as the Foundation Stage Advent crib service.

 

We actively promote diversity through our teaching and celebration of different faiths and cultures. Assemblies and discussions involving prejudices and prejudice-based bullying have been held and are supported by learning in RE and PSHE. Our school trips involve visiting places of worship of other faiths and classes celebrate different religious festivals. Members of different faiths or religions are encouraged to share their knowledge to enhance learning within classes and the school.

We openly discuss and celebrate the differences between people such as differences of faith, ethnicity, disability, gender and different family situations. When appropriate, opportunities are taken to develop awareness and celebrate differences through for example, the We Are All Special RE unit, through sessions on autism and dyslexia, to increase everyone’s awareness of the impact of these conditions on the lives of those affected.