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Fundamental Values

Our Vision is to be, a happy, vibrant and creative school that encourages positive attitudes to learning and where staff, pupils and the wider community come together to provide the highest standards of education.

 

As a school, there is a statutory requirement on us to promote four fundamental values. These are:

  • Democracy.
  • The rule of law.
  • Individual liberty.
  • Mutual respect and tolerance of those with different faiths and beliefs.

 

In more specific terms, through our provision for Spiritual, Moral, Social and Cultural Education (SMSC), we are expected to:

  • Enable students to develop their self-knowledge, self-esteem and self-confidence.
  • Enable students to distinguish right from wrong and to respect the civil and criminal law of England.
  • Encourage students to accept responsibility for their behaviour, show initiative, and to understand how they can contribute positively to the lives of those living and working in the locality of the school and to society more widely.
  • Enable students to acquire a broad general knowledge of and respect for public institutions and services in England.
  • Further tolerance and harmony between different cultural traditions by enabling students to acquire an appreciation of and respect for their own and other cultures.
  • Encourage respect for other people.
  • Encourage respect for democracy and support for participation in democratic processes, including respect for the basis on which the law is made and applied in England.

 

At Drayton Park, we are fully committed to promoting these values. We are a multi-cultural, inclusive school. We consider it hugely important that our pupils leave us as open-minded, tolerant, informed individuals. We want them to be humane and caring. We want them to know how to question and disagree in constructive ways.  We expect them to challenge prejudice and know how to respect others. We want them to understand the opportunities and responsibilities of life in Britain and grow into fully engaged citizens.

 

We promote these fundamental values throughout our curriculum. Key aspects include:

 

The Drayton Park Way: The five aspects of the Drayton Park Way underpin our approach to behaviour and learning. They are about self-motivation, self-awareness and engagement in self-improvement. They are about working well with others. They are embedded throughout life at Drayton Park.

 

Our work on behaviour over the last two years has led to a strong, school-wide system, which the whole community respects. It is built around a comprehensive, fair set of rules that enable us all to live and work together in a harmonious, purposeful way.

 

Pupil Voice: Our School Council includes every child from Year 1 to Year 6, and almost every member of staff in the school. It gives us all a voice in key decisions about our school, once every two weeks. It provides ongoing experience of a direct form of democracy. It enables pupils of all ages and staff to come together, to listen and to share ideas.

We also use School Council as a teaching tool. We have run sessions on the history of British democracy. We have used it to reflect collectively on Remembrance Day. We regularly use it to discuss the ways in which we treat each other and develop our capacity for empathy and respect.

 

Inclusion Week: Once a year, in the Autumn term, we run a ‘Community and Inclusion Week’. It is an evolution from ‘Black History Week’, which we have run for many years. The aim has been to widen the scope of children’s learning, to address a broader range of inclusion issues, relevant to our school community and the wider world.

 

This year in Community and Inclusion Week we tackled issues around gender, race and homophobia. Children listened to inspirational speakers talk about their own values and life-experiences. They engaged with our local foodbank. We culminated with a piece of music, collectively written and performed by every child in the school.

 

Celebrating Community: Throughout the year at Drayton Park, we run a series of events that celebrate our diverse and inclusive community. Examples of these include our Winter and Summer Fairs, our Nativity play and KS2 Christmas show, and our quirky ‘boat party’, at which we celebrate the Drayton Park lifeboat. Last year this was attended by crew members from the Thames lifeboat station, who enjoyed listening to our choir sing sea shanties. Most important however, is our International Evening. The event brings together people from the many different cultures, religions and ethnicities within our community. Parents, staff and pupils lay on food and entertainment from around the world. The sense of sharing and mutual appreciation is palpable.

 

Circle Time: We use Circle Time regularly in all our classes. It is a time for all the children in a class to sit together and discuss issues around their personal, social and emotional growth. It is a key opportunity to discuss issues such as individual liberty, and how that works alongside respecting and tolerating others.

 

Reflection Time: The pupils in our school each have their own Reflection Book and several times a week they end the day with Reflection Time. Teachers pose questions about children’s experiences of the day and the skills used to cope well with it. Reflection questions are often about the ways in which we have treated others and managed our feelings. Children record their responses in their Reflection Books, in ways that are personal and open-ended.

 

Research shows that regularly spending time, with pen and paper, reflecting on one’s day, is a key way to grow positive, resilient, empathetic mind sets. Our Reflection Time initiative is key to the way in which we promote children’s engagement with school, learning and each other.

 

Religious Education: Given the range of faiths at Drayton Park, we believe it is very important that all our children gain a broad and balanced understanding of the beliefs and practices of the world’s major religions. Every half term, all our classes devote a day to Religious Education. They learn about the history and key ideas of different religions. They handle and make artefacts. They explore common religious themes, such as ‘light’. Over the course of their time at Drayton Park, children will visit a place of worship of each of the major world religions.

 

Once a year, in the Autumn term, we run a Winterval Week, leading up to our Winter Fair. During it, children learn about a variety of Winter festivals from different religions and cultures.

 

Assemblies and Motivational Speakers: Assemblies take place throughout the week on a range of themes, but at least once a week the focus is on an aspect of the Drayton Park Way, or a religious or cultural festival or event. We run many of these ourselves, but also seek external speakers to share experience and broaden our pupils’ horizons and aspirations.

 

Philosophy for Children: This is a new initiative at Drayton Park, based on the P4C model. Once a week, all classes engage in a philosophy lesson, based on a stimulating text, object or picture, or short piece of film. Children choose a theme to explore and discuss open-ended, thought provoking questions, in a structured way. The programme develops deep thinking in children. It encourages them to listen well to others and consider different points of view. It helps children learn to express their own opinions well, and disagree in constructive ways. It encourages an open-minded, considered approach to problems and an acceptance of multiple viewpoints.

 

Community Police:  We are actively engaged with the local community police, who are developing a new educational programme for schools. The focus will be on pre-empting youth crime, including gang involvement and substance misuse, as well as addressing potential pathways to extremism.

 

Safeguarding and E-safety: We take our responsibilities to safeguard our pupils very seriously. We provide training for all our staff that goes significantly beyond legislative requirements. This has recently included training for all staff on preventing extremism and FGM.

 

We run termly events for parents on general safeguarding and separately on e-safety. Our aim is to help our whole community contribute to keeping children safe. Given the real and changing dangers that the online world poses young people, we aim to ensure that our parents are as informed as possible in how to keep their children safe.

 

EYFS: The four fundamental values are deeply embedded in the Early Years Foundation Stage.  At Drayton Park, we encourage children to make deep and meaningful friendships in which they learn to respect each other, value different opinions, and learn about the similarities and differences between themselves and others.  We actively encourage team work and each class has a set of class rules that the children contribute to in order to ensure that they have a deep understanding of the meaning and importance of looking after each other and the learning environment, and staying safe.  During their time in the Early Years, children are encouraged to be confident to speak out and have their voices heard, and they contribute to decision making about the daily running of the setting.  As the year passes, we celebrate a variety of religious and secular festivals as a way of finding out about people’s different beliefs and identities, both close to home and around the world.  

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