Vision and Values
Philosophy and Ethos Statement
Our underlying aim is that our children are happy and achieve excellence in education. Our motto is:
Happy Children, Happy School; Achieving Excellence in Education.
This is achieved through an established secure, caring community, provision of good quality teaching and learning experiences within a stimulating environment; promotion of high standards of behaviour and academic achievement which enable children to appreciate their own, and other cultures, promoting equality, good relations and tackling unlawful discrimination.
We encourage, support and enable all pupils and staff to achieve their full potential, promoting school effectiveness for the benefit of all of our children.
How do we do this?
After consultation with the children, parents, staff and Governors, Lavendon School will be focusing on the following values:
In addition to our whole school values, every child is valued as an individual.
We aim to nurture well-rounded, respectful and confident children who will develop skills for lifelong learning.
We support our children on their learning journey and encourage them to be creative, unique, open-minded and independent individuals, respectful of themselves and of others in our school, our local community and the wider world.
We take our responsibility to prepare children for life in modern Britain very seriously and ensure that the fundamental British Values are introduced, discussed and lived out through the ethos and work of our school.
At Lavendon School we uphold and teach pupils about the British Values which are defined as:
• Rule of law
• Individual liberty
• Mutual respect
• Tolerance of those of different faiths and beliefs
We recognise that these values are also upheld by other countries and cultures and are not exclusively British. However, these are key elements of Britain’s culture, history and society which are important to promote and embed within all that we do.
The values are taught explicitly through Personal, Social, Health and Emotional (PSHE), and Religious Education (RE) but we also teach the British Values by planning and delivering a broad and balanced curriculum, and the way we run our school. There is an outline at the end of this document showing some of the specific ways that we teach British values. The school also takes opportunities to actively promote British Values through our daily assemblies and whole school systems and structures such as electing and running a successful School Council. We also actively promote the British values through ensuring that our curriculum planning and delivery includes real opportunities for exploring these values. Actively promoting British Values also means challenging pupils, staff or parents expressing opinions contrary to fundamental British Values, including ‘extremist’ views. At Lavendon School, these values are reinforced regularly and in the following ways:
Democracy is valued highly at our school. Pupils have the opportunity to have their voices heard through our School Council. The elections of members of the School Council are based on pupil votes. The school rules that govern the conduct that we at Lavendon School actively work and live by were decided upon following consolation with all the children. These rules are actively used by children and adults influencing what is an agreed acceptable behaviour as part of our behaviour policy. In addition, some assemblies follow a current affairs programme, and a multicultural approach. Democracy is investigated in cross curricular work where appropriate. For example, the children learn about Ancient Greece and the rise of Democracy and its implications in Britain today is explored.
The Rule of Law:
The importance of laws and rules, whether they are those that govern the class, the school or the country, are consistently reinforced throughout regular school days. Our behaviour codes are clear and children are given verbal warnings followed by a clearly structured warning system. Children are asked to identify what wrong behaviour choice has taken place to ensure that this connection is made and understood, which is then followed up using Restorative Principles, in that the victim in any such circumstance is given the opportunity to explain how the action has impacted them, and a resolution is sought together. This helps the children develop empathic skills and a recognition that all behaviours have an impact. 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 are regular parts of our calendar and help reinforce this message.
Pupils are actively encouraged to make choices at our school, knowing that they are in a safe and supportive environment. As a school we provide boundaries for our children to make choices safely, through the provision of a safe environment and planned curriculum. Pupils are encouraged to know, understand and exercise their rights and personal freedoms and are advised how to exercise these safely, for example through our e-Safety teaching and PSHE lessons. Pupils are given the freedom to make choices, e.g. signing up for extracurricular clubs, choose the level of challenge in some lessons and are becoming increasingly more involved in child–led learning, e.g. planning and delivering child led assemblies.
Our school ethos and behaviour policy are based around a Restorative Principle approach. Anti-bullying assemblies and programmes on human rights teaching all reflect our commitment to mutual respect. Equally, our charity work with local and national charities all helps in teaching mutual respect as well as reinforcing our links with the local community. Children and adults alike, including visitors, are challenged if they are disrespectful in any way.
Tolerance of Those of 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 such diversity in our local community. Assemblies and discussions involving prejudices and prejudice-based bullying will be followed and supported by learning in RE and PSHE. All classes study major World faiths alongside Christianity each year. We encourage children to research and discover differences and similarities between us and our European neighbours in Geography lessons. Likewise, we have used opportunities such as the Olympics and Para-Olympics to study and learn about life and culture and faith in other countries.
As part of our daily set up in Reception, children are taught the value of individual liberty through self-selecting their learning activities. Children are taught about the value of democracy through collaborative decision-making, and they learn about inspiring people through listening to stories. In our Early Years class, the children look at their families and the different cultures that make up modern Britain. We also share our similarities and differences and celebrate key community festivals together.