Personal, Social, Health and Economic Education including Spiritual, Moral, Social and Cultural
At St James we aim to provide an environment of love and care in which we explore and celebrate the qualities that define and unify us all. This creates a confident and happy community. We actively promote fundamental British values throughout the curriculum and recognise our duty to protect children from the risk of radicalisation. We aim, at all times, to promote and foster a caring, tolerant and globally minded community.
We have a planned programme of lessons and experiences that help the children grow and develop. This equips them with the knowledge, understanding, attitudes and practical skills to live healthy safe and responsible lives. It encourages them to be enterprising and supports them in making effective choices while promoting emotional wellbeing.
How do we seek to develop these areas?
Philosophy, quiet time, Scripture, Assemblies, school services, the school virtues and rules, and our school motto, community service, visiting speakers, visits, trips, notice boards that feature a variety of topics, such as public services and different places of worship, world events etc… and the general school ethos of service and ‘love thy neighbour as thyself’.
The aim of PSHEE/SMSC is to enable the children to discover more about themselves and others, to understand the difference between right and wrong and to respect the law. To develop self esteem and confidence; and learn how to act appropriately for their own happiness and that of others. We encourage the children to show initiative, take responsibility and contribute to the local and global communities. We also give the children a wide knowledge of public institutions and services in England and a respect for their own and other cultures through the many and varied trips and Assembly topics. Within the school there is no promotion of partisan political views.
An appreciation of belonging to one human family and the ability to serve others in a spirit of unity is of central importance to the work of the school as a whole.
Each class has one Philosophy lesson a week where the intention is to stimulate an enquiry into the spirit of the human being and to look at their relationship to the universe. The school supports values such as honesty, compassion and generosity and explores these themes through stories, games, pictures and questions
At the beginning and end of each lesson children and teachers take the opportunity to be quiet and still for a few moments. This creates a calm atmosphere in which some inner space can be found and there is the possibility of connecting with one’s inner self.
Children are praised throughout the school day in acknowledgements of their efforts. There is a house point system, golden time initiative and once a week there is a ‘Commendations’ Assembly in which at least two children from each class are commended for outstanding effort, behaviour or work.
Respect for Fundamental British Values
The school actively promotes fundamental British values of democracy, the rule of law, individual liberty and mutual respect and tolerance of those with different faiths and beliefs. For instance children are encouraged to respect the values of democracy and can vote their classmates onto the school council. They are encouraged to value their freedom within the rules of the school and the laws of the nation and acknowledge that rules/laws are there for their own well-being and safety.
Responsible Behaviour and Initiative
Children develop self-confidence by taking on responsibilities around the school.
Y5 have a buddy system. Each Y5 child has a Reception child they look after and befriend throughout their first year at St James.
The school has four virtues or rules – truthfulness, magnanimity, harmlessness and never careless. These are distilled into the school motto: ‘Speak the truth. Be generous and kind. Be your best.’ The children are taught to respect these rules and models of moral behaviour are provided to show the benefits of right action. This encourages the children to have respect for the civil and criminal law and to distinguish right from wrong.
Contribution to the Community
Children are encouraged to make effort to support the local and global community. Recently they have joined with the neighbouring primary school (Avonmore) to contribute to the regeneration of the local park. The school promotes and supports both local and international charities sometimes at the suggestion of the children.
The Celebration of British and other Cultures
At St James we explore and celebrate qualities that define and unify us all. We actively promote respect for all religions and cultures in the spirit of harmony and tolerance. British culture is celebrated in many ways, for example marking special occasions such as the Jubilee, when we had a street party lunch; we have also had a themed British Food Day. The children are actively encouraged to respect British traditions. Other cultures are also celebrated, such as Diwali and traditional Indian dancing. Countries of Origin talks are given and visits to culturally diverse sites are organised to stimulate and inform.
Links with the Church
Rev. Rob Marshall is the School Chaplain. He conducts Church services at Christmas and Easter and takes assembly at school 2-3 times a term.
Each class visits the ‘Art of Hospitality’ for a cooking lesson twice a term. They learn about healthy eating and fresh seasonal food. Children are taught to serve their friends and guests. This aspect of service is also an important feature of meal times at school. The children learn good table manners while they sit down to lunch as a class with the class teacher. The children learn about their bodies and at the top end of the school the children are taught about personal hygiene and their changing bodies. Healthy choices and personal safety are discussed in a safe and caring environment.
The children are taught how to keep themselves safe . We have regular visits from the community liaison personnel of the emergency services. We visit the local fire station and the school nurse talks to the children about personal hygiene.
We arrange talks for both pupils and parents about E safety with up to date downloads available from the school website. There is an active E Safety programme for the Upper Juniors.