Values and Ethos
These are the Values our pupils felt represented our school the best. We chose our most popular to be our Moss Park Primary School Values (September 2017).
In 2014, the DfE produced guidance for maintained schools on actively promoting British values as part of the requirement to provide for the Social, Moral, Spiritual and Cultural development of their pupils. The guidance says that schools should 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. At Moss Park Primary School we believe that the work done across the school to promote those values in all aspects of school life shows our commitment to:
“Equip pupils with the skills and values they need to form positive relationships based on equality and mutual respect.”
MPPS Aims 2017
Children, parents and staff have many opportunities for their voices to be heard at Moss Park Primary School. Democracy is central to how we operate. We solicit the views of parents via our annual questionnaire, termly Open Week Feedback sheets and informally via termly Headteacher Coffee Forums. The election of the School Council members reflects our British electoral system and demonstrates democracy in action: candidates make speeches, pupils consider characteristics important for an elected representative, pupils vote in secret using ballot boxes. Made up of two representatives from each class, the School Council meets regularly to discuss issues raised by the different classes. The council has its own budget and is able to genuinely effect change within the school. The School Council are actively involved in providing teachers with feedback, such as when they conduct Learning Environment Walks. They meet with local councillors and organise for our local MP to visit school. Other examples of learning about democracy are:
- Children agree their Class Code of Conduct and the rights associated with these
- The curriculum in History discusses how democracy evolved in different cultures such as Greece, Rome and through to 20th Century emancipation of all adults
- The Headteacher uses their feedback to improve the school – examples of this recently are changes to the way we share information about their progress with them (Target Tuesday) and new purchases for the playground based on their majority vote
Rules and Laws
The importance of rules and laws, whether they be those that govern our school or our country, are referred to and reinforced often, such as in assemblies and when reflecting on behaviour choices. At the start of the school year, each class discusses and sets its own Code of Conduct, a set of principles that are clearly understood by all and seen to be necessary to ensure that every class member is able to learn in a safe and ordered environment. 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. These values are reinforced in different ways:
- Visits from authorities such as the police and fire service
- During Religious Education, when rules for particular faiths are thought about
- During other school subjects, where there is respect and appreciation for different rules – in a sports lesson, for example
- Our pupils have visits to learn about Anti-Social Behaviour and personal safety
- We have strong links with local Magistrates who come into to work with Year 5 and 6
- Year Six pupils participate in the Manchester Magistrates Mock Trial each year, and bring this work back to the rest of the year group
Alongside rules and laws, we promote freedom of choice and the right to respectfully express views and beliefs. Through the provision of a safe, supportive environment and empowering education, we provide boundaries for our young pupils to make choices safely; for example:
- Choices about their topic for a half term per year
- Choices around the participation in extra-curricular activities
- Our pupils are encouraged to know, understand and exercise their rights and personal freedoms and are taught how to exercise these safely, such as in our e-safety and PSHE lessons
Mutual Respect and Tolerance of different beliefs and faiths
Moss Park Primary School is in culturally diverse and we are proud to promote and celebrate our different backgrounds and beliefs – “All Different, All Equal”. Our pupils know and understand that it is expected and imperative that respect is shown to everyone, whatever differences we may have, and to everything, whether it is a school resource, a religious belief or tradition. This is part of our Behaviour and SMSC policies. Children learn that their behaviour choices have an effect on their own rights and those of others. All members of the school community should treat each other with respect.
Specific examples of how we enhance pupils understanding and respect for different faiths and beliefs are:
- Through Religious Education, PSHE and other lessons where we develop awareness and appreciation of other cultures
- In other subjects such as English through exploring stories from other cultures and in Art by considering cultural traditions from other parts of the world
- Through our special themed weeks such as Diwali, Chinese New Year and Diversity
- Discussing discrimination during Anti- Bullying Week and via our Ethos Team
- Through our programme of collective worship and assemblies where we celebrate the values that unite us and enjoy learning about the similarities and differences in countries and cultures around the word
Sadly, no school can guarantee that there will never be instances which are contrary to this value. At Moss Park Primary School, such instances are extremely rare. They are treated seriously in line with our Behaviour and Anti-Bullying Policies.
The Prevent Duty
Schools are subject to a duty (Section 26, Counter-Terrorism and Security Act 2015) to have “due regard to the need to prevent people from being drawn into terrorism”. This duty is known as the Prevent duty. Every single member of our staff has undergone the PREVENT online training and we have included the reporting of potential extreme behaviour within our safeguarding procedures. The Headteacher, Mrs Nunwick, is an accredited Home Office Trainer for PREVENT. The link Governor for PREVENT is Stanley Ayodeji.
Something which is clearly not part of any British or European value is extremism. It is important to remember that whilst the threat from so-called Islamic State has been a focus in the Counter Terrorism and Security Act, the Prevent Duty is clear that extremism of all kinds should be tackled too. In England, far right groups such as Britain First and the English Defence League need to be tackled, too. Extremism is not a new topic in education, but schools have a relatively new statutory duty to pay “due regard to the need to prevent people from being drawn into terrorism”.