OUR LADY & ST. PHILOMENA’S CATHOLIC PRIMARY SCHOOL
PREPARATION FOR LIFE IN MODERN BRITAIN
At Our Lady & St. Philomena’s Catholic Primary School, we endeavour to prepare children for life in Modern Britain by promoting British Values. We recognise that our school population is diverse and our children have first-hand experience of people from other countries, ethnic backgrounds and religious beliefs. We do respect the cultures of the children who attend our school who originate from India, Poland and the Philippines (amongst others) by sharing their traditions. We celebrate “Mother Cultures and Mother Tongues” which of course includes our own British Culture and languages. Our Mission Statement is reviewed each year with Governors, parents and pupils where everyone’s opinion is valued and respected.
As a Catholic school we put great emphasis on the teachings of Jesus Christ but also study other faiths (Judaism and Hinduism). As a faith school we actively promote and teach the importance of love, respect and reconciliation which includes tolerance, justice and fairness for all. This allows our children to discuss a range of issues exploring their own moral view point and those of others, developing mutual respect and tolerance of others’ opinions whilst being ready to challenge bias, bigotry and intolerance. We also explore the importance of endeavour, democracy and sovereignty as our children explore the wider role our nation has in the world and the opportunities that exist within our communities.
Our behaviour management is one of Assertive Discipline, celebrating consideration for others, demonstrating good manners, having positive attitudes and trying your very best at all times. Our children are encouraged to take responsibilities for their actions from an early age. We help our children to understand that they are responsible for their own behaviour, and the consequences of their actions as there are sanctions for poor behaviour. We discuss what is right and wrong and the impact that any wrong doing can have on their futures. Our children are consistently reminded that throughout life they will need to make choices and that they should choose to do what they know to be right. There are rules in society (the law) and everyone must abide by them (order). “What is right is not always popular. What is popular is not always right”. We have a zero tolerance to Bullying and endorse equality of opportunity for all.
Each year our children take part in elections for the School Council, prefects, librarians and Schools’ Parliament. Children seeking a position draw up their election speeches and then formal elections take place. Year 6 pupils also elect our school’s Prefects deciding who would be able to carry out the position with responsibility and fairness. Our children are taught about democracy in this way. Older children are involved in debates, as part of the curriculum, where ethical and topical issues are explored. In all aspects of school life our children are nurtured to take on roles of responsibility such as Play Leaders to respect the view points of others whilst justifying and evidencing their beliefs.
All children learn about the importance of community, both local and global, through our participation in charitable deeds when we offer support to others less fortunate than ourselves. (Children in Need, Archdiocesan Good Shepherd Collection, British Heart Foundation, Marie Curie, Operation Christmas and CAFOD World Gifts). Our school choir visits organisations in the community at Christmas time to sing carols. The food from our Harvest Festival was given to the Homeless Shelter run by the Sisters of Mother Teresa in the city centre. By participating in such events our children learn how they can have a positive impact on the lives of others. Our children organise a MacMillan Coffee Morning. They also lead Collective Worship in their class.
As a school we study several topics which include Black History Month each October, Remembrance every November and Holocaust Memorial Day in January, Chinese New Year and St. George’s Day.
In the Nursery we strive to set the foundations of fundamental British values in a way that is relevant to their age and stage of development. We teach children to be kind and respectful of others. We teach them about the world around them and use the seasons, weather, British special days, etc. We teach children to be part of their local community and celebrate festivals and special days from the world around us. We teach the children about compromise – that some of us believe one thing and some of us believe something different, but we can all play together and respect each other. We teach children to work together and have activities where children learn to listen, take turns, value contributions from each other, and have respect for each other. We teach children about the world in which they live – the world on their doorstep and the wider world.
In Years 1 and 2 the children undertake a local study. This allows them to explore their local area, its place within the country and significant British cities. They also study the Beatles as significant people from Liverpool.
In studying the Great Fire of London our children are inspired to write explanations about the events that started in Pudding Lane. The experiences of Florence Nightingale and Edith Cavell introduces the children to realise how intolerance must be challenged and that sometimes it takes great self-belief and determination to challenge both prejudicial and discriminatory behaviour.
In Years 3 and 4 the children learn about early settlers and develop their knowledge about the origins of our nation from the Stone Age through to the Iron Age. The children continue to develop their knowledge and understanding of their local area by comparing our city of Liverpool to different types of settlement in the UK. They also undertake some study about how we can preserve our planet which links to the work our Eco Committee (who have achieved the Green Flag Award for our school) and Fair Trade Committee.
In Year 4 the children are taught about the early Anglo Saxons, Vikings, Romans and Life during World War 2. This allows the children to understand the origins of our nation and that we are influenced and shaped by many. Visits to museums and visits to places of worship of other faiths give direct experience of the origins of our nation as well as the varied faiths and practices of our fellow citizens.
In Years 5 and 6 the children learn about Ancient Greece and begin to appreciate the legacy that Greek civilisation has left behind, exploring the concepts of democracy and elections. Children discuss the need to combat discrimination. Through this children explore concepts of tolerance, respect and individual liberty. They are made aware of the freedom to hold other faiths and that this is protected in the law.
Years 5 and 6 the children study what it was like to live and work at Croxteth Hall in the past as well as what it was like for children to live in Victorian Britain. They also study how life has changed in Britain since 1948. Some issues are explored further through the discussion of ethical issues in RE.
Year 5 and 6 pupils also have “Compact Days” when the children undertake activities promoting team work, collaboration and working outside of friendship groups. Our children learn how various roles within the workplace impact on and affect the roles and the overall success of a team.
At the end of each school year the staff elect a pupil to be awarded the title of “Citizen of the Year”. This is the person who is a role model to other pupils who has shown tolerance, understanding, inclusion, empathy and kindness to others and a strong work ethic.
At our school it is our aim to create experiences that help shape our children to become valued members of society, who are law abiding, considerate and tolerant of others’ differences and diversity and who will be equipped to challenge discrimination and anti-social behaviour in their lives.