Visions and Values
School Mission Statement
We believe that St. Raphael’s School exists to be a vibrant, worshipping and welcoming community – a living example of our faith.
We all have an important role to play in building our community. This is reflected in how we learn, laugh, play and worship together, showing care, respect, support and forgiveness and for each other as we walk with Jesus.
On our journey together, we are a sign of God’s presence to each person we meet.
Therefore, each day we do our very best in our search for truth and justice and all that we do.
As a strong, supportive community, we reach out to others and recognise our responsibility to make this a better and fair world for all.
As we walk with Jesus we love, live and learn.
In order to fulfil the spirit of our mission, we aim to:
- Consciously promote a sense of belonging to a community, which is founded in the tradition of the early Church and so grounded in sharing ‘word, worship, witness and welfare’;
- Provide a broad, balanced and rigorous curriculum, delivered in a way, which promotes active questioning, enquiry, enjoyment and reflection, with high expectations of staff, pupils and parents in all areas and aspects:
- Establish a sense of order, respect, tolerance, good manners and self-discipline as a reflection of our understanding that we meet God in others:
- Create an environment where each person, regardless of race, religion, colour, sex, age, language, ability, job, background or family circumstance, feels valued and encouraged to develop a sense of worth, dignity, security and belonging:
- Involve parents and others in the wider community in the education of our children and the building of our Christian community:
- Provide experiences where children can recognise God in their lives appropriate to their stage of development, where they can respond and know they have a personal relationship with God and where they feel at ease as confident ambassadors of our faith:
- Prepare the children for a world where they will have the courage and vision to stand up for what is right and to be a voice for the poor or marginalised:
- Celebrate and laugh wherever possible! To continually review our practice, to learn from problems or setbacks, and to look forward with hope and confidence in the future, trusting in the support of St. Raphael, the wise and practical healer.
British Values – Gospel Values
In 2013 the Department for Education said,
“Keeping our children safe and ensuring schools prepare them for life in modern Britain could not be more important. This change is an important step towards ensuring we have a strong legal basis for intervening in those schools where this is an issue. The vast majority of schools already promote British values. This is about making sure we have the tools we need to intervene if children are being let down.”
Schools are required to actively promote and not undermine “British Values.” The government has set out its definition of British Values as:
- the rule of law;
- individual liberty;
- mutual respect;
- tolerance of those of different faiths and beliefs.
At St. Raphael’s as a Catholic School we actively promote values, virtues and ethics that shape our pupils' character and moral perspective, through the teachings of the Church.
We are confident that our continued focus on our Faith, the Gospel Values and placing God at the centre of everything that we do will give our pupils the necessary awareness and understanding of what it means to be a good citizen in Britain today. This embeds in them the building blocks of a future successful and productive life.
Through Mission statement, RE, PSHE, SMSC and promoting The Common Good we are able to make real links between the values of our pupils and the lives of others in their community, country and the world in general.
Through our Creative Curriculum we teach about democracy, civic responsibility, rules and laws, the monarchy, equality, values and virtues, environmental awareness and understanding of other faiths.
Democracy – what do we do?
- Provide pupils with a broad general knowledge of, and promote respect for, public institutions and services;
- Teach pupils how they can influence decision-making through the democratic process;
- Encourage pupils to become involved in decision-making processes and ensure they are listened to in school – this is achieved through our pastoral provision and School Council;
- Taking part in Local Council Events such as ‘If I were in Charge.’;
- Hold class debates so pupils learn how to argue and defend points of view;
- Help pupils to express their views;
- Enable pupils to have their voices heard through our School Council and Pupil Voice interviews;
- Teach pupils how public services operate and how they are held to account;
- Model how perceived injustice can be peacefully challenged.
Rule of law – what do we do?
- Ensure school rules and expectations are clear and fair;
- Help pupils to distinguish right from wrong;
- Help pupils to respect the law and the basis on which it is made;
- Help pupils to understand that living under the rule of law protects individuals;
- Develop restorative justice approaches to resolve conflicts.
The importance of Laws, whether they be those that govern the class, the school, or the country, are consistently reinforced on a daily basis, as well as when dealing with behaviour and through school assemblies.
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.
Individual liberty – what do we do?
- Support pupils to develop their self-knowledge, self-esteem and self-confidence;
- Encourage pupils to take responsibility for their behaviour, as well as knowing their rights;
- Model freedom of speech through pupil participation, while ensuring protection of vulnerable pupils and promoting critical analysis of evidence;
- Challenge stereotypes.
- Implement a strong anti-bullying / anti-racist culture.
Within school, pupils are actively encouraged to make choices, knowing that they are in a safe and supportive environment. As a school we educate and provide boundaries for young pupils to make choices safely, through provision of a safe environment and empowering education. Pupils are encouraged to know, understand and exercise their rights and personal freedoms and advised how to exercise these safely, for example through our E-Safety and PSHE lessons.
Respect and tolerance – what do we do?
- Promote respect for individual differences;
- Help pupils to acquire an understanding of, and respect for, their own and other cultures and ways of life;
- Challenge prejudicial or discriminatory behaviour;
- Organise visits to places of worship;
- Develop links with other faith communities;
- Develop critical personal thinking skills;
- Discuss differences between people, such as differences of faith, ethnicity, disability, and gender and differences of family situations.
At St. Raphael’s school our ethos and behaviour policy revolves around Core Values such as respect. As part of our journey towards becoming a Rights Respecting School pupils have been part of discussions and assemblies related to what this means and how it is shown everyday. Displays and posters around the school remind children about the respect for others and the UN Convention on the rights of the child.
By learning about the convention, children are aware that
- They have rights;
- They should be informed about their rights;
- They should be helped to exercise their rights;
- They should be able to enforce their rights;
- There should be a community of interest to advocate young people’s rights.
We value the diverse ethnic backgrounds of all pupils and families and undertake a variety of events and lessons to celebrate these and these are built in to our whole school Curriculum Map. We have found this approach to be enriching for all parties as it teaches tolerance and respect for the differences in our community and the wider world. Underpinning all of these is a range of curriculum topics, which have strong links to British values.
Over the past few years as a whole school, we have celebrated topics such as
- The Olympics - where children learned about the history of Olympians nationally and locally and we held our own Mini Olympics. We also took part in the 100 days of Peace;
- The Diamond anniversary of the reign of Queen Elizabeth II where all year groups were give the opportunity to develop their understanding of the British Monarchy through the school’s creative curriculum;
- The First World War and the Second World War;
- Black History Month annually.
On a more general level, the school undertakes assemblies, which uphold traditional values of empathy, respect and tolerance. These are also taught within formal RE lessons and on an informal nature throughout the school days. The RE curriculum also focuses on Other Faiths and where possible we have speakers from other faiths visit the school.