Democracy is embedded in our school and our pupils regularly have the chance to have their voices heard. Classes elect their school council representatives and other roles such as House Captains are decided by pupil votes, which reflect the British electoral system and demonstrates democracy in action.
Pupils have their chance to share their views and opinions via the school council or through regular questionnaires. Pupils are listened to and are taught to listen carefully to others. They are taught to respect the right of individuals to have their voices and opinions heard and are encouraged to discuss issues in a calm and balanced way.
The Rule of Law
The importance of laws, whether they be those that govern the class, the school or the country are consistently reinforced throughout the regular school day. Pupils are taught to understand the values and reasons behind laws, that they govern and protect us, the responsibilities that this involves and the consequences when laws are broken. A consistently applied Behaviour Policy is shared with the children and is used in all areas of the school. Classes also spend time at the beginning of each year discussing the behaviour they want in their classrooms.
Expectations are reinforced regularly through class discussions. Consequences are given for bad decisions and poor behaviour but importantly, opportunities are sought to frequently praise positive choices. For example, each week a child from each class is chosen to receive a certificate celebrating how they have demonstrated the school values. Pupils modelling positive behaviour consistent with the school’s high expectations are recognised and used as role models to others.
Alongside rules and laws, we promote freedom of choice and the right to respectfully express views and beliefs. As a school we provide boundaries for our children through the provision of a safe environment and planned curriculum. Time and care is taken to know each child as an individual. Pupils are supported to develop their self-knowledge, self-esteem and self-confidence. They are encouraged to take responsibility for their behaviour, as well as knowing their rights, and to exercise their rights and personal freedoms safely, for example through our assemblies, PSHE curriculum and e-Safety teaching.
At Cardinham we think it is important for children to have the freedom to make choices and shape their own learning through a child led approach when appropriate. This might be through a choice of challenge, how work is recorded or through the innovative projects in topic at the end of each term. By giving children the opportunity to make their own decisions and take responsibility it will encourage them to be more independent and boost their self-esteem. We hope this independence will help them to become motivated and enthusiastic learners.
Respect is one of the golden rules at Cardinham as we want to have a school environment where children feel valued as unique individuals, who respect others and celebrate diversity. We believe all children should understand the importance of showing respect to everyone regardless of differences.
Respect underpins our behaviour policy and how we should treat each other at school. This expectation is made clear as it is role modelled by all adults and children and discussed throughout the school day. What we all mean by respect is regularly discussed as part of lessons, PHSE and in assemblies. As well as showing respect to other people we also look at extending this to respecting the environment and world around us.
Tolerance of those with different Faiths and Beliefs
Our golden rule of respect ensures tolerance of those who have different faiths and beliefs. At Cardinham each person is respected and valued equally without regard to ability, gender, faith, disability, heritage or race. Traditional values of empathy, respect and tolerance are reinforced. We strongly believe that tolerance is gained through knowledge and understanding. Through our curriculum and the routines of our daily school life, we strive to demonstrate tolerance and help children to become knowledgeable and understanding citizens. At Cardinham we will actively challenge pupils, staff or parents expressing opinions contrary to this, including ‘extremist’ views.
Cardinham is situated in an area which is not greatly culturally diverse, and we therefore place great emphasis on promoting diversity with the children. We have a Religious Studies day across the whole school each term where a major religion is studied and respected. Through our topic lessons pupils are also taught about key events and figures in history. Events during the year teach children and allow them to celebrate memorable events taking place in the country, such as Remembrance Day or marking religious festivals.