Democracy is central to how we operate.
An understanding of the democratic process is developed at the beginning of each academic year. The first week in school is devoted to settling children back into class and all the social skills that this demands. Each class develops their own class charter and guidelines which they believe will make their class a happy and purposeful learning environment. Children are encouraged to express their opinions, debate pros and cons and ultimately come to a consensus. All children are involved.
At Overton St Helen’s we have four Houses – Mackay( Red), Benson (Blue), Smith (Yellow) and Clarke ( Green). All Houses are named after the school’s retired head teachers. Each House has a Captain and Vice House Captain elected from Year 6. The candidates have to write a manifesto and deliver a speech to all the children and staff in their House colour. There is an Election with a Returning Officer and all the children vote. Similarly our School Council is democratically elected by their peers, as is our annual Rose Queen.
The School Council is made up of two representatives from each class, the School Council meets termly to discuss issues raised by the different classes. The Council has consistently demonstrated its ability to effect change within the school and to make a positive contribution to upholding the Christian values through their instigation of Charity work.
Rule of Law
Children are taught that our school and class rules are there to keep people safe, to guide behaviour choices and provide an ordered environment for learning.They are to be observed by all regardless of individual opinions. The Behaviour Policy and its underlying principles encourage children to develop a clear understanding of the relationship between actions and consequences. At all times self-regulation and personal responsibility is promoted. Restorative Justice is how we teach conflict resolution. We believe these fundamental values and experiences help to develop an appreciation of the wider rule of law in England and the world today.
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, we provide boundaries for our young pupils to make choices safely.
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 those with different faiths and beliefs
Mutual respect is at the heart of who we are. Our pupils know and understand that it is expected that respect is shown to everyone, whatever differences we may have, and to everything, whether it is a school resource, a religious belief or whatever.
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.
No school can guarantee that there will never be instances which are contrary to this value. At Overton St Helen’s, such instances are extremely rare. They are treated seriously in line with our policies.