At Etz Chaim Jewish Primary School we uphold and teach pupils about British Values which are defined as:
- Rule of law
- Individual liberty
- Mutual respect
- Tolerance of those of different faiths and beliefs
These values are taught explicitly through Personal, Social, Health and Emotional Education (PSHE), through our International primary Curriculum (IPC) as well as through Jewish Studies lessons. We also teach British Values through planning and delivering a broad and balanced curriculum.
The school takes opportunities to actively promote British Values through daily collective worship (Tefillah) and whole school Assemblies which focus on different cultures. We also actively promote British values through ensuring that our curriculum planning and delivery includes real opportunities for exploring these values. We hold Poppy Day celebrations and have an annual Remembrance Day Assembly. We also hold special days for other National events such as the Queen's Golden Jubilee.
Democracy is an important value at our school. Pupils have the opportunity to have their voices heard through pupil questionnaires and regular circle times. Pupils also have input into their learning and what they would like to learn which promotes pupil voice. In addition, we hold regular Circle Meetings in which all children have the opportunity to share their thoughts about a variety of issues related to school life. These Circle Meetings are led by Year 6 children and each circle is made up of a selection of children from each year group. Year 6 children pass on the views of the children in their circle to the Headteacher. In addition, every year we give the children questionnaires so that they can put forward their views about the school.
Each term we hold elections for new Library monitors. Those who want to be monitors must write an official manifesto which is shared with their class. Each class then vote for their preferred monitor in a real election with ballot paper and a ballot box!
Etz Chaim Jewish Primary School is based around Jewish Values and each week every class has a new moral focus, eg courage, responsibility, kindness. Year 4 children have middot (values) journals and each week they are asked to record examples of how they have demonstrated a particular value in real life.
In addition, we have a worry box so that children can communicate any problems they have and can have their voice heard.
Children receive "warm and fuzzies" in their class warm and fuzzy jar for good behaviour. When the jar is full the children vote on a reward from those offered on the class rewards menu.
The Rule of Law:
The importance of laws and rules, whether they are those that govern the class, the school or the country, are consistently reinforced throughout regular school days. Our children helped to create our IALAC (I am lovable and Capable) school rules. They also created "Give Me Five"- five key rules for our new playground. These were formulated by the children during their Circle Meetings.
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. Visits from authorities such as the police, fire service etc. are regular parts of our calendar and help reinforce this message.
To encourage and promote good behaviour, attitude and work, we have devised a reward system which is consistently followed throughout the school. We are committed to praising children’s efforts. We endeavour to praise the children informally, individually, during group work, in front of the whole class and the whole school. Children are rewarded not only for achievement in curriculum areas, but for behaviour, effort and improvement. We have a "Super improvers" display which celebrates the work of those who have persevered to succeed.
Rewards are given in the form of stickers, verbal praise, moving up the classroom behaviour chart, "warm and fuzzies" and certificates. Children’s achievements are also recognised during Celebration Assemblies.
Pupils are actively encouraged to make choices at our school, knowing that they are in a safe and supportive environment. As a school we provide boundaries for our children to make choices safely, through the provision of a safe environment and planned curriculum. Pupils are encouraged to know, understand and exercise their rights and personal freedoms and are advised how to exercise these safely, for example through our e-Safety teaching. Pupils are given the freedom to make choices about many aspects of school life e.g. signing up for choir.
Pupils are encouraged to be independent learners, constantly making choices, within a safe and supportive environment. Developing their self-esteem and self-confidence is very important. Pupils are encouraged to understand their personal freedoms and are taught how to use these rights to best effect. All pupils are keen to support charities, whether local, national or global. This may be through a non-uniform day, a bake sale or weekly tzedakah collections.
Part of our school ethos and behaviour policy are based around core Jewish values such as ‘respect’ and ‘responsibility’ and these values determine how we live as a community at Etz Chaim Jewish Primary School. Our Pikuach (Section 48) inspection (Feb 2013) confirms that "Spiritual, moral, social and cultural development is outstanding."
Etz Chaim has lots of links with other schools in Mill Hill. In December we hosted four non-Jewish schools for our Chanukah candle lighting and we also went to Fairway School in Mill Hill to see their Christmas show and learn about their Christmas celebrations.
Tolerance of Those of Different Faiths and Beliefs:
This is achieved through enhancing pupils’ understanding of their place in a culturally diverse society and by giving them opportunities to experience such diversity in our local community. We use opportunities such as the Olympics and World Cup to study and learn about life and culture in countries such as Brazil.
We have weekly assemblies in which the children learn about other cultures and significant people from other cultures. This year the children have enjoyed taking part in Indian dance workshops for Diwali as well as a special assembly to mark the birth of Guru Nanak and an assembly and series of lessons to mark Black History Month.