Ethos and Values

Our school is a happy and caring community where the relationships between teacher and child, between school and home and between school and the wider community are considered to be of special importance. 

Our aim is to provide a secure and stimulating environment, where children are motivated to become independent learners and thinkers with high expectations. 

We offer a balanced, broadly based curriculum which:
• provides children with the skills necessary to take the opportunities and responsibilities which will be met in subsequent phases of learning and adult life
• ensures each child has equal access to the National Curriculum and other learning opportunities offered by the school
• promotes the spiritual, moral, intellectual, physical and emotional development of pupils  

Our vision is:
• to provide the highest quality teaching in an enriching, stimulating, happy, healthy and safe environment where children develop independence and increasingly take responsibility for their own learning and behaviour
• to recognise, value and develop the full potential and talents of each child
• to promote tolerance, confidence, self-esteem, respect, cooperation, self-discipline, politeness and high standards of behaviour for all members of the school community
• to build a learning community based on fair, understanding and caring relationships
• to be approachable to parents/carers and work together in all areas which will aid their child’s development

We recognise that your child is unique and we do our best to ensure that your child makes the most of his or her abilities.

British Values
The definition of British Values was set out by the government in the 2011 Prevent Strategy and added to Ofsted inspection guidance in July 2014
 “to create and enforce a clear and rigorous expectation on all schools to promote the fundamental British values of democracy, the rule of law, individual liberty and mutual respect and tolerance of those with different faiths and beliefs.”

At Shepton Mallet Community Infants’ School & Nursery  these values are regularly promoted through high quality teaching, a rounded programme of assemblies and a positive behaviour policy. Fundamental British values are also promoted through our Spiritual, Moral, Social and Cultural (SMSC) development of pupils.

This gives pupils opportunities to develop and demonstrate skills and attitudes that will allow them to participate fully in and contribute positively to life in modern Britain.

We listen to the voices of both children and parents. Our school behaviour policy is clear that children are expected to contribute and co-operate, taking into account the views of others.
We have a school council which consists of three members from each Key Stage 1 class who are nominated and voted for. They have recently been very instrumental in decisions about additions to our playground equipment and their road safety project to improve Road Safety outside our school received Highly Commmended in the 2016 Speaker of the House of Commons Awards.
Rule of Law

From Nursery to Year 2 pupils are continually taught to recognise the difference between right and wrong and this, alongside their developing maturity, helps them to apply their understanding of these concepts in their daily lives.

We have a very strong but positive behaviour policy. Through this we consistently promote our high expectations of all at Shepton Mallet Community Infants’ School & Nursery. We have Golden Rules, which all children are expected to follow. We consistently reinforce our high expectations of children. Children are taught the value and reasons behind our expectations (rules) that they are there to protect us, that everyone has a responsibility and that there are consequences when rules are broken. This is an extremely successful system with clear, high expectations of all. It shows a clear link between right and wrong behaviour and therefore links to the civil and criminal law of England.
Individual Liberty

Within our school children are encouraged to make choices, knowing that they are in a safe and supportive environment to enable them to do this. Through our SMSC sessions we discuss different choices that the children can make and encourage them to make the right ones. Our behaviour policy also gives an excellent forum for staff to discuss the choices (both good and bad) that pupils make about their behaviour in school. It is used to encourage pupils to reflect on their choices and the effect that it has on both their peers and adults. They are given opportunities to resolve conflicts effectively and fairly. Through E-safety we teach the importance of keeping yourself safe online.

Mutual Respect
Our whole school ethos is built around mutual respect and we believe that respect for others is a vital component of moral development. We are an inclusive school where everyone is valued and has a contribution to make to the school. Children learn that their behaviour has an effect on their own rights and those of others.
We encourage open discussions in all areas but particularly in lessons which promote citizenship such as SEAL and Circle time. Staff help children to understand how to respect by talking about how actions/words can affect others.

We actively support all to develop their own reasoned views about moral and ethical issues.

Tolerance of those of different Faiths and Beliefs
Our community is made up of people from a wide range of backgrounds. We aim to promote the understanding and appreciation of different faiths and cultures both within our school and the wider world. We actively promote courtesy and good manners towards all. We actively monitor and tackle all forms of bullying and harassment.

Assemblies are planned to give children opportunity to reflect of a variety of beliefs, cultures and moral values. Our curriculum incorporates teaching and learning opportunities for children to explore aspects of the wider world and an appreciation of cultural diversity as in for example – Festivals, Divali and Chinese New Year. The RE curriculum is also carefully planned to equip children with the knowledge which will enable them to understand the diverse nature of peoples beliefs. We help them to understand, accept, respect and celebrate diversity.   

Equality Statement and Targets
At Shepton Mallet Community Infants’ School & Nursery  we have a commitment to equalities, ensuring everyone is valued and respected and that individual differences are recognised. We are committed to ensuring equality of education and opportunity for all our pupils, for their parents/carers, for staff and for all those receiving services from the school, irrespective of their gender, disability, ethnic background or other characteristics.  We teach children to respect each other whatever their background or culture and that any form of discrimination and victimisation is wrong. We believe that diversity is a strength – for our school, its community and Britain as a whole – and we will work proactively to address inequality and foster positive attitudes to diversity so that all those who learn, teach and visit here are respected and valued. All staff aim to create an environment that promotes peace, respect and valuing of others whilst no forms of bullying or harassment will be tolerated.

Equality Targets:
• We will aim to reduce the attainment gap between children with SEND and those who do not have SEND
• We will aim to support EAL children with enhancement of their use of the English language so that they can use improved vocabulary across all areas of learning.

November 2021