Our passion for educating our children to be tolerant of other faiths and cultures (DFE British Values 2014) is a huge strength of our school and is an expression of, “staying true to our roots while also being hospitably open” (Vision for Education 2016). Our commitment to nurturing critical thinking and celebrating difference will hopefully lead our school community to, “deeper mutual understanding and to peaceful, negotiated settlements that can live with ongoing disagreements” (Vision for Education 2016). An example of this commitment is our decision to fund and welcome all parent/governor volunteers for faith visits. Other trips have a selection process and a set amount of volunteers required.
Respecting and celebrating difference and diversity is most certainly a strength of our school. We made a commitment, a number of years ago, that by the time our pupils leave us for Secondary; they will have visited most places of worship from the major world faiths. By stepping foot inside a range of places of worship, children touch, feel, see, smell and hear real life religion and culture. They make connections and relationships, which will remain with them forever. In addition to this, over time we have nurtured strong links with a Buddhist monk and an inspirational Sikh man, which allows us to hold family learning sessions in school to explore real life culture and religion with a faith member. The multi-faith family learning experiences, in which the children have the opportunity to work with their families and a faith member, are incredibly valuable in considering world views and their impact on society and culture. Children have the opportunity to discuss beliefs and culture alongside a real faith member. The triangulation of a faith visit, meeting a faith member within family learning and quality first teaching within the classroom, allows our children to gain a deep and meaningful understanding of world faiths in the 21st Century. We hope that this tolerance and understanding of diversity that we so passionately nurture will remain with our children forever.