At Western Downland Church of England (Aided) Primary School, we seek to ensure that our learning values are shaped by the Christian values which we seek to demonstrate throughout our school life. We believe this enhances our understanding and appreciation of the British Values we celebrate as our shared cultural heritage.
At the heart of our values is the belief that each one of us is valued by God, and that every person deserves our respect and care. Therefore our School policies, from Admissions and Anti-Bullying, to Sex and Relationships, Equalities and Teaching & Learning, seek to reflect this. We encourage an attitude of mutual respect amongst pupils, staff, governors and parents, and we seek to foster good relations with the wider community.
We believe that each person in our School has a voice and that that voice deserves to be heard. We also recognise that each person is unique and that we must work effectively, using a range of approaches and strategies, to enable people with different strengths and characters to realise their full potential. We want to help pupils to experience the full spectrum of learning that our School can provide, not only in our core curriculum, but through our extra-curricular activities, school visits and residential trips. We encourage our School Council to feed into the practical management of our School resources and premises, and to reflect upon aspects of the learning environment and behaviour, so that the Senior LeadershipTeam and Governing Body can be well-informed in its work. We seek the views of parents through periodic surveys and through the involvement of the Friends of Western Downland School.
In order to ensure that we do not allow our personal freedoms to lead us to act selfishly or carelessly of others, we recognise that we must share common values as a School community, to frame our behaviour and learning. These include tolerance, respect, trustworthiness, kindness, attentiveness to others, and a desire to live peacefully with one another. It is our belief that these core Christian values are also embedded in our culture within British society.
The earliest document relating to the life of our villages - the will of King Alfred the Great - enshrines certain liberties to the people of Damerham, within a framework of Christian prayer. With the Church as guarantor, the Magna Carta (a surviving copy of which is held in our Diocesan Cathedral) deals with issues of liberty, access to justice and respect for the rule of law, applicable to all levels of society, and provides systems of protection for its own citizens as well as for people of other cultures and nations. The School serving these communities was itself founded upon the early determination of Christian communities to facilitate learning for all its children.
This is our cultural and Christian heritage, and as a Church School, we affirm this rich legacy and continue to work in partnership with people irrespective of religious belief, to advance learning and to nurture mature and confident pupils, secure in their sense of self-worth, respectful of one another, valuing of diversity and attentive to those who need their help and care.
There is always room for improvement, and in recognising the values which underpin our School life we believe we must recognise that history teaches us that there will be times when we fall short of our ideals and values of justice, fair play, decency and generosity which should be at the heart of our School life. As a School we are committed to learning from our mistakes, and working to improve and strengthen the life of our School at every level. In doing so, we believe that we are modelling fundamental Christian and British values, affirming our rich heritage.