British Values…Gospel Values!
The government has set out its definition of British Values as:
- the rule of law
- individual liberty
- Mutual respect and tolerance of different faiths
As a Catholic School our central mission is to actively promote values, virtues and ethics that shape our pupils' character and moral perspective. We take as our guide the teachings of the Church, and Gospel Values which are in accord with the government’s definition of British Values. It is our business to create good citizens who will contribute to developing caring and respectful multi-cultural communities.
Through our curriculum we are able to make real links between the values of our pupils and the lives of others in their community, country and the world in general. We teach about democracy, civic responsibility, rules and laws, the monarchy, equality, freedom of speech, values and virtues, environmental awareness and understanding of other faiths. We do this through PSHCE and RE, History, Geography, the choice of literature covered in Literacy, cross- curricular projects and specific themed weeks. We also do it through the way in which our community is organised.
We actively promote and model democracy by:
- Providing our children with a broad knowledge of and promoting respect for public institutions and services e.g. Visits to Parliament, visits to the Council Chambers (local government) Town Hall, visits to and from the Police, Fire Service, Local Councillors and debates. In the lead up to the general election we will be holding mock elections, run by Year 5 who are studying Ancient Greece. We encourage the children to write for a purpose: to local politicians about local issues, to the Queen and the Prime Minister, on issues of social justice such as Send my Friend to School
- Teaching children how they can influence decision making through the democratic process e.g. School council, suggestion boxes, developing skills in persuasive language in Literacy, questionnaires and surveys
- Encouraging pupils to become involved in decision making processes and ensuring they are listened to in school e.g. school council, open door policy for head and deputy, consultation groups, liaison between staff and pupils
- Modelling how perceived injustice can be peacefully challenged e.g. by teaching about inspirational figures such as Mother Teresa, Mahatma Ghandi, Cardinal Manning, Oscar Romero and Elizabeth Fry
Rule of Law
We actively promote and model the rule of law by:
- Ensuring school rules are clear and fair e.g. through our consistent behaviour policy
- Looking at how the Ten Commandments form the basis for UK law
- Helping children to distinguish right from wrong e.g. by using the example of Christ when dealing with behaviour that is not acceptable
- Promoting respect for the law and the basis on which it is made e.g. through visitors such as police and councilors into school
- Helping children to understand that living under the rule of law protects individuals e.g. through our RE curriculum, PSHCE curriculum and through focus weeks and visitors
- Having a behaviour policy that is based on the Christian value of forgiveness
- Observing ‘silences’ to honour the dead on Armistice Day; using British Legion resources to educate the children as to the sacrifices made by others to guard their freedom
- In 2014-2015 we have put a special focus on the 1st World War, studying it in a cross-curricular manner through Literacy, Art and Music, as well as History
We actively promote and model individual liberty by:
- Supporting pupils to develop their self-knowledge, self-esteem and self-confidence e.g. through our Catholic ethos and our way of treating people. Our termly Good Citizen awards as well as the diocesan annual Citizenship awards are evidence of our children's commitment to helping others
- By making every effort to meet the needs of all of the children, by providing equality of opportunity and by listening to and understanding the needs of all of the children
- Encouraging pupils to take responsibility for their behaviour as well as knowing their rights e.g. through linking rights with responsibilities, by having a fair and consistent behaviour management policy
- Challenging stereotypes e.g. visitors into school, disability awareness, anti-bullying week. We are an inclusive school and have children with different needs who are welcomed into our community by the other children
- Implementing a strong anti-bullying culture
- Strong anti-racism message shared with the children and a special focus in October each year during Black History month
Mutual respect and tolerance of different faiths
We actively promote and model respect and tolerance by:
- Promoting respect for individual differences e.g. through assemblies and masses, the RE curriculum – Come and See - which teaches other faiths in a progressive manner from EYFS through to Year 6
- We celebrate the diversity of cultures represented in the school through our Catholic ethos with the focus on the International Church
- Helping children to acquire an understanding of and respect for their own and other cultures and ways of life e.g. through Geography, MFL (Italian – including cross-curricular MFL/Arts projects, Religious Education and Multicultural awareness e.g. International evening
- Organising visits to places of worship and important religious/cultural icons e.g. Church, Cathedral, visits to the local Mosque
- Openly discuss and celebrate the differences between people such as differences of faith, ethnicity, disability, and also those marginalised in society, such as the homeless
Our School Mission Statement will help us in ensuring British Values/Gospel Values are at the heart of what we do.
"We will strive for excellence within a caring and diverse community, nurturing the Catholic faith, respecting each other, living, working and growing together as part of God's family."