The Government set out its definition of British Values in the 2011 ‘Prevent Strategy’ and these values were reiterated in 2014. The Department for Education has reinforced the need ‘to create and enforce a clear and rigorous expectation on all schools to promote the fundamental British values’. These are:
•The rule of law;
•Tolerance of those of different faiths and beliefs.
As a Catholic school community, we promote values that are both Catholic and British. By our words and actions we live out the ‘British’ values listed by the government. However, we do much more than that, seeking to base all that we do on the teachings of Jesus Christ.
Pupils have opportunities to have their voices heard through pupil questionnaires, PSHE activities and class discussions. Pupils are encouraged to share their views about the school, and these views are then considered by the staff and school council. Each class elects one member of their class to represent them on the school council.
Pupils have the opportunity to vote annually for Head Boy and Head Girl. During general elections and other national referendums, the pupils are given the opportunity to vote in school.
All staff opinions are valued and adults are encouraged to share their ideas to achieve outstanding practice and to provide a forward-looking team.
The Rule of Law
Pupils follow a positive behaviour policy and clearly understand the rewards and sanctions that are used. The importance of laws and rules are consistently reinforced in the classroom, as well as through school assemblies. Pupils understand that rules are made to protect us. Discussions in PSHCE lessons focus on recognising right from wrong.
Beginning in the Nursery, pupils are encouraged to make choices in the classroom. Pupils are encouraged to be independent learners, constantly making choices, within a safe and supportive environment. Pupils are encouraged to voice their opinions and are guided to make safe choices through PSHCE and E-safety lessons. All pupils are taught e-safety rules to keep them safe on the internet. Older pupils are made aware of the dangers of social networking.
The school’s ethos is based on Gospel values. Assemblies promote respect for others and the importance of good manners. All pupils are taught the importance of self-respect, honest and open communication with others and fair play. Pupils work collaboratively and value others’ opinions.
Assemblies and class work promote the diversity of society and the right for each person to be respected and valued equally regardless of ability, gender, faith, heritage or race.
Tolerance of different faiths and beliefs
Pupils are encouraged through RE and assemblies to understand the similarities and differences between Christianity and other faiths. This is achieved through direct teaching and by inviting members of our school community and members of the local community who are of another faith to talk to the children about their faith.
We celebrate and recognise that we are all equal in God’s eyes and that we are all unique and special in some way
Our staff will actively challenge any pupils, staff or parents expressing opinions contrary to fundamental British Values. We are vigilant to any obsessive attitudes or behaviour, which might give cause for concern and will notify appropriate authorities for advice.