British Values Statement
DfE: Fundamental British values, 2011 Schools should 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. Actively promoting the values means challenging opinions or behaviours in school that are contrary to fundamental British values. Attempts to promote systems that undermine fundamental British values would be completely at odds with schools’ duty to provide Spiritual, Moral, Social and Cultural Development (SMSC). The Teachers’ Standards expect teachers to uphold public trust in the profession and maintain high standards of ethics and behaviour, within and outside school. This includes not undermining fundamental British values.
Through their provision of SMSC, schools should:
- enable students to develop their self-knowledge, self-esteem and self-confidence;
- enable students to distinguish right from wrong and to respect the civil and criminal law of England;
- encourage students to accept responsibility for their behaviour, show initiative, and to understand how they can contribute positively to the lives of those living and working in the locality of the school and to society more widely;
- enable students to acquire a broad general knowledge of and respect for public institutions and services in England;
- further tolerance and harmony between different cultural traditions by enabling students to acquire an appreciation of and respect for their own and other cultures;
- encourage respect for other people;
- encourage respect for democracy and support for participation in the democratic processes, including respect for the basis on which the law is made and applied in England.
At St Catherine’s, we believe that promotion and education around British Values are key as their origins and come from the Christian values we hold as a community. In line with our mission statement and school ethos, British Values are integrated throughout our school community and in the curriculum that we provide for our children. The fundamental British Values consist of:
Rule of Law
Tolerance of those with different faiths and beliefs.
Promoting British Values at St Catherine’s Democracy Pupil voice is incredibly important to us at St Catherine’s. Our school council has a high profile throughout the school, they are democratically elected each year by their peers and hold office for the rest of the academic year. Meeting regularly, they share issues that are important to their classmates and make decisions as a democratic party.
The Rule of Law
The importance of laws and rules are comprehensive throughout the curriculum. These laws and rules that support class, school or country are reinforced though learning in PSHE and through regular assemblies. Within our curriculum, we regularly highlight the rules of the Church and God, for example the 10 commandments, and how these are integral to our lives and how they influence the laws in England. Our children understand that actions have consequences and it is their responsibility to behave in the right way and to make the right choices. Our pupils play an active role each year in setting and reviewing their class rules; through our reward system:
St Catherine’s pupils are rewarded both individually and collectively when they follow and drive their class rules. Our ELSA staff further supports these practices by providing further opportunity to discuss choosing the right path alongside key pupils.
Within school, pupils are actively encouraged to make choices and express their views respectfully, knowing that they are in a safe and supportive environment. As a school, we educate, guide and provide boundaries for the children to make safe choices. Pupils are encouraged to know, understand and exercise their rights and personal freedoms. Our E-Safety curriculum and PSHE curriculum educates children about decision making a risk assessment; therefore allowing the children to express themselves and make choices in a safe environment.
Children are encouraged to be reflective and act responsibly when making decision that concern their talents, gifts and learning opportunities. Lessons encourage children to work in a group and have their say as well as promoting independence and empowerment in guiding their own education. They are happy to agree and disagree with their peers and give reasons why.
Pupils have access to a number of extra-curricular activities that they can choose to be part of. We take account of children’s club preferences and requests, aiming to meet these through our provision.
Mutual Respect is a fundamental Gospel value which is integral to our Catholic faith and learning. This also forms part of our collective worship in school, and children have the opportunity to discuss this as a concept through their PSHE and RE lessons. All our classes contain class charters; respect is a key rule articulated and explained by our pupils. Our behaviour policy – called a Choices Policy encourages children to respect themselves, each other and our wider school community in considering their actions and the impact these have on other people. Good manners are constantly emphasised and expected as the norm by our staff and children alike. All members of our school community are expected to use Jesus as a model for their own behaviour and respect for others. We encourage pupils to communicate honestly and openly with each other.
We work hard to promote anti-bullying through a focus on strategies to enable respect for difference and tolerance and regularly focus on national events such as Anti-Bullying Week and Lenten focus Mary’s Meals to further immerse children in celebrating differences and challenging inequality and injustice.
Our school community is keen to support chosen charities through various fundraising opportunities and our pupils are aware of the local, national and global impact their generosity has.
We regularly link with others school, both within and outside of our local Catholic cluster to share ideas and work together. Our curriculum is planned to allow opportunities for open discussion and debate and children are aware of the rights and responsibilities of being allowed to speak freely in this way.
There is an emphasis on each person’s uniqueness, and God’s intention that they were created perfectly in His image.
Tolerance of those of different faiths and beliefs.
As a Catholic, worshipping community, pupils are equipped with the ability to develop positive values and understand their own beliefs within a culturally diverse society. Children are taught the principles and beliefs of different faiths around the world including Islam, Hinduism, Judaism, Sikhism, and Buddhism. We celebrate other faiths in a variety of ways, such as: assemblies, topic work and theme days. PSHE and RE lessons which equips children with an understanding of different faiths and beliefs and the values which different religions hold.
Children are taught to respect each other, recognise similarities between our faith and that of others’, as well as welcoming differences and learning from them. These lessons are supported by regular assemblies, visits from people in our local community and visits to places of significance. Our anti-bullying policy supports children learning to celebrate differences and work together. This is supported not only by our PSHE lessons, but also the strong Catholic ethos of our school.
This is a Catholic school which seeks to live out the values of Jesus Christ. We promote these values by our words and deeds, and Catholic doctrine and practice therefore permeates every aspect of the school’s activity. We provide a Catholic curriculum, which is broad and balanced, recognising that every pupil is unique and is created in the image of God (Gen 1:27). Our curriculum is designed to enable every pupil to discern their vocation and to be well-equipped to follow it as active citizens in service to the world. Catholic Religious Education is the “core of the core curriculum” (Pope St John Paul II) and the foundation of the entire educational process. We also provide a wide range of extra-curricular activities and strong pastoral support. We incorporate democratic principles, value the rule of law, support individual liberty and foster a community in which different faiths and beliefs are respected.” Catholic Values and ‘British Values’, Catholic Education Service, 2015