British Values Statement
As a Catholic school, Saint Mary’s 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 (Gen1:27). Our curriculum is designed to enable every pupil to discern their vocation and to bewell-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) 4 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.”
We do this by:
- Having a school council with two council members from each class.
- Taking part in debating in school
- Highlighting the development of democratic ideas in history lessons
- Allowing pupils to vote for House captains and School Council Representatives
- Ensuring all pupils are listened to by adults
- Inviting Councillors and other speakers to the school
- Visiting local councils
- Each class producing a class charter on rights and responsibilities
- Holding mock elections
- Pupils completing an annual questionnaire through which they are able to put forward their views about the school.
The Rule of Law
- Classes creating “class rules”
- Having a clear behaviour policy that is explained to all and reviewed by all stakeholders
- Ensuring school expectation are clear and fair
- Organising visits from the police service to reinforce the message of right and wrong
- Helping children understand that living under the rule of law protects individuals
- Highlighting the rules of the Church and God in the RE curriculum, for example the 10 commandments and the Precepts of the Church
- Teaching about the development of the Rule of Law in English Law, a legal system created uniquely in a Catholic England, inspired by Christian values and becoming a major influence across the world
- The importance of Laws, whether they be those that govern the class, the school, or the country, are consistently reinforced throughout regular school days, as well as when dealing with behaviour and through school assemblies. Pupils are taught the value and reasons behind laws, that they govern and protect us, the responsibilities that this involves and the consequences when laws are broken.
Encouraging students to be independent in their learning
- Providing students with opportunities for reflection as they take responsibility to discerning their vocation
- Supporting pupils to develop their self knowledge, self esteem and self confidence
- Model freedom of speech through pupil participation and promoting critical analysis of evidence
Within school, pupils are actively encouraged to make choices, knowing that they are in a safe and supportive environment. As a school we educate and provide boundaries for young pupils to make choices safely, through provision of a safe environment and empowering education. Pupils are encouraged to know, understand and exercise their rights and personal freedoms and advised how to exercise these safely, for example through our E-Safety and SMSC lessons. Whether it be through choice of learning challenge, of how they record, of participation in our numerous extra-curricular clubs and opportunities, pupils are given the freedom to make choices.
- Having a mission statement that is inclusive
- Constantly promoting respect for others and for individual differences
- Challenging discriminatory behaviour
- Reinforcing the value of everyone’s opinions in class discussion
- Having an effective anti-bullying policy
- Emphasising in RE and SMSC lessons that every person is unique and “created in the image of God”
- Having active educational links with other schools
- Supporting charitable works
- Children learn that their behaviours have an effect on their own rights and those of others. All members of the school community treat each other with respect.
Tolerance of those with different faiths and beliefs
- Highlighting how Religious Education provides pupils with a deep understanding of their own faith as well as awareness of the faith and traditions of other religious communities as a basis for understanding and respecting them.
- Show how Jesus encouraged tolerance in stories such as The Good Samaritan and the Women at the Well.
- Organising visits to other places of worship and developing links with other faith communities
- Assemblies are regularly planned to address this issue either directly or through the inclusion of stories and celebrations from a variety of faiths and cultures. Our RE and SMSC teaching reinforce this. Members of different faiths or religions are encouraged to share their knowledge to enhance learning within classes and the school. Children visit places of worship that are important to different faiths.
At Saint Mary’s, we are committed to the development of community cohesion and the prevention of extremism and radicalisation both within our school’s physical boundaries and within our local, national and global environments. We are also committed to respond to community concerns or local disturbances in a positive way which supports British democratic society. We will actively challenge pupils, staff or parents expressing opinions contrary to fundamental British Values, including ‘extremist’ views.