At St. Margaret Mary’s, we recognise the importance of preparing children for life in modern Britain and promoting values that are integral parts of 21st century British Society. As a Catholic school we seek 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.
Pupils are encouraged to regard people of all faiths, races and cultures with respect and tolerance and understand that while different people may hold different views about what is ‘right’ and ‘wrong’, all people living in England are subject to its law.
These Key British values are:
- Rule of law
- Individual liberty
- Mutual respect
- Tolerance of those with different faiths and beliefs and for those without faith.
At St Margaret Mary’s, British Values are reinforced regularly through assemblies, RE, HRE and by planning and delivering a broad and balanced curriculu,
What do we teach our children?
- We enable our children to develop their self-knowledge, self-esteem and self-confidence.
- We are a truly inclusive school that enables our children to distinguish right from wrong and to respect the civil and criminal law of England.
- We encourage our children 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; we do this in many ways including our work within the parish and our close links to businesses. Our children take part in and organise both events and many aspects of their learning, this includes our School Council and Book Worm scheme.
- We enable our children to acquire a broad general knowledge of and respect for public institutions and services in England.
- Through our curriculum we promote tolerance and harmony between different cultural traditions by enabling students to acquire an appreciation for and respect for their own and other cultures; one of the ways we do so is our multicultural trips, letter writing to schools abroad and through our upcoming link with another school in Sweden.
- We encourage respect for other people – our behaviour policy states “Give respect, get respect” - and 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; our children are taught the importance of democracy and this is mirrored in our School Council where nominated candidates promote themselves and then are elected to the group through voting.
- We have a school council
- Our children vote for the class representatives to the council.
- We ensure all children are listened to by adults through our intensive support programme
- We invite MPs and other speakers to the school
- In KS2, we visit the local council
- We have a Head Boy and Head Girl, who are role models
The Rule of Law
- Our classes create their own “class rules”
- We have a clear behaviour policy that is explained to all and visible in all rooms
- Home school agreement enables all stakeholders in school to be aware of the expectations
- We regularly have visits from the police and fire service to reinforce the message of right and wrong
- We highlight the rules of the Church and God in the RE curriculum, for example the 10 commandments and the Precepts of the Church
- We encourage our children to be independent in their learning
- We encourage children to make choices, knowing they are in a safe and supportive environment
- Our schools mission statement is inclusive
- We constantly promote respect for others as good manners
- Our school has an effective Anti-Bullying policy and E-Safety policy
- At St Margaret Mary Catholic School, in RE lessons, we teach that every person is unique and “created in the image of God”
- We have active educational links with other schools both Primary & Secondary
- We actively support charitable works – charity is one of our key principles
Tolerance of those with different faiths and beliefs
- Highlight 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
- In exploring the Gospel we show how we should follow Jesus’ teachings in encouraging tolerance in stories such as The Good Samaritan and The Women at the Well
- Giving children opportunities to experience diversity through visits to other cities and places of worship
- Charity work such as through CAFOD, Fairtrade or WaterAid.
- Celebrate festivals from around the world
- Encourage visitors into school to teach children about life in different countries.
- Use opportunities such as the World Cup, Olympics etc.. to study and learn about life and culture in other parts of the world.
At St Margaret Mary School, we use ‘Picture News’ stimulus for assembly and discussion about current affairs, with direct links to British Values.
Picture News provides a different focus each week, in the form of a powerful image and ‘Big Question’. These form the basis for whole-school assembly and/or class discussion, where children are encouraged to consider, discuss and express their own ideas around these issues. It provides us with resources to create engaging and exciting lessons, allowing children to learn about the world, develop independence, resilience, respect and unlock their own drive and passion for learning. It provides a stimulus which is current, happening now and so their voice is given meaning and purpose.
We have a display in the school corridor which shows the ‘Big Picture’ for the week and asks the children for their ideas and comments. We also share the Weekly Picture News with our families at home through our school website and Facebook page, so that issues can also be considered and discussed at home.