As of November 2014, according to the DFE schools must now promote British values – this isn’t something new to our school. 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.
According to Ofsted, 'fundamental British values' are:
- the rule of law
- individual liberty
- mutual respect for and tolerance of those with different faiths and beliefs and for those without faith.
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.
Below are a few examples of our work to promote British Values.
- We have a school council
- Our children vote for the class representatives to the council.
- We ensuring 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
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
- We regularly have visits from the police 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
- Our schools mission statement is inclusive
- We constantly promote respect for others as good manners
- Our school has an effective anti-bullying 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