'British Values' and our Catholic Ethos
'British Values' and our Catholic Ethos
British values are considered by the present government to be Democracy, Rule of Law, Individual Liberty, Mutual Respect and Tolerance of those of Different Faiths and Beliefs. The promotion of ‘British values’ is central to Catholic education because British values have their origin in the Christian values of our nation.
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.
The above statement, in line with the Diocese of Westminster, outlines the values that we provide in our broad and balanced curriculum and alongside the Religious Education Curriculum Directory.
Promoting British Values at St George’s Catholic Primary School
The DfE have recently reinforced the need “to create and enforce a clear and rigorous expectation on all schools to promote the fundamental British values of Democracy, the Rule of Law, Individual Liberty, Mutual Respect and Tolerance of those with Different Faiths and Beliefs.”
The government set out its definition of ‘British Values’ in the ‘Prevent Strategy’ (2011), which was designed to prevent the extremism and religious radicalisation of young people.. At St George’s Primary School these values are reinforced regularly and in the following ways:
We listen to pupil and parent voice. Parent questionnaires are completed regularly, and pupils have the opportunity to complete questionnaires in different areas of the curriculum and their general learning. Children are given opportunities to make decisions such as voting for school councillors and house captains. House Captains write manifestos. Children have the opportunity to choose playground equipment they would like.
The Rule of Law:
We consistently reinforce our high expectations of children. Through our Mission Statement, Behaviour Management Policy and regular verbal communication, children are taught the value and reasons behind our expectations (rules) that they are there to protect us, that everyone has a responsibility and that there are consequences when rules are broken. Children generate their own rules, thus taking responsibility.
Within school, children 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 children to make choices safely, through our provision of a safe enabling environment and effective teaching. Children are encouraged to know, understand and exercise their rights and personal freedoms. They are able to comment on their learning and respond to the teacher comments.
As a Catholic School, our school ethos and behaviour policy is based on the key attributes of Respect & Forgiveness. Our Mission Statement is focused on respect and each week children are awarded certificates for their ability to show respect for others. Through RE and PSHE lessons, children accept ath every person is unique and "created in the image of God."
Tolerance of those of Different Faiths and Beliefs:
We aim to enhance children’s understanding of different faiths and beliefs by participating in a range of assemblies throughout the year and incorporating other faiths in our RE curriculum. Children are reminded that Jesus encouraged tolerance in stories such as The Good Samaritan and The Woman at the Well. Children have the opportunity to dress-up in clothes and try different foods from other cultures and we encourage parents and carers to participate and support our multi-cultural events, including Cultural Diversity Week.