The Government set out its definition of British Values in the 2011 Prevent Strategy and the DfE has reinforced the need, “to create and reinforce a clear and rigorous expectation on all schools to promote the fundamental British values.” These are:
- The rule of law
- Individual liberty
- Mutual respect
- Tolerance of those of different faiths and beliefs.
At St Richard’s VC Academy we uphold and teach our children about British Values and support the current Ofsted guidance published in September 2014:
“ensure that they and the school promote tolerance of and respect for people of all faiths (or those of no faith), cultures and lifestyles; and support and help, through their words, actions and influence within the school and more widely in the community, to prepare children and young people positively for life in modern Britain”
As a Catholic community, our ethos is based on the Gospel values of love, respect and tolerance of others. Our Mission Statement and weekly Statements to Live By recognise that Jesus is our greatest teacher and we believe that British values and Gospel values are not mutually exclusive. Following Jesus’ example, we strive for our Academy to be a place where everyone is equally respected and unconditionally loved.
We are committed to serving all within our community, local area and through our national and international links. In doing so, we reinforce British values regularly and in the following ways:
Democracy: We actively promote and model democracy by:
- Providing our children with a broad knowledge of and promoting respect for public institutions and services e.g. MP visits into school, visits by the Police, Fire Service Local Councillors etc. and teaching the children how public services operate and are held to account during our whole school Acts of Worship.
- Teaching children how they can influence decision making through the democratic process e.g. School council and Chaplaincy groups.
- Encouraging pupils to become involved in decision making processes and ensuring they are listened to in school e.g. Pupil Interviews / Consultation Groups, involvement in Parental Conversations and Parents’ Evenings, liaison between staff and pupils and Pupil Led Ofsted Inspections.
- Modelling how perceived injustice can be peacefully challenged e.g. by teaching about inspirational figures such as Ghandi, Mandela, Mother Teresa, Martin Luther King and Maximillian Kolbe.
- Facilitating enquiries around “The Big Questions” and personal opinions through regular Philosophy for Children sessions.
Rule of Law: We actively promote and model the rule of law by:
- Ensuring Academy rules are clear and fair e.g. through our consistent behaviour policy.
- Helping children to distinguish right from wrong e.g. by using the example of Christ when dealing with behaviour that is not acceptable.
- Promoting respect for the law and the basis on which it is made e.g. through visitors such as PCSOs, Police, MP into school.
- Helping children to understand that living under the rule of law protects individuals e.g. through our RE curriculum, through focus weeks (e-safety and anti-bullying weeks etc.) and invited visitors.
- Having a behaviour policy that is linked to restorative justice e.g. that is based on the Christian value of forgiveness.
- Supporting children in their exploration of opinions through regular Philosophy for Children (P4C) sessions – exploring the “Big Questions”.
Individual Liberty: We actively promote and model individual liberty by:
- Supporting pupils to develop their self- knowledge, self- esteem and self- confidence e.g. through our Catholic ethos, our way of treating people, by investing heavily in meeting the needs of all of the children, by providing equality of opportunity, by knowing and understanding the needs of all of the children.
- Encouraging pupils to take responsibility for their behaviour as well as knowing their rights e.g. through linking rights with responsibilities, by having a fair and consistent behaviour management policy.
- Challenging stereotypes e.g. visitors into school, disability awareness, anti – bullying and anti- racism learning.
- Implementing a strong anti - bullying culture.
Respect and Tolerance: We actively promote and model respect and tolerance by:
- Promoting respect for individual differences e.g. through Acts of Worship and Masses, the RE curriculum, through our Catholic ethos.
- Helping children to acquire an understanding of and respect for their own and other cultures and ways of life e.g. through Geography, International Links and Religious Education.
- Openly discussing and celebrating the differences between people such as differences of faith, ethnicity, disability, gender and different family situations such as looked after children, young carers.
- Sporting activities promoting an attitude of equality and fairness. We celebrate awards and achievements gained from both school and outside school activities during the weekly award assemblies.
- Inviting visitors to school e.g. paralympians to illustrate to our children different life experiences.
The Academy takes an interest in national and international news events and sometimes these are used as a stimulus for cross curricular work.
We also enjoy marking and celebrating events of special national and international significance, such as Remembrance Day, London 2012, The World Cup, The Queen’s Diamond Jubilee, Year of Faith, Year of Mercy, the General Election and the 2015 Flag Project which was launched to celebrate the 800 year of the signing of the Magna Carta and the 750 anniversary of the Simon de Montfort Parliament.