At Our Lady’s we value the diverse backgrounds of our pupils and their families and undertake a variety of lessons and events to celebrate these. We have found that these activities teach all of our school community to tolerate and show respect for the differences in our community and the wider world.
The government set out its definition of British values in the 2011 Prevent Strategy; these values are democracy, the rule of law, individual liberty, mutual respect and a tolerance of those of different faiths and beliefs. At Our Lady’s these values are promoted and developed in a variety of ways.
School life at Our Lady’s is very democratic with the pupils having the opportunity to have their voice heard through the School Council and via pupil questionnaires and many of the decisions in class are made in consultation with the pupils. The elections for school council representatives and house captains are based solely on pupil votes.
At Our Lady’s we work to develop the pupils’ self-knowledge, self-esteem and self-confidence so that they can distinguish right from wrong and respect the civil and criminal law of England. The importance of laws, whether they are those that govern a class, school or the country, are consistently reinforced throughout the school day by adults and pupils alike. Pupils are taught to value the reasons behind the laws and the responsibilities that this involves and the consequences when laws are broken. Visits from authorities such as the police, fire service etc. are regular items in the school calendar and help to reinforce this message.
Staff at Our Lady’s aim to educate and provide boundaries, within a safe environment, where pupils can make choices. Pupils are encouraged to know understand and exercise their personal rights and freedoms whilst show respect for the rights and responsibilities of others within the community. PSHCE and e-safety lessons help to educate the pupils in how to use their rights to have a positive influence on their own and others’ lives.
Pupils and parents were involved in the discussions and assemblies that helped to develop the school’s core values which include ‘respect for ourselves, others, property and the environment’. This value is reiterated through our class and school rules as well as our behaviour and equality policies.
At Our Lady’s we promote this through enhancing pupils’ knowledge and understanding of cultures and faiths around the world; this is frequently achieved within RE and Creative Curriculum lessons.
Throughout our pupils time at Our Lady’s we aim to develop their ability to show initiative and understand how they can contribute to the wider community. We hope that our pupils will have the confidence to take risks and face the challenges of the future.