Fundamental British Values
The DfE has 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.
At Our Lady’s we value the diverse backgrounds of our pupils and their families. In addition to this, our school's core Christian values work in harmony with Fundamental British Values, and, through our work on developing both aspects, we encourage pupils to consider them together. We nurture our pupils on their journey through life so they grow into caring, responsible and respectful adults who make a positive difference to British society and the wider world. We encourage them to be creative, open-minded and responsible individuals who care for others in our school, local community and beyond.
At Our Lady’s we are committed to serving our community and local area; in so doing we reinforce Fundamental British Values regularly. The examples that follow are an indication of some of the many ways we seek to embed Fundamental British Values at Our Lady’s and should be seen as an indication of our approach rather than an exhaustive list. We recognise not only the importance of helping pupils to flourish academically but also physically, spiritually, morally, socially and culturally so they are fully prepared for life in British society and for their role as pro-active citizens within the communities they live and serve.
Our school is a democracy for all its stakeholders. Therefore, staff and pupils have the opportunity to have their voices heard. Staff drive self-improvement across the school and pupils (through the School Council, Pupil Learning Champions and via pupil questionnaires) offer ideas and ways in which we can further develop all aspects of school life. Many of the decisions in class are made in consultation with the pupils and they are encouraged to have their say and their opinions matter. The elections for school council representatives and house captains are based solely on pupil votes.
Pupils also learn about political and social institutions that affect their lives, including general elections. Furthermore, they learn about their responsibilities, rights and duties as individuals and members of different communities.
The Rule of Law
At Our Lady’s we work to develop 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. Rules are important in our school and we all have a shared responsibility for them. 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.
Every year, all classes create their own Class Mission Statements which is displayed in the classroom and pupils are expected to follow it throughout the academic year. Years 2 - 6 follow the behaviour steps which have rewards, including a postcard sent home to parents for outstanding learning and general behaviour, and sanctions. Year 3 - 6 parents receive a weekly behaviour log feedback highlighting how their child uses their learning behaviours to help them be independent learners, general behaviour and homework grades thus ensuring accountability from all.
Staff at Our Lady’s aim to educate and provide boundaries, within a safe environment, where pupils can make choices as well as take risks and know that making mistakes is part of the learning process and a valuable life skill. Pupils are encouraged to know understand and exercise their personal rights and freedoms whilst showing respect for the rights and responsibilities of others within our community. PSHE, on-line safety lessons and extra-curricular opportunities help to educate the pupils in how to use their rights to have a positive influence on their own and others’ lives. In addition to this, collective worship is used to both explore and support the school’s vision, mission and values systems thus allowing pupils to investigate, manage and understand their how they can make independent choices and decisions that make a difference.
Mutual Respect and Tolerance of those of different faiths and beliefs
We are a culturally diverse school and we believe that all pupils should have a clear understanding of their place in society and should be given opportunities to experience this first hand. Our Mission Statement highlights the importance of celebrating and welcoming all to be part of our school community.
Respect is a fundamental school value and we pay explicit attention to this as part of our teaching in RE, PSHE, SMSC and the Creative Curriculum. Our RE curriculum teaches all pupils about the Catholic faith and encourages them to have a deep understanding of their own faith as well as respecting and valuing the traditions and faiths of other world religions, including: Judaism, Islam and Sikhism.
Whilst actively promoting Fundamental British Values, we ensure that we challenge pupils, parents or staff views if they express opinions contrary to this, including extremist views.
Through celebrating and prioritising Fundamental British Values, we believe that 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. Further information about Fundamental British Values throughout the curriculum can be found on the specific subject pages.